Idaho Art Teacher Certification and Job Requirements

The state has made a commitment to arts education. The arts are considered core academic subjects in Idaho and are included as a two-credit high school graduation requirement as well as in content standards for earlier grades. As Tom Luna, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction, has noted: “Arts education is vital to helping our students realize their full potential and imagine ways they might contribute to the entrepreneurial, educational, and cultural well-being of our state.”

The Idaho state Department of Education is responsible for all facts of teacher licensing. To become an art teacher in Idaho, complete the following steps:

Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program
Complete Testing
Apply for a Certificate/License
Maintain and Upgrade Your License
Pursue Graduate Work



Step 1. Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program

The first step to becoming an art teacher in Idaho is to earn an appropriate bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution and complete the minimum requirements in a state-approved educator preparation program, or an Idaho state-approved alternative educator certification program.

More information about accredited programs is available here, although you should check with your prospective school to make sure they meet the necessary standards. A list of NCATE-approved schools in Idaho is available here.

Whether you want to become certified to teach art at the K-12 level or 6-12 level, you must complete:

  • 20 semester credit hours leading toward competency as defined by Idaho Standards for Visual Arts Teachers in the area of art, to include a minimum of nine semester credit hours in Foundation Art and Design.
  • At least two classes in Studio Areas and Secondary Arts Methods
  • If you want to obtain an Art (K-12) endorsement while holding a Secondary Certificate, you must complete an elementary methods course

The Idaho Standards for Visual Arts Teachers vary by the grade you are teaching, but generally focus onhistorical and cultural contexts of the visual arts, the interconnections between visual arts and societies, visual analysis, artistic skills, creative expression and more.A full list of the standards for various grades is available here.



Step 2. Complete Testing

Idaho state law requires you to pass content, pedagogy, and performance Praxis II assessments before certification. The basic tests vary considerably depending on the grade you will teach and the date you take the test; a detailed rundown of the tests is available from the Praxis website here.

In addition to other tests you may need to take depending on grade level, to become an art teacher in Idaho you must take the Praxis II Art: Content Knowledge test (5134), a two-hour exam that measures basic knowledge of art-making and the historical and theoretical foundations of art in the Western tradition and worldwide. A qualifying score in Idaho is 151.



Step 3. Apply for Your License

If you have completed an approved teacher prep program at an Idaho school, the first license to apply for is an initial Idaho certificate/credential. Before applying for certification, you should check with your university or college prior to see if you need to apply directly through the college of education.

By state law, you must meet the following criteria to apply for a certificate:

  1. Have attained the age of eighteen (18) years.
  2. Have completed specific minimum requirements in college training as specified in rules of the State Board of Education
  3. Be free from contagious disease
  4. Have on file with the State Department of Education the results of a criminal history check pursuant to section 33-130, Idaho Code.

To apply for an initial license, you must send the following:

  • A completed application package
  • Completed fingerprint card (includes a $40 fee). A background check will also occur
  • Application fee of $75
  • Completed Institutional Recommendation form
  • Official Praxis II assessment score sheet or notarized photocopy



Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your License

Initial certificates/credentials are issued for five years, in a cycle beginning September 1 of the year issued and expiring August 31 of the appropriate year, unless otherwise specified. There is no higher level of license for Idaho art teachers, although they may choose to become board-certified.

To renew an initial license, you must have completed six semester credit hours (or nine quarter credit hours) of arts education-related coursework in the last five years. Three of the semester credit hours must appear on a transcript from an accredited college/university, while the remaining three can appear on a transcript or can be district approved in-service credits. You are not required to submit proof of these classes, but may be audited.

You may use in-service hours as a substitute for up to three of the six semester credit hours required for certificate renewal. (Fifteen contact hours are equivalent to one in-service hour.) Form B7 – Verification of Completion of Equivalent In-Service must be completed by the proper official at an Idaho school district or Idaho public school for the in-service to count toward certificate renewal.

To renew, you must send the following:

You may renew online or on paper.



Step 5. Pursue Graduate Work

Some of the education-related post-baccalaureate degrees in the state, including those related to the teaching of art, are as follows:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Art (MAT)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Educational Leadership Ed.D.
  • Instructional Design Ph.D.
  • Educational Specialist Ed.S.
  • School Psychology Ed.S.
  • K-12 Education/Music Education M.Ed.
  • Child and Family Studies Emphasis M.Ed.
  • Educational Administration M.Ed.
  • Elementary Education M.Ed.
  • Human Exceptionality M.Ed.
  • Instructional Technology M.Ed.
  • Literacy Emphasis M.Ed.
  • Secondary Education M.Ed.


Idaho Art Teacher Salaries

According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers in Idaho (as of the 2012-2013 school year) was $31,159, somewhat lower 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 EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Elementary School Teachers6,910$46,260
Middle School Teachers2,270$45,830
Secondary School Teachers4,150$46,510


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 EmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Boise City-Nampa, ID
Elementary School Teachers2,840$49,020
Middle School Teachers900$47,670
Secondary School Teachers1,550$50,560


Coeur d’Alene, ID
Elementary School Teachers380$39,350
Secondary School Teachers140$45,690


Idaho Falls, ID
Elementary School Teachers500$41,780
Middle School TeachersEstimate not yet released$40,870
Secondary School Teachers360$45,790


Lewiston, ID-WA
Elementary School Teachers200$48,750
Middle School TeachersEstimate not yet released$44,730
Secondary School TeachersEstimate not yet released$44,080


Logan, UT-ID
Elementary School Teachers660$45,220
Middle School Teachers440$50,180
Secondary School Teachers30$38,430


Pocatello, ID
Elementary School Teachers270$42,000
Middle School Teachers280$46,050
Secondary School TeachersEstimate not yet released$41,390


The base salary for Idaho public school teachers in the 2013-2014 school year was $23,123, while the minimum salary for a certified teacher was $31,000. As of 2008-2009, the most recent year for which statistics were available, the average base salary for an elementary teacher was $45,055 and $45,311 for a secondary teacher. More information on Idaho public school salaries can be found here.

Information on postsecondary art teacher salaries throughout Idaho can be found in the following table provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area Name
Annual Median Salary
Boise City-Nampa ID
Coeur dAlene ID

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