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Iowa Board of Educational Examiners

Enter the Teaching Profession in Iowa

The Board of Educational Examiners recognizes the need for teachers to be prepared to serve all students in Iowa, while also acknowledging that working adults may have incredible talents and knowledge to offer and will greatly benefit from an alternative accelerated pathway. If you are aware of someone in your community who is considering a career in education, please consider the following options:


  • Traditional Pathway: This is usually a bachelor’s or master’s degree, and includes coursework in the content area to be taught, general pedagogy coursework, and a full student teaching placement. Programs must state-approved and be completed through regionally accredited institutions for college credit. A list of Iowa institutions can be found on our website under “endorsements”.



  • Career and Technical Authorization. This route requires hours of experience to teach in career and technical fields (no degree required). 6000 experience hours (approximately three years) or 4000 experience hours (if the applicant also has a bachelor’s degree) are required. Applicants can begin teaching immediately, and short courses in basic pedagogy are completed online. This is a highly successful alternative program which fills a great need in Iowa including but not limited to areas such as construction, drafting, welding, mechanics, military, electricity, culinary, agriculture, engineering, technology, and many more.


  • Community college dual credit instruction: No licensure is required for instructors at community colleges.


  • Troops to Teachers (TTT) is a Department of Defense program designed to assist eligible military personnel in their pursuit of teaching as a second career in public schools where their skills, knowledge, and experience are most needed to relieve teacher shortages, especially in math, science, special education and other critical subject areas.

Troops to Teachers provides counseling, referral, and placement assistance to eligible military personnel. Participants seeking Iowa licensure will complete one of the teacher pathways listed above. Iowa has partnered with Missouri for the TTT program. The TTT program coordinator can be reached at


Our agency has also approved new rules to allow applicants who have completed a traditional program in another state to transfer to Iowa more easily. Applicants with three or more years of teaching experience are not required to complete assessments. Applicants with 10 or more years of experience, or five or more years of experience plus a master's degree are not required to complete coursework deficiencies as long as our other requirements are met. Administrators who are not also seeking a teaching license will not have coursework deficiencies for that license (they will need to be eligible for the teaching license, but do not need to obtain it).