How to Become a Teacher in Hawaii

White sand beaches, warm air, tropical jungles -- Hawaii has it all. In addition to its natural appeal, extensive job opportunities for teachers designate Hawaii as a hot spot for future educators. While Hawaii requires that all aspiring teachers earn a teaching certificate, the state offers a variety of traditional and non-traditional routes to certification.

How to become a teacher in Hawaii - traditional route for residents

A provisional teacher certificate is a three-year, non-renewable certificate that allows a teacher to work in any public school in Hawaii. Requirements for the provisional teacher certificate include:

  • Earn a bachelor's degree or higher from a state-accredited school; and
  • Pass a teacher preparation course of study
  • Earn a passing score on the Praxis I and II

How to become a teacher in HI - alternative route for residents

For students interested in alternative routes to education or for those switching careers, Hawaii has a range of nontraditional methods of earning a teaching credential, including:

  • RISE, a one-year, intensive special education teaching credential
  • Troops to Teachers, a common program assisting veterans in pursuing teaching careers, and especially popular in Hawaii
  • Alternative Program for Shortage Area, a popular program which fills areas of need in the education field in Hawaii

Hawaii also encourages online teacher education courses.

How to become a teacher in HI - for out-of-state teacher applicants

Out of state applicants must:

  • Have earned a bachelor degree in a field related to subject area
  • Hold a teaching license that is clear of default
  • Have taught under that license for three of the last seven years in the state that issued the license
  • Be willing to obtain a Hawaii teaching license within three years

How do I become a teacher in Hawaii – necessary exams for residents

Teachers in the state of Hawaii must prove their knowledge of core subjects and specialized subject areas through passing a series of tests known as the Praxis I and the Praxis II. All teachers must pass the Praxis I, which tests reading, writing and math. The Praxis II tests individual subjects, such as history and foreign languages. Elementary school teachers must pass the Elementary Education Praxis II test.

What bachelors degree do I need for teaching in Hawaii?

For aspiring elementary school teachers, Hawaii does not specify subject areas for bachelor degrees. Education coursework, however, is preferable, and many universities offer both bachelor and certification courses simultaneously.

Potential secondary teachers must major in the subject they wish to teach. This designates them as highly qualified, according to federal law.

What is a teacher preparation program in Hawaii?

Hawaiian teacher preparation courses focus on four core principles determined by the State Board of Education of Hawaii. These include:

  • Integrating Theory and Practice
  • Inquiry-Based Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Reflection

Traditional coursework includes classroom observations, group projects, extensive lesson planning and a one-year student teaching position within a Hawaii public school.

How do I renew my teacher certification in Hawaii?

There are a variety of renewal options for teachers in Hawaii. These include advanced education completion, clock hours (training within the district), acting on school governance, and a variety of others. For more information, see the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board website (information below).

Where do I go for more information about how to become a teacher in HI?

The following websites have additional information about how to become a teacher in Hawaii:

Hawaii Student Statistics

  • Number of Pre-School students: 1,607
  • Number of Kindergarten students: 15,475
  • Number of 1st - 12th grade students: 162,214
  • Total number of students in Hawaii: 179,478

Hawaii Teacher Statistics

Average Teacher Salary by Grade Level

Grade Level Average 10th percentile 25th percentile Median 75th percentile 90th percentile
Pre-school $30,860 $21,950 $25,670 $29,410 $35,680 $42,440
Kindergarten $43,730 $31,450 $34,550 $38,470 $49,820 $65,640
Elementary $48,730 $32,040 $39,420 $48,240 $58,570 $67,610
Middle school $38,270 $18,280 $26,170 $33,900 $48,310 $60,230
High school $48,660 $32,290 $38,630 $47,630 $57,760 $69,230

School Districts in Hawaii

School District Largest Elementary Schools Largest Middle Schools Largest High Schools
Hawaii Department Of Education
Niihau High & Elementary School
9707 Tsuchiya Rd
Waimea, HI 96796
Ke Ana Laahana - Public Charter School
1500 Kalanianaole Ave
Hilo, HI 96720
Niihau High & Elementary School
9707 Tsuchiya Rd
Waimea, HI 96796
Ke Kula Niihau O Kekaha Learning Center - A Labora
8135 Kekaha Rd
Kekaha, HI 96752
Hakipuu Learning Center - A Hawaii Public Charter School
45-720 Keaahala Rd
Kaneohe, HI 96744
Ke Kula Niihau O Kekaha Learning Center - A Labora
8135 Kekaha Rd
Kekaha, HI 96752
Kanuikapono Learning Center
4109 Kealia Rd
Anahola, HI 96703
Halau Ku Mana - A New Century Public Charter School
2101 Makiki Heights Dr
Honolulu, HI 96822
Kanuikapono Learning Center
4109 Kealia Rd
Anahola, HI 96703

Hawaii Education Contact Information

Hawaii Department Of Education
PO Box 2360
Honolulu, HI 96804
808-586-3283