We are so excited you’re interested in becoming a teacher! Learn more about the pathway to teaching and how our UH Mānoa College of Education can prepare you in becoming the best teacher for our keiki!

What is Licensure?

illustration of steps for licensure

To become a licensed teacher, you need a bachelor’s degree or higher and must complete a State Approved Teacher Education Program (SATEP). SATEP programs have been approved by the Hawaiʻi Teachers Standards Board (HTSB) and upon successful completion, allow you to teach in a Hawaiʻi DOE school.

How can the College of Education (COE) support you in this process?

  1. Enroll in a State Approved Teacher Education Program (SATEP) and complete courses.

  2. As part of the program, complete your student teaching in an approved Pk-12 school setting!

  3. Once you graduate, the COE recommends you for licensure to HTSB.

  4. Apply for your teaching license from HTSB and interview for your first teaching job!

Licenses you can prepare for at the COE

The COE offers one or more licensure programs to become a licensed teacher in the following fields:

  • Early Childhood (PK-K, or PK-3)
  • Elementary (K-6)
  • Secondary (6-12)*
  • Special Education (PK-3, K-6, or 6-12)
  • Health (K-6, 6-12, K-12)
  • Physical Education (K-6, 6-12, K-12)
  • Multilingual Learners (K-6, 6-12) (also referred to as ESL, MLL, or TESOL)
  • Hawaiian Language Immersion (K-6, K-12)

*Content Area Licensure Fields in Secondary:

  • English
  • English as a Second Language (ESL)
  • Fine Arts (Art, Dance, Music, or Theatre)
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • World Languages, including Hawaiian Language

Once you become a licensed teacher, you may take more coursework or complete an advanced degree to gain content skills or teach new types of students. Upon completion, you may apply to receive an “add-a-field” license through the Hawaiʻi Teachers Standards Board (HTSB). COE programs approved by HTSB for add-a-field licensure:

  1. Early Childhood
  2. Deaf/Hard of Hearing (Deaf/HH)*
  3. Ethnomathematics
  4. Literacy Specialist
  5. Multilingual Multicultural Professional Practice
  6. Special Education Add-a-Field
  7. Teacher Leader

*partnership with University of Northern Colorado

View all COE Add-a-field programs

How much do teachers get paid?

According to the Learning Policy Institute (2022), Hawai‘i is now ranked 6th in the nation for starting teacher salary and wage competitiveness!

Hawai‘i has made significant gains towards supporting teachers and providing them with the compensation they deserve. As of SY 2023-2024, licensed HIDOE teachers can earn a salary ranging anywhere from $51,835 to $95,090 as 10-month employees. Salary is dependent on years of service and professional development credits. Attend one of our information sessions to learn more.

In addition, there are pay differentials and other incentives to raise teachers’ salaries even further:

  • Pay Differentials for SPED, Hawaiian Immersion, Hard to Staff Areas
    • +$10,000 Special Education
    • +$8,000 Hawaiian Immersion
    • +$3,000-$8,000 Hard to Staff Locale
  • National Board Certification Teachers earn + $5,000 to +$10,000 extra each year

Why the College of Education?

Top reasons to choose a State Approved Teacher Education Program from UH Mānoa’s College of Education:

  1. Field-Based – Apply what you learn in courses each semester to the classroom setting. Observe and complete your student teaching in an approved school setting.
  2. Dedicated, experienced faculty – Faculty and mentor teachers will share their experiences in the classroom and guide you every step of the way. Meet our teacher education faculty.
  3. Nationally Ranked – Our programs are nationally accredited and nationally recognized!
  4. Stay Local – Many of our programs are available in a hybrid format, providing access and support to students living on all Hawaiian islands!

How do I find the teaching program that’s right for me?

Consider the following:

  • What age do you want to teach? e.g. Birth-PreK, PreK-3, Elementary (K-6), Middle (6-9), High school (6-12)
  • What subject area do you want to teach? (e.g. Special Education, Math, Science)
  • Do you need a bachelor’s degree?
  • Do you need a distance program?
  • Would you like to be prepared for multiple licenses or just one? (e.g., Elementary & Special Education)
  • Are you interested in teaching in Hawaiian Immersion schools?
  • Review COE’s teacher licensure program pages to research programs:


Got Questions? COE Advisors & Staff are here to help!

Meet with our College of Education Recruitment Specialist

Our Recruitment Specialist, Janet Kim, is the perfect first point of contact for anyone who is thinking of pursuing a teaching career and one of our programs. She can learn more about your interests, preferences, and needs to help determine which one of our programs would be the best fit. As a teacher herself, she can also provide additional insight into the career field and help you determine if teaching is a good fit for you.

Meet with our Office of Student Academic Services (OSAS) Advisors

Our friendly academic advisors are standing by and can support you with eligibility, program requirements, transcript analyses, and advising.

Attend an Information Session

Our recruitment specialist and academic advisors travel statewide to host in-person and virtual information sessions about the teaching career and all our licensure program options. To learn more and see available sessions, please visit: coe.hawaii.edu/info-sessions