How to Become a Teacher in Tennessee: Teacher Certification

These are the usual steps a person might take to become certified to teach in the state of Tennessee. Please check with your state to make sure you have the most up-to-date information about the certification process.

To learn about teaching salaries in Tennessee, see here.

Traditional Approach for the Tennessee Teacher Certification

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  2. Teacher Preparations: This may include teacher prep courses, student teaching and other types of internships. In order to receive a Tennessee Teacher Certification, you must have some experience in teaching, even if it’s unpaid. 180 hours of field experience are required.
  3. Pass the Tennessee Competency Exams (EST).
  4. Submit the following:
    • Requested Application
      • Page 2 needs to be submitted by your Certification Official
    • Official transcripts, degrees, and school credits
    • Copies of all test scores
    • Mail to:
      Tennessee Department of Education
      Office of Teacher Licensing
      710 James Robertson Parkway
      4th Floor Andrew Johnson Tower
      Nashville, TN 37243-0377
      (615) 532-4885
  5. Do you want to renew your Tennessee Teacher Certification?

Alternative Approach for a Tennessee Teacher Certification

Alternatively, you can earn the Teacher Conditional Tennessee Teaching Certification to teach in Tennessee. This will allow you to start teaching before you complete the teacher education program.

  1. Earn a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university
  2. Select which type of alternative license you need
  3. Provide official transcripts
  4. Be employed directly by the Tennessee school district
  5. Pass the Praxis Exam (if required)
  6. Spend 24 semester hours to earn full license (if required)
  7. Call (615) 532-4885 for more information
  8. Mail to:
    Tennessee Department of Education
    Office of Teacher Licensing
    710 James Robertson Parkway
    4th Floor Andrew Johnson Tower
    Nashville, TN 37243-0377


  1. Educational Testing Service, https://www.ets.org/
  2. Tennessee State Government, https://www.tn.gov/

Teaching Schools in Tennessee

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