Wyoming is one of 22 states with an autonomous teacher licensing board, the Professional Teaching Standards Board (PTSB), which is separate from the state’s Department of Education. The PTSB governs teacher licensure within the state, at a time when arts education is becoming increasingly valued.
To become an art teacher in Wyoming, complete the following steps:
|Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program|
|Apply for Licensure|
|Upgrade and Maintain your Wyoming Teaching License|
Step 1. Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program
The first step to becoming an art teacher in Wyoming is to complete a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program from a regionally or NCATE/CAEP-accredited program. A list of the relevant accrediting bodies is available here, and students are encouraged to inquire with the school they’re interested to make sure it meets accreditation. A list of some popular regionally accredited schools for Wyoming teachers can be found here. The State of Wyoming is currently home to only one nationally accredited teacher preparation program, at the University of Wyoming.
Whatever program a prospective art teacher choses, state law requires that it must include student teaching and lead to a degree in art education. The program must also lead to an official form known as the Institutional Recommendation for Licensure, which is later submitted as part of the licensing process.
Arts education classes may include instruction on the performing arts, visual art, and literary arts, as well as classes on the theoretical principles and practicalities of arts education, and studio art practice. Many programs emphasize the interdisciplinary connections between art and other subject areas. The National Art Education Association notes that prospective arts teachers should look for programs that focus on the content of art, the history of art, the theory and practice of art, the foundations of arts education, and developing communication and inquiry skills, as well as learning how to collaborate with other teachers, provide meaningful feedback, and conduct appropriate assessments.
Step 2: Apply for Licensure
In order to apply for an Initial License in Wyoming, prospective teachers must have the following:
- Completion of an approved teacher prep program, which must include student teaching and lead to an Institutional Recommendation for licensure
- Official transcripts documenting the completion of a teacher preparation program
- Submitted Wyoming fingerprint cards, including a background check, which includes a $50 fee
- Demonstrated knowledge of the U.S. and Wyoming Constitutions, through coursework or a multiple-choice exam
- Submission of a complete application packet
A detailed application packet for a Wyoming Initial Educator License is available from the Professional Teaching Standards Board here. Initial, first-time licenses applied for in-state cost $150.
Unlike other states, art teachers in Wyoming do not certify competency through an exam. Teachers may acquire an endorsement for art teaching in the following ways:
- Through an Institutional Recommendation earned at the same time as completing a bachelors degree, or;
- A Demonstration of Competency. Demonstrations of competency involve the prior completion of 27 semester hours of coursework from an regionally accredited institution of higher education. More information on Demonstrations of Competency can be found here.
Prospective art teachers in Wyoming may earn Art endorsements at the Elementary Level (K–6), Middle Level (5–8), or Secondary Level (6–12). Teachers are required to tech at the age group in which their endorsement has been earned. There’s no fee for adding an endorsement when it’s applied for at the same time as an Initial License.
Step 3: Upgrade and Maintain your Wyoming Teaching License
Initial teaching licenses in Wyoming are valid for five years, after which a renewal license may be applied for. Five Professional Development credits are usually required for renewing a license. These may be obtained in the following ways:
- College courses from an accredited institution
- PTSB approved workshops
- Credits earned while pursuing National Board Certification
Renewals may be done online; for detailed information click here.
In addition, art teachers may want to pursue the prestigious National Board Certification, which strengthens teaching practice and comes with financial benefits. Applicants can apply for funding help to offset fees, and board-certified teachers in Wyoming earn an annul $4,000 bonus. Certain school districts may have other benefits. In Wyoming, the National Board Certification process is administered through the John P. Ellbogen Foundation.
Wyoming Art Teacher Salaries
According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers in Wyoming (as of the 2012-2013 school year) is $43,269, significantly higher than the national average of $36,141.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide data on art teacher salaries as a separate unit, but tracks salaries for elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers as larger categories. The department reports the following annual mean wages and employment numbers as of May 2013:
|Occupation Title||Employment||Mean annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education||2,680||57,470|
|Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||1,070||60,330|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||1,840||59,440|
However, teacher salaries can vary significantly by location. A sample of the median salaries and employment figures as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for some major cities appears below (note that not all areas track salaries for all locations):
|Occupation Title||Employment||Mean annual Salary|
|Northwestern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area|
|Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education||430||$57,730|
|Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||220||$60,990|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||310||$60,740|
|Southwestern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area|
|Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education||570||$60,060|
|Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||260||$60,410|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||Estimate not released||$62,440|
|Northeastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area|
|Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education||450||$55,650|
|Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||140||$60,520|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||350||$56,390|
|Southeastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area|
|Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education||Estimate not released||$57,730|
|Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||Estimate not released||$56,980|
|Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education||300||$56,870|
Salary schedules vary by district. A breakdown of the base salaries for various districts is available here.
The mean salary for postsecondary art, music, and drama teachers in Wyoming is $63,110, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.