Indiana Art Teacher Certification and Job Requirements

The Indiana Department of Education is the state’s licensing body. The state has made a commitment to visual arts education, and adopted standards that require students to be able to read and write within the discipline of visual arts, understand art in relation to history and culture, recognize significant works of art, and more.

As the Department notes, “The arts develop one’s ability to understand, decipher, and interpret images, symbols, and sensory data in today’s technological environment. They provide a means for expression and response when words are inadequate. The self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, self-motivation, and skills of problem-solving and critical thinking developed as a result of arts study are essential for success in life.” To become an art teacher in Indiana, 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 Indiana is to earn a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution and complete an approved teacher education program. 28 schools in Indiana have been approved by the state to prepare art teachers, and a list of them may be found here.

The rules for the type of courses you need to complete during your degree will vary by the grade you are preparing to teach and the year you graduate. For detailed rules, see the state’s code here or consult an advisor at your school.

According to the state Department of Education, visual arts teachers are expected to have a broad and comprehensive understanding of the knowledge and skills needed for their license, and to use that knowledge to help students prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century. Their teacher prep programs should train them in the ability to identify, comprehend, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate the basic principles, concepts, and content defined in the state’s adopted visual arts teaching standards, and to apply that knowledge to the tasks of planning and delivering effective instruction and assessment.



Step 2. Complete Testing

To become an art teacher in Indiana you must complete Indiana CORE Assessments. These cover various strategies of teaching, including methodology, classroom management, student development and diversity, learning processes, learning environment, instructional planning, assessments and the professional environment as a teacher.

Before entering an approved Indiana teacher prep program, you must pass the following tests:

  • Indiana CORE Academic Skills Assessment, including all subtests on reading, writing, and math, or
  • One of the following routes:
    • ACT with a score of at least 24 based on Math, Reading, Grammar, and Science
    • SAT with a score of at least 1100 based on Critical Reading and Math
    • GRE with a score of at least 301 based on Verbal and Quantitative on or after 8/1/11

The required content assessment test for art teachers in Indiana is the (030) Fine Arts—Visual Arts test, a computer-based test of 100 multiple-choice questions that lasts 105 minutes. A passing core is 220 and the test fee is $114. Test prep materials are available here.



Step 3. Apply for Your License

Arts teachers in Illinois apply for Fine Arts: Visual Arts license with appropriate grade coverage. The first level of license to apply for is the Initial Practitioner License, a two-year license issued to novice teachers while they complete the Indiana Mentoring and Assessment Program internship (IMAP) program. The Initial Practitioner License may be renewed two times in order to provide additional time to complete IMAP. Once IMAP is complete, you may convert to a five-year Proficient Practitioner License

You may apply for the Initial Practitioner License online. A handbook for completing the online applications may be found here.

By state law, you must complete CPR and suicide prevention training before applying for a first-time license. CPR training must include:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation that includes a test demonstration on a mannequin,
  • Removing a foreign body causing an obstruction in an airway, and the Heimlich Maneuver;
  • The use of an automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • You must also hold a valid certification in each of these procedures from either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association or other providers as approved by the department.

A list of approved providers of this training may be found here.

When you apply for an original license there are two associated fees, an Evaluation Fee of $35.00 (plus handling and transaction fees) and a License Application Fee of $35.00 (plus handling and transaction fees). The Office of Educator Licensing will notify you when this payment is due.



Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your License

To renew an Initial License if you have not complete IMAP, submit all materials and a one-paragraph statement explaining why you have not completed the program. If you have completed IMAP, submit all materials and the IMAP completion letter from your school. Your school must also email the IDOE the School IMAP Approval Form.

Applicants for all renewals must show proof of valid CPR/AED/Heimlich certification. You may renew online through the Licensing Verification and Information System, LVIS.

Proficient Practitioner License

You may apply for the Proficient Practitioner Licenseteachers upon completion of IMAP. The license is valid for five years. Apply through the online Licensing Verification and Information System.

Accomplished Practitioner License

The next level of license to apply for is the Accomplished Practitioner License, a 10-year renewable license issued to those who meet the requirements for professionalization. The requirements for the Accomplished Practitioner License are as follows:

  • Official transcripts showing completion of Masters degree from accredited institution
  • Proof of two years teaching experience in an accredited school
  • Have held a Proficient Practitioner/Standard/Provisional license for five years

To apply for the Accomplished Practitioner License, you can complete a profile and application and pay for the application through the online Licensing Verification and Information System, LVIS.

All licenses that are valid on the first day of the academic school year are considered valid for the duration of that academic school year. To renew all licenses, you must complete one of the following renewal requirements:

  • Six semester hours completed at an accredited Indiana institution
  • Six semester hours completed at an accredited Out-of-State institution
  • A Professional Growth Plan (PGP)
  • National Board of Professional Teaching Standards Certification (NBPTS)

Renewal coursework may include education courses and/or arts-related courses.



Step 5. Pursue Graduate Work

A master’s degree is required for a Accomplished Practitioner License, as noted above, and may provide a salary increase. A list of approved Master of Arts in Teaching Programs may be found at the education department website. Post-baccalaureate programs in the state include:

  • M.S.Ed. in Art Education
  • Ed.D. in Art Education
  • Ph.D. in Art Education
  • MS in Adult Education
  • Art Education (graduate)
  • MS in Education
  • Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction
  • Master of Education in K-12 Online Learning
  • Master of Education in Reading
  • Master of Education in School Administration
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Education in Teacher Leadership
  • Educational Specialist Degree


Indiana Art Teacher Salaries

According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers in Indiana (as of the 2012-2013 school year) was $34,696, slightly lower than the national average of $36,141. The average salary for all teachers was $50,407.

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 Teachers24,800$51,150
Middle School Teachers10,690$52,240
Secondary School Teachers16,740$51,700


It’s also important to point out that salaries vary by location. A sample of the salary differences from the Indiana Department of Labor is below (note that not all areas track salaries for all locations):

Occupation TitleEmploymentAnnual Mean Salary
Bloomington, IN
Elementary School Teachers540$51,580
Middle School Teachers290$54,320
Secondary School Teachers260$51,950


Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
Elementary School Teachers250$47,420
Secondary School Teachers300$53,130


Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN
Elementary School Teachers930$50,060
Middle School Teachers340$52,500
Secondary School Teachers480$49,610


Elkhart-Goshen, IN
Elementary School Teachers1,560$48,520
Middle School Teachers560$51,410
Secondary School Teachers1,050$52,430


Evansville, IN-KY
Elementary School Teachers1,740$51,230
Middle School Teachers680$54,610
Secondary School Teachers1,190$51,670


Fort Wayne, IN
Elementary School Teachers3,140$50,970
Middle School Teachers930$50,250
Secondary School Teachers1,950$49,560


Gary, IN Metropolitan Division
Elementary School Teachers6,730$52,880
Middle School Teachers3,070$54,430
Secondary School Teachers4,080$54,000


Indianapolis-Carmel, IN
Elementary School Teachers610$53,240
Middle School Teachers280$51,250
Secondary School Teachers410$52,390


Lafayette, IN
Elementary School Teachers280$47,660
Middle School Teachers300$47,860
Secondary School Teachers270$50,650


Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN
Elementary School Teachers450$51,450
Middle School Teachers160$50,830
Secondary School Teachers650$52,000


Indiana public schools currently have a model compensation system that is supposed to serve as the basis for different salary schedules in each district, but the school system is in the midst of collective bargaining over a new salary schedule. Information on the compensation systems for each district, and the current models, is available here.

Information on postsecondary art teacher salaries throughout Indiana and nearby areas 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
Cincinnati-Middletown OH-KY-IN
Evansville IN-KY
Estimate Not Released
Indianapolis-Carmel IN
Louisville-Jefferson County KY-IN
Estimate Not Released
South Bend-Mishawaka IN-MI
Terre Haute IN
Estimate Not Released
Central Indiana nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released

Back to Top