Applicants for a CTE teaching credential must possess three years of work experience directly related to the industry sector prior to being recommended for the Preliminary CTE credential. Notably, a year is defined as 1,000 hours, with no more than one year of work experience accruing in a calendar year.

The stipulated work experience must meet the recency requirement, necessitating one year of 1,000 hours within the past five years or two years of 1,000 hours each within the past ten years.

What does this CTE work experience mean?

If you’re an artist you would need to demonstrate that you have worked in your artistic field for 1,000 hours a year for three years (total of 3,000 hours). Also, if you graduated with a degree in the arts it qualifies as 1,000 hours. If you feel you’ve worked enough to satisfy this requirement, you should feel confident to apply for any arts education jobs that accept a CTE credential – if you’re not sure, make sure to ask the school or contact us for help.

Examples of demonstrating your work for a CTE credential:

In addition to the requisite three years (with 1,000 hours equating to one year) of paid or unpaid work experience, the regulations afford flexibility in meeting up to two years of the work experience requirement through various options.

These include:

How long does it take to get my CTE teaching credential?

Once you find a job, apply and get accepted your CTE credential can be secured in as little as 3 weeks. This can vary from school to school so be sure to ask.

Once you start teaching you will have either three years to complete the additional requirements necessary for your full and permanent CTE teaching credential.

Requirements for the Three-Year CTE Preliminary Credential

Individuals must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Three years of work experience directly related to each industry sector to be named on the credential. One year equals a minimum of 1,000 hours and the experience may be full-time or part-time, paid or unpaid.
  2. High school diploma requirement by one of the following methods:
    • Possess a high school diploma
    • Possess a diploma based on passage of the GED Test
    • Possess the foreign equivalent of a high school diploma
  3. Verification, signed by the Commission-approved program sponsor, that the applicant has been apprised of the requirements for both the preliminary and clear credentials, including the requirements of the program of personalized preparation.
  4. Completed application ( form 41-4).
  5. Completed Live Scan receipt (41-LSOpen PDF in current window.), verifying fingerprints have been taken and fees have been paid, unless fingerprint clearance is already on file with the Commission.
  6. Application processing fee.
  7. Recommendation by a Commission-approved CTE program sponsor.

Requirements for the Five-Year Clear Credential

Individuals must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  1. Possess a valid California Preliminary CTE Teaching Credential (three-year or five-year).
  2. Commission-approved program of personalized preparation that includes training in Specially Designed Academic Instruction Delivered in English (SDAIE).
  3. Verify completion of one of the following:
    1. Two years of successful teaching on the basis of the Preliminary CTE Teaching Credential in the industry sector(s) listed on the credential.
    2. A Commission-approved program of advanced personalized preparation as determined by the program sponsor agency.
  4. U.S. Constitution requirement by one of the following methods:
    1. Complete a course (at least two semester units or three quarter units) in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution. Submit a copy of the course description for evaluation purposes.
    2. Pass an examination in the provisions and principles of the U.S. Constitution, given by a regionally-accredited college or university.
  5. Health education, including, but not limited to, the study of nutrition; the physiological and sociological effects of abuse of alcohol, narcotics, and drugs, and the use of tobacco. This requirement must also include training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that covers infant, child, and adult CPR skills.
  6. Complete study in computer-based technology, including the uses of technology in educational settings.
  7. Completed application ( form 41-4).
  8. Application processing fee.
  9. Recommendation by a Commission-approved CTE progr

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