Online Illinois Teacher Certification

Home > All States and Cities > Illinois Online Education > Illinois Teaching Certification

In the heart of the nation -- and in the Second City if students choose -- there are plenty of opportunities for teachers. Just like many states, Illinois has a need for good educators. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education approved the Chicago Public School District 299 as a designated teacher shortage area for the 2015-2016 school year, according to data from the Illinois State Board of Education. In the entire state, bilingual education teachers and learning behavior specialists are needed, and in Chicago's District 299, there is a shortage of standard elementary instructors.

Many teachers can now earn their Illinois teaching credentials online. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while employment figures for teachers in the state are expected to decline in some areas, they are expected to grow in these particular education specialties:

  • Preschool teachers, except special education (14%)
  • Special education teachers in preschool (5.6%)
  • Adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers and instructors (4.7%)

Illinois teachers can work in public schools after passing the applicable national tests and in private institutions as well, which oftentimes don't require such a certification. In addition, and not surprisingly, graduates and newly minted teachers can also teach in some of the online schools that are available for students' convenience, usually exclusively at the high school level.

Illinois Teacher Prerequisites and Exams

All public school teachers in Illinois must earn a teaching certification. The Illinois State Board of Education is the state agency that licenses teachers in the state, and according to the agency's website, there are three licenses available.

  1. Professional Educator License (PEL) -- The requirements to obtain this license for applicants completing a teaching program in Illinois include:
    • Completion of an approved Illinois educator preparation program that includes coursework in cross-categorical special education methods and methods of reading and reading in content areas
    • A passing score on an Illinois test of basic skills, the Test of Academic Proficiency (TAP 400) or a specific SCT or SAT score
    • A passing score on the Assessment of Professional Teaching (APT) test for program completion
  1. Educator License with Stipulations Endorsed for a Specific Field (ELS) -- There are several fields for which educators can obtain this license and the requirements vary slightly for each of the fields, which include:
    • Career and technical educator
    • Resident teacher
    • Paraprofessional
    • Transitional bilingual educator

This license is valid for two fiscal years and cannot be renewed. Before this license expires, the applicant must meet the requirements for the PEL detailed above.

  1. Substitute License -- This license is valid for five years and can be renewed with evidence of a passing score on an Illinois test of basic skills. To qualify for this license, applicants must present proof that they hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

Illinois Teaching Degrees

One wonderful aspect of pursuing a career in teaching is the many career options available. For those who really thrive on making a difference in the key developmental years of young children, preschool or kindergarten teaching might be a fantastic option. Those who like working with more challenging material might enjoy teaching at the secondary level and focus on advance-placement classes.

Students should carefully consider the degree program they want to select for their studies, as it's an important decision. The most important thing to consider when choosing a school is accreditation. Here is a short list of available teaching degrees (not all are available online) that allow students to pursue Illinois teaching credentials:

  • Bachelor's degree in early, elementary, and special education
  • Postbaccalaureate teacher certification
  • Master's degree in education
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA) in elementary education
  • Bachelor of Science (BS) in elementary education
  • Master of Education, reading specialist
  • Master of Education, literacy education

Career Outlook for Teachers in Illinois

Teachers cannot live on passion alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here's what you can expect to earn if you are a teacher in the state of Illinois.

Career Total employment (2015) Average Salary (2015) % Growth Projected (2014-2024)
Kindergarten teachers (except special education) 4,270 $53,560 -0.4%
Preschool teachers (except special education) 19,220 $32,210 14%
Elementary school teachers (except special education) 60,570 $59,680 -1.3%
Middle school teachers (except special and career/technical education) 34,590 $66,480 -1.3%
Special education teachers, Secondary School 6,960 $66,700 -1.2%
Secondary School teachers (except special and career/technical education) 44,440 $69,300 -1.4%
Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors 2,270 $60,580 4.7%
Substitute Teachers 19,130 $36,630 3.8%
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School 1,980 $65,140 -6.3%


  • Become a Teacher in Illinois, Teach.com, http://teach.com/states/become-a-teacher-in-illinois
  • College of Education, The University of Arizona, http://directory.arizona.edu/colleges/college-education
  • Data Analysis and Accountability, Illinois State Board of Education, http://www.isbe.net/research/htmls/teacher_shortage.htm
  • Elementary Program Information, Department of Teaching & Learning, UNLV College of Education, http://tl.unlv.edu/undergraduate/elementary
  • May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Illinois, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_il.htm
  • Welcome to IOHS, http://www.illinoisonlinehighschool.org/

Online Illinois Teacher Certification

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Showing schools in your area

            Prefer exploring options talking to our staff?
            Call toll free now: 1.855.330.6938
            Matching School Ads
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
            • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
            • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
            • 95% of Liberty University students receive some form of financial aid
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            • For nearly a century, CIU has provided an enriching Christ-centered education
            • CIU is SACSCC and ABHE accredited to ensure students’ academic & spiritual growth
            • Students receive one-on-one attention from talented & experienced professors
            • 497 undergrads with an avg. class size of 20, for strong educational experiences
            • Many students receive financial aid if they are eligible
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            2 Program(s) Found

            Saint Mary's University of Minnesota's Online Master's Programs

            At Saint Mary's, we take pride in offering online graduate degrees designed to complement the schedules of working adults like you. Get an affordable, convenient education from a top-ranked university that's grounded in real-world applications.

            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found

            Saint Joseph’s University is a comprehensive, regionally accredited university. Our national rankings and AACSB accreditation in the Haub School indicate the high quality of our undergraduate, graduate, and executive programs both online and on campus.

            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Impact your world with a degree from Walden. Start today!
            • Walden degree and certificate programs are designed for working professionals. Click for more information.
            • Receive personal attention from advisors in enrollment, financial aid, academics, and other support services to make the most of your online program.
            • Study worry-free knowing you have 24/7 access to Walden technical support
            • Convenient start dates throughout the year
            • http://www.waldendegrees.com/6x2/prequal.jsp?redirected=Index&CLK=0&CCID=&QTR=&ZN=&ZV=&KY_T=
            • Prohibited by MSA ("Media Company shall not purchase any domains names that consist of, in whole or in part, the Laureate trademarks or service marks."). When filling out the form, directs to a page that says I don't meet admissions requirements, no matter what I answer. Using Walden to sell other schools on the sorry page.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
            • As a regionally accredited, private, online and graduate-focused university, NCU offers doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business, technology management, education, and psychology, as well as doctoral and master’s degrees in marriage and family therapy.
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found

            Online Learning at Concordia University–Portland

            If education is your passion, Concordia University-Portland is your university. One of the most respected names in learning today, Concordia offers several fully online Master of Education (MEd) programs—most of which can completed in one year—and a fully online Doctorate of Education (EdD) program. Our graduates stand out with the skills, integrity, and compassion  necessary to meet the ever-changing needs of students today. Together, we're all making an impact in education.

            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            2 Program(s) Found

            Trident University International provides an exceptional online educational experience for its students – diverse adult learners including current and former members of the military family. Adhering to the highest standards of academic excellence, faculty and staff foster a learning community where students develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to enhance their lives and advance their careers.

            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Its Fast Track program enables qualified students to save up to 30% on tuition and graduate up to 30% faster.
            • Several CTU degree programs are ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Best Online Programs in 2017. 
            • Lets students watch, view, read, or hear content through its program, My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.).
            • Has additional campus locations near military bases in Colorado Springs and Denver.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            1 Program(s) Found

            Founded in 1869 as a land-grant school, the University is known today for its prolific faculty as well as a record of distinguished research and achievement in aerospace, engineering, technology, science, and math.

            • Online Courses