How to Become an Art Teacher in Washington State

How to Become an Art Teacher in Washington State

If you have a passion for art and a desire to share your knowledge and creativity with others, then becoming an art teacher in Washington State might be the perfect career path for you. Not only will you have the opportunity to inspire and educate future generations, but you will also be able to foster a love for the arts and help students develop their own artistic abilities. In this article, we will guide you through the steps to becoming an art teacher in Washington State, as well as answer some frequently asked questions regarding this profession.

Step 1: Education

The first step towards becoming an art teacher in Washington State is obtaining a bachelor’s degree in art education. Many universities and colleges offer programs specifically designed for aspiring art teachers. These programs typically include a combination of art courses, educational theory, and teaching methods. It is important to choose a program that is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD) and approved by the Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB).

Step 2: Certification

After completing your bachelor’s degree, you will need to obtain a teaching certificate from the Washington Professional Educator Standards Board (PESB). This process involves several requirements, including passing the Washington Educator Skills Test (WEST-E) in Visual Arts. Additionally, you will need to complete a teacher preparation program, which includes a student teaching component. This will provide you with hands-on experience in a classroom setting, allowing you to develop your teaching skills under the guidance of an experienced mentor.

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Step 3: Professional Development

Continuing education is crucial for art teachers in Washington State. To maintain your teaching certificate, you will need to complete ongoing professional development activities. This can include attending workshops, conferences, and seminars related to art education. Additionally, you may choose to pursue a master’s degree in art education to further enhance your knowledge and expertise in the field.


Q: What grade levels can I teach as an art teacher in Washington State?

A: With a teaching certificate in art education, you will be qualified to teach art in kindergarten through 12th grade. However, it is important to note that the job market for art teachers can be competitive, especially at the high school level.

Q: How much can I expect to earn as an art teacher in Washington State?

A: The salary of an art teacher in Washington State can vary depending on factors such as experience, education level, and the school district. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual wage for elementary, middle, and high school teachers in Washington State is around $70,000.

Q: Are there any additional endorsements I can pursue as an art teacher in Washington State?

A: Yes, you may choose to pursue additional endorsements to expand your teaching opportunities. Some common endorsements for art teachers include special education, English Language Learners (ELL), or a specific subject area within art, such as ceramics or photography.

Q: What are some qualities that make a successful art teacher?

A: Successful art teachers possess a combination of artistic talent, creativity, patience, and strong communication skills. They are passionate about art and have the ability to inspire and motivate their students. Additionally, being organized and adaptable are essential qualities for managing a classroom and creating an effective learning environment.

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Q: Can I teach art without a teaching certificate in Washington State?

A: No, a teaching certificate is required to teach art in Washington State. Without proper certification, you will not be eligible for employment as an art teacher in public schools.

In conclusion, becoming an art teacher in Washington State requires dedication, education, and a genuine passion for art education. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can embark on a rewarding career that allows you to inspire and shape the artistic abilities of future generations.