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Thinking About Teaching in Iowa? Here’s What You Need to Know

Across the United States there is a growing demand for teachers. Teaching is a uniquely rewarding profession, one that enables the most passionate and dedicated practitioners to make a real difference to the lives of the students they teach. It is a career that rewards workers in a number of different ways, offering both practical benefits like a family-friendly work schedule, as well as abstract benefits like its hugely satisfying nature.

While every state in the US has slightly different requirements and procedures for becoming a teacher, they all involve more or less the same process. It tends to be the details rather than the substance of the requirements that changes between states. This article covers what you need to know if you are considering becoming a teacher in Iowa.


The requirements for becoming a teacher in Iowa are relatively straightforward. Teachers are certified and overseen by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners. As with all the other 49 states, a bachelor’s degree or higher is required, in addition to the completion of an approved teaching education program from an accredited institution.

Your bachelor’s degree can be in anything you like, obviously if you want to teach one specific subject then a degree in that subject makes sense. Once you have a bachelor’s degree, you can then begin looking at teaching education programs. You need to study with an accredited university, so this Masters in Learning and Teaching from University of Redlands in California fits the bill perfectly – the University of Redlands online degrees make studying remotely easy, you don’t even need to leave the state to get a valuable university degree.


Where Iowa’s regulations begin to diverge from those of other states is in licensing. The Iowa system is fine, it is just different to what some teachers coming in from out of state might be used to. Once teachers have successfully met all the state requirements, they will then receive an initial certificate that remains valid for two years.

This initial two year period is sort of like a state-mandated trial period – if at the end of your two years you have shown yourself to be a capable and competent teacher, you can then apply for the five-year standard license. 

Additional Requirements

In addition to the academic requirements, those applying to become a teacher in Iowa will also need to pass a background check. It is also mandated that applicants be fingerprinted, which can be done either by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners or by a local law enforcement office as per the applicant’s preference.

Becoming a teacher in Iowa is about as difficult as becoming a teacher anywhere else in the US. If you have already qualified as a teacher in another state, you should find that transferring into the Iowa system is pretty straightforward. Chances are you will already meet all of the requirements and can immediately turn your attention to applying for any appealing jobs. 

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