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Teaching Programs in Utah

With an abundance of natural beauty and the “Silicon Slopes” tech region contributing to a good economy, Utah is considered a good place to raise a family. It’s also a good place to be a teacher. In a 2018 survey, 79% of teachers staying in the profession in Utah stated that they are very or extremely satisfied with their colleagues, and 73% reported likewise for ethical treatment.  That said, the vast majority of teachers in the state—both new and veteran—reported that their passion for improving the lives of children was their reason for being in the field.

How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Utah?

In 2020, Utah’s State Board of Education is conducting an overhaul of its teacher licensing requirements. As of July 1, 2020, there will be three types of licenses:

  • Professional Educator
  • Associate Educator
  • LEA (Local Employment Agency)-Specific Educator

Becoming a Professional Educator in Utah

On July 1, 2020, what had previously been known as Standard Level 1, 2, and 3 teaching licenses will convert to a Professional Educator license. Going forward, those seeking this license must:

  • Graduate with a teaching degree in Utah (bachelor’s or higher)
  • Complete all requirements for an Associate Educator (see next section)
  • Pass all required state exams, as well as a teaching performance assessment.

This type of license is issued for five years and can be renewed.

Becoming an Associate Educator in Utah

On July 1, 2020, all licenses received through the discontinued Alternative Pathway to Teaching (APT) and Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL) will convert to Associate Educator licenses. An Associate Educator License requires demonstration of academic success. This may be shown with a bachelor’s degree, enrollment in an approved Educator Preparation Program, or completed career and technical education (CTE) skill certification. Candidates must also undergo a background check, submit original transcripts from all universities, and pass required exams.

To pursue an alternate pathway, applicants need an Associate Educator License and should be enrolled in an approved alternate Educator Preparation Program (EPP).

Teachers with an Associate Educator License are expected to obtain a Professional Educator License. The Associate Educator License is valid for two years, with a possible one-year extension. It may be renewed if you have less than two years of teaching experience in an accredited school in Utah.

LEA-Specific Educator License

Superintendents may apply to the Utah State Board of Education for a Local Employing Agency (LEA)-Specific Educator License for one, two, or three years if a candidate meets district policies and is unable to get licensed through the standard routes. An LEA-specific license is valid only within the requesting LEA.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Teacher Certification in Utah

Career and Technical Education (CTE) focuses on specific career skills and encompasses multiple areas. CTE teaching applicants submit an LEA-Specific competency-based application for the specialty area they wish to teach. They will need endorsements or certificates for any field they want to teach.

Teachers Moving to Utah from a Different State

Teachers from another state may apply to teach in Utah. Applicants must have four years of teaching experience in their chosen subject/area or pass the appropriate Praxis II Content tests. Utah honors exams from other states if they are equivalent to Utah assessments with a passing score.

Applicants should send official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, a Verification of Educator Experience form, and copies of all educator licenses to the Utah State Board of Education.

To be eligible for an out-of-state license, the applicant must have four or more verified years of successful, licensed teaching experience. Teachers with less than four years of experience may apply for an Associate Educator license.

Average Salaries and Projected Job Growth for Utah Teachers

Utah has an ongoing teacher shortage. A survey found that pay was a contributing reason.

A National Education Association (NEA) report ranked Utah’s teacher pay in the bottom 20% of all states–so Utah took action. Districts began increasing salaries and the state legislature created a Teacher Salary Supplement Program (TSSP) designed to attract qualified educators to subject areas facing teacher shortages.

When compared to the national averages for job growth for teachers, which is 3%–4%, Utah job prospects are excellent.

CareerMean SalaryProjected Job Growth
(2016 – 26)
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education$59,88026%
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$61,88026%
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education$59,07027%
Postsecondary Teaching$89,550*Projections for job growth vary depending on geographic region and subject area.

*Averaged from all postsecondary salaries
Salary information from Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018

Teacher Training Programs in Utah

If you’re interested in teaching degrees in Utah, look for selected teaching programs that have been approved by the state. Whether you prefer a city campus or a university nestled in a mountain valley, you’ll find a school that offers approved training on how to become a teacher. Here are just a few.

Brigham Young University

Brigham Young University (BYU) is a private research university owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). A majority of its 31,441 undergrads are members of the church. There are more than 300 clubs on campus (no sororities or fraternities).

BYU offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, as well as online classes. The Teacher Education (TEd) department has programs in early childhood, physical, and elementary education, and offers a master’s degree in teacher education. Tuition is $2,985 per semester. Students who are not members of the church pay twice that rate.

University of Utah

The University of Utah in Salt Lake City is a public research school. With more than 100 undergraduate majors, 92 graduate programs, and online classes, it’s the flagship of the state’s system. The Urban Institute for Teacher Education (UITE) is responsible for teacher preparation programs and offers bachelor’s degrees in elementary and secondary education. Its College of Education focuses on Special Education.

Tuition for in-state resident freshmen and sophomores taking 15 credit hours is $4,126 per semester (juniors and seniors pay slightly more). Similar tuition for non-residents is $14,443.

Utah State University

Approximately 25,000 students attend USU in Logan, Utah. This public university is known for its agricultural and engineering programs and has several online options.

USU’s College of Education and Human Services’ School of Teacher Education and Leadership offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as professional development programs.

Tuition is $3,274 per semester for a full-time resident and $10,543 for non-resident undergraduate students.

Weber State University

Weber State University in Ogden grants bachelor’s and master’s degrees and offers certificate programs and online classes. The Moyes College of Education students can major in Elementary Education or Special Education. They also have programs in Early Childhood and Secondary Education.

Resident tuition for one academic year is $5,987. Non-residents pay $15,969.

Westminster College

Westminster College is a private liberal arts college in Salt Lake City with undergraduate, graduate, and online degree programs.  With 2200 students, the college has an average class size of 15 students.

The school has an Educational Studies program that focuses on youth and adults in non-school settings. Students can pursue an M.Ed., an M.A. in teaching, or an M.A. in community leadership.

The average cost of undergraduate tuition and fees for the 2020–21 school year is $37,960.

Utah Teacher Resources

Below you will find a few Utah-specific sites offering free or low-cost resources to teachers in the state.

  • Utah State Board of Education: The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) has information on loans and scholarships for teachers in Utah.
  • Utah Online Library: The state makes its online library available. Users can find links to books, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines, databases, and much more.
  • Utah Education Network: The Utah Education Network (UEN) connects Utah school districts, schools, and higher education institutions to many educator resources. PreK—12 resources include a Teacher’s Toolbox and Lesson Plan Library. There are subject-specific resources for science, math, social studies, English, language arts, and Utah-related subjects.
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