How to Become a Teacher in Hawaii

Becoming a school teacher in Hawaii will prove to be one of the most rewarding careers you could choose. You will have the power to positively impact the lives of children. The following steps will help you become a teacher in The Aloha State.

Choose What You Want to Teach

First you should decide what age group you would teach best. You have several choices, including elementary school, middle school, and high school. It is important to teach what you enjoy, so this should be the first question that you ask yourself before moving on to teaching requirements in Hawaii. All of the requirements in Hawaii depend on what level you choose to teach. You can visit the Hawaii Department of Education for more information on teachers, schools, and students in the state.

Complete Your Education Requirements for Teaching in Hawaii

If you want to become a certified educator in Hawaii, you must at least have a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited college or university. In addition, you must complete a State Board-approved teacher preparation program. The teacher preparation program should focus on the area you wish to become certified in.

Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

Certified educators in Hawaii must complete an accredited teacher preparation program.

Teacher Education Programs in Hawaii make sure their teachers are highly skilled in whatever area they will teach. By the time teachers exit the program, they must prove they are professionally prepared to teach in the area they wish to become certified in. There generally two elements which make up these programs, curricula and fieldwork. Curricula includes the classes you will take at the college level including courses on classroom management, differentiated instructional strategies, and subject-based methods courses. The fieldwork element includes field observations, student teaching, and internships. You can check Hawaii Department of Education's website to find out what Teacher Preparation Programs can help you become a qualified teacher in Hawaii. However, keep in mind that you can complete online teacher preparation programs as well, as long as they are accredited.

If you do not already have a Bachelor's Degree, this step could be completed as part of your Bachelor's degree.

If you already have a Bachelor's Degree, you will be able to complete an alternative or post baccalaureate teacher preparation program.

Alternative Teacher Certification in Hawaii

There are alternative routes you can take to become a certified teacher in Hawaii.

Career and Technical Education Limited Duty Special Permit (CTE Permit)

If you are a trade professionals with at least three years of field experience, you might be eligible to earn a "Career and Technical Education Limited Duty Special Permit (CTE Permit)". This permit will allow you to teach your special trade in the state of Hawaii for a one-year period of time.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certificate

You may be able to teach in Hawaii public schools if you are a teacher who holds a "National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certificate". Board certification is looked at as the highest mark of professional accomplishment in the teaching field. This process to certification allows for teachers to master their practice in the classroom and prove their dedication to their students and peers.

Certified to Teach In Another State

You may be able to earn a Hawaii standard teaching certificate if you have completed a teacher preparation program and earned licensure to teach in another state. In order to qualify, you should have three years of teaching experience and you must be able to submit your valid license and applicable test scores to the Hawaii Department of Education.

Pass the Required Tests for Hawaii

Another step is to pass the required exams for licensure in Hawaii. There will be a Basic Skills test along with a Content Knowledge Verification exam. The content knowledge competency test should be taken in the area you would like to teach. For example, an aspiring math teacher should take the appropriate mathematics examination. These exams can usually be fulfilled by taking the necessary Praxis Series tests, or another state test if available. If you are taking a Praxis test series, you should use score code 8620 to ensure that your scores will be sent directly to HTSB (Hawaii Teacher Standards Board).

Apply for your Hawaii Teacher Certification/Teaching License

Application Requirements

The Department of Education will require future teachers to submit all of these forms in Hawaii:

  • Completed application form
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Documentation to support the form, including your college transcript(s)
  • Applicable exam score(s)
  • Copies of any teaching certificates you have, if applicable
  • Official statement of status eligibility
  • Records of employment

Contact Information

Hawaii Department of Education
1390 Miller St.
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-3230

Find a Teaching Job in Hawaii

After you complete the above steps, you will be ready to begin your wonderful career as a certified teacher in Hawaii, The Aloha State. The power of Hawaii's future will be in your hands!

Remote but attractive, the state of Hawaii takes great care to hire qualified teaching staff throughout the year to ensure that student needs are met.

Public School Teaching Jobs in Hawaii

Currently, Hawaii has a need for teachers with the following certifications:​ Elementary Education; Special Education; Secondary Math and English; Drama; Industrial Arts; Health; and Hawaiian Language Immersion.

The Department of Education also stages a recruitment fair on the mainland during the springtime. The state Department of Education manages an affiliated website for job postings and applications. Hawaii offers a collaborative retirement plan wherein both teachers and the state contribute to pension disbursement after retirement. Teachers are encouraged to visit and register through hawaiipublicschools.org to view and apply for opportunities.

HSTA (Hawaii State Teachers Association)

The state teacher union is an affiliate of the National Education Association, locally called Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA). Teacher unions exist to advocate on behalf of teachers individually and as a demographic.

Private School Teaching Jobs in Hawaii

Private school opportunities are also available for teachers. Hawaii has about 145 private schools with an average of eleven students to every teacher. All but a third have religious affiliation. Salary and advancement may differ from the public system.

Teacher Shortage in Hawaii by Subjects or Discipline (2014-2015)

The following list of teacher shortage areas in Hawaii has been obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) list for the 2014-2015 school year

  • English/Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Vocational/Technical

Number of Public School Teachers By Grade

The table below lists the number of public school teachers in Hawaii by grade level during the 2012-2013 school year.

Grade LevelNumber of Teachers
Pre-kindergarten & Preschool Teachers233
Kindergarten Teachers656
Elementary Teachers5,490
Middle & High School Teachers5,149
Ungraded Class Teachers81

Data obtained from the State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data 2013

Number of Private School Teachers By Grade

There are more than 120 private schools with an estimated 2,700 private school teachers in Hawaii. The table below details the number of teachers by grade level during the 2011-2012 school year.

Grade LevelNumber of Teachers
Elementary School Teachers742
Middle & High School Teachers69
Combined K-12 School Teachers1,854

Data obtained from the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2012

Continue Your Education and Professional Development

In the field of education, professional development initiatives occur at the school, district, and state levels. State and local educational standards and initiatives drive improvement through professional development. Other important factors that govern professional development are opportunities for professional collaboration and student achievement to support learning.

Professional Development in Hawaii

Teachers in Hawaii engage in professional development through a variety of platforms. Professional developments can occur during the school year and summer, in order to improve promising practices through a combination of learning and leadership skills.

Hawaiian teachers engage in a number of streams of professional development depending on their needs and their career direction. Some of these streams are non-credit workshops through the teacher professional development credit program. Courses from the program may assist teachers to meet Hawaii's Highly Qualified Status. The current system is in the process of replacing the offerings of former professional development systems.

Teachers are encouraged to contact the Office of Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Support (OCISS) through the Department of Education. There they will find a comprehensive listing of professional development opportunities that will improve teacher practice. Examples of courses offered include those exploring Common Core subject matter, technical education, AP, English Language Learners, and so on.

Employment and Teacher Salary in Hawaii

The state of Hawaii employs 11,500 teachers throughout its 289 public schools. Due to the island geography, the entire state is consolidated into one school district and teachers working for the state earn a starting salary of $41,027. Hawaii has a few defined shortages of teachers throughout the preschool, elementary, and secondary panels - namely special education and business technology. Teachers seeking employment are encouraged to apply near larger centers like Honolulu, Pearl City, and Hilo.

Total Employed

5,820

Salary Range

$44,890 - $73,320

Elementary school teachers have a salary range between $44,890 to $73,320 a year in Hawaii. There are around five thousand employed elementary school teachers. Read about what it takes to become an elementary school teacher.

Elementary School Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu4,660$54,750

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Elementary School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2021)

Total Employed

480

Salary Range

$30,860 - $91,170

English teachers have a salary range between $30,860 to $91,170 a year in Hawaii, with over 480 employed in the state. See details on how to become an english teacher.

English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu370$59,510

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1123)

Total Employed

4,160

Salary Range

$46,900 - $74,140

As a high school teacher in Hawaii you can expect to make between $46,900 - $74,140. There are around four thousand employed high school teachers. Take the next step and learn to how to become a high school teacher.

High School Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu2,980$56,500

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for High School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2031)

Total Employed

140

Salary Range

$52,960 - $111,080

In Hawaii, a history teacher's salary may range from $52,960 to $111,080. There are around 140 employed history teachers. Get more information about becoming a history teacher.

History Teachers (College Professor)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu120$75,780

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for History Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1125)

Total Employed

120

Salary Range

$34,210 - $59,970

Kindergarten teachers in Hawaii, can earn between $34,210 to $59,970 a year. There are around 120 employed kindergarten teachers. Read about what it takes to become a kindergarten teacher.

Kindergarten Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu100$42,660

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Kindergarten Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2012)

Total Employed

12,050

Salary Range

$34,210 - $106,500

As a math teacher in Hawaii you can expect to make between $34,210 - $106,500. Hawaii is home to about twelve thousand math teachers. See our guide on how to become a math teacher.

Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu150$70,000

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1022)

Total Employed

1,100

Salary Range

$21,450 - $51,200

P.e. teachers have a salary range between $21,450 to $51,200 a year in Hawaii. Hawaii is home to about a thousand p.e. teachers. See our guide on how to become a p.e. teacher.

Coaches and Scouts
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu950$33,480

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Coaches and Scouts (SOC Code: 27-2022)

Total Employed

1,370

Salary Range

$24,730 - $46,740

In Hawaii, a preschool teacher's salary may range from $24,730 to $46,740, with over 1,370 employed in the state. See details on how to become a preschool teacher.

Preschool Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu1,260$32,430

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Preschool Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2011)

Total Employed

1,320

Salary Range

$39,740 - $126,260

As a school administrator in Hawaii you can expect to make between $39,740 - $126,260. Hawaii is home to about a thousand school administrators. Take the next step and learn to how to become a school administrator.

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu250$49,920

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program (SOC Code: 11-9031)

Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu-$85,550

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School (SOC Code: 11-9032)

Total Employed

1,270

Salary Range

$45,370 - $74,570

School counselors in Hawaii, can earn between $45,370 to $74,570 a year, with over 1,270 employed in the state. See our guide on how to become a school counselor.

Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu990$56,110

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors (SOC Code: 21-1012)

Total Employed

570

Salary Range

$52,510 - $82,430

School librarians have a salary range between $52,510 to $82,430 a year in Hawaii. Hawaii is home to about 570 school librarians. Read about what it takes to become a school librarian.

Librarians
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu470-

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Librarians (SOC Code: 25-4021)

Total Employed

1,200

Salary Range

$44,610 - $73,180

In Hawaii, a special education teacher's salary may range from $44,610 to $73,180. Hawaii is home to about a thousand special education teachers. Interested in becoming a special education teacher?

Special Education Teachers (Preschool)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu230$55,330

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Preschool) (SOC Code: 25-2051)

Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu760$52,610

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School) (SOC Code: 25-2052)

Total Employed

4,950

Salary Range

$41,510 - $48,810

In Hawaii, a substitute teacher's salary may range from $41,510 to $48,810. Hawaii is home to about four thousand substitute teachers. Read about what it takes to become a substitute teacher.

Substitute Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu4,260$44,660

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Substitute Teachers (SOC Code: 25-3098)

Total Employed

6,300

Salary Range

$25,230 - $36,010

In Hawaii, a teaching assistant's salary may range from $25,230 to $36,010. There are around six thousand employed teaching assistants. Interested in becoming a teaching assistant?

Teacher Assistants
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Honolulu5,220$27,840

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Teacher Assistants (SOC Code: 25-9041)

Largest School Districts in Hawaii

School DistrictSchoolsTeachers
Hawaii State Department of Education29011,781

Data obtained from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey 2014