Certification Help

is complicated.

Our union can help.

Certification is Complicated. 

We Can Help. 

We know that certification in New York State can be complicated and stressful. That's why NYSUT has an office that's entirely devoted to helping our members navigate the certification process. While the State Education Department manages all certifications, our certification experts are here to give you honest answers and help you through the process.

Free Certification Webinars

NYSUT is pleased to offer a new range of free webinars to help our members with their certification questions. These webinars are designed to help NYSUT members with specific challenges they encounter understanding and managing their certifications.

Space in each webinar is limited. Please sign up only if you plan to attend.

Webinars are free for NYSUT members.

Types of Certificates

Initial Certification

The initial certification requirements vary depending on your level of education and the subject of your undergraduate or post-graduate degree. Generally speaking, these are the requirements for obtaining an initial certification in New York:

  • Content course work

  • Pedagogical course work

  • Field experience and student teaching/practical

  • State certification exams

  • Required workshops

  • Fingerprinting


If you’re reading this, you probably already have your initial certification. However, an increasing number of new teachers are seeking additional initial certifications. Having more than one type of initial certification provides flexibility and will increase your marketable skills. 

Once you have received your initial certificate, you can begin teaching and have five years to complete your professional certification.

Professional Certification

Holders of initial certificates are expected to progress to the professional teaching certificate, within the stated five-year period, by completing the requirements for professional certification:

  • Successful completion of an appropriate master's degree

  • Three years of teaching experience

  • One year of teaching with a mentor

  • Completion of the 6-hour DASA training workshop


What are the requirements for the professional certificate?
Once I have my Initial certificate, how many years do I have to complete the requirements for a Professional certificate?

Ongoing Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE)

Ongoing Certification and CTLE Requirements

Joining the ranks of New York's educators takes rigor and perseverance. But it's that commitment to excellence that makes our teachers and support staff among the nation's best.

Professionally certified teachers and Level III Teaching Assistants are required to complete 100 Continuing Teacher & Leader Education (CTLE) hours during each five (5)-year registration cycle.


CTLE Courses Available

Quick Reminder! NYSUT's Education & Learning Trust offers a wide variety of discounted courses, many of which satisfy CTLE requirements. 

How to Get Certified

There are different ways to obtain a teaching certificate in New York State. The three most common methods include:

Option 1 —

Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program at a New York State college or university.

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Option 2 —

Complete an accredited teacher preparation program in another state or U.S. territory.

Learn More

Option 3 —

Accumulate courses on your own and then apply for the New York State teaching certificate.

Learn More