If you haven’t already done so, you should research your state’s “alternative certification program” on your state’s Department of Education web site. Every state has a procedure for non-traditional licensing. Some states will give you a temporary teaching license with the understanding that you need to complete their alternative certification guidelines within a year or two’s time-frame. Other states will want you to complete their alternative certification program first and then grant you a teaching certificate at the conclusion of the program.
If you aren't interested in obtaining a teaching license but would still like to work in the field of education, consider the following career options as alternatives:
- Educational Centers such as museums, zoos, theme parks, science centers, aquariums, renaissance fairs and summer camps all need directors and staff to handle their educational programming.
- Opportunities exist to teach English abroad through private organizations. Some of these positions require you to move to the country and other opportunities allow you to work from home and tutor on-line to international students. If you want to work for DODEA (Department of Defense Education Activity), you will need a teaching license. In addition to teaching internationally, you could also consider the role of Foreign Exchange Program Coordinator and create exchange programs for schools in your community.
- Textbook Companies need curriculum developers, textbook writers, textbook editors and sales representatives to sell their product to local school districts for textbook adoption. A quick Google search will give you a list of US Textbook companies to research for opportunities in your area.
- Business corporations need corporate trainers, educational consultants, professional development facilitators and motivational speakers to train their staff and keep their employees current on trends within their industry. Most businesses will post these positions on popular job search engines.
- Testing centers across the country also have a variety of positions to fill in education. Positions such as test developers, proctors, assessors, quality assurance and security jobs are also available to those with education based backgrounds. Many of these positions are located in a certain geographic region of the country, but if you’re willing to move, there is great opportunity in this industry.
- Support roles within a school are a natural way to land a full time teaching job. Obtaining a job as a paraprofessional, coach, tutor, resource teacher, teacher’s aide, substitute teacher, daycare or preschool teacher are great ways to get your foot in the door at a school to network every day with the administration. Finding a role in this area, while simultaneously pursuing your alternate certification program for your state, leads to a great opportunity for the following school year to get your first classroom.
- Consider returning to WGU for your Master’s degree in a specialized field. There are a lot of educational opportunities available to you that don’t require a teaching license. In K-12 education, you could assume roles as a media specialist, technology specialist, curriculum developer, learning specialist and reading coach. In higher education, opportunities such as academic advisor, adjunct professor and mentor don’t require a teaching license, but usually will require an advanced degree.
If you have further questions about these types of roles, please visit WGU Career & Professional Development to take our career assessment and explore more career options. Before applying for any position, remember to have your resume reviewed by one of our specialists. You can e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org in a Word document and we’ll get you some feedback for improvement!