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Career and Technical Teacher Certification

The Pennsylvania Department of Education requires that teachers who teach occupational skills in state-approved career and technical education (CTE) programs hold a state-issued instructional certificate. In Pennsylvania, a CTE teacher receives a permanent instructional certificate after completing a 78-credit teacher certification program.

Typically, CTE teachers complete the requirements of the teacher certification program while they are teaching. These teachers have mastered the skills of their trades. This program provides instruction on the skills they need to become successful teachers.

Practicing teachers are also responsible to make adequate progress and apply for all teaching certificates. You must hold a valid teaching certificate at all times while teaching. If you do not make adequate academic progress or fail to meet all requirements, you will lose your teaching certificate and you will not be eligible to teach.

While working toward permanent vocational instructional certification, CTE teachers will complete steps to earn the following series of certificates.

Step 1: Emergency Permit

Most new teachers are eligible to apply for an emergency permit. Assistance to secure this emergency permit should come from school administration. While teaching on the emergency permit, a teacher must complete the following requirements by the end of the current academic year.

IUP Enrollment

Complete and submit all teacher certification program application materials and be accepted for enrollment in IUP's vocational teacher certification program. You must be a high school graduate or hold a GED certificate to be eligible for enrollment.

Occupational Competency Assessment

Complete and submit all OCA application materials to schedule the Occupational Competency Assessment (OCA). You must receive a passing score in order to apply for the Vocational Intern certificate.

Step 2: Vocational Intern Certificate

Teachers have three calendar years to complete the following requirements to be eligible to apply for a Vocational Instructional I certificate.

Step 3: Vocational Instructional I Certificate

Teachers have six teaching years to complete the following requirements to be eligible to apply for a Vocational Instructional II certificate.

Step 4: Vocational Instructional II Certificate

The Vocational Instructional II is a permanent certificate; however, Pennsylvania’s Act 48 requires all educators to complete continuing education requirements to keep a certificate active. 

  • 180 Act 48 hours or 6 college credits every five years
  • Center for Career and Technical Personnel Preparation
  • Reschini Building
    1110 Maple Street
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-4434
  • Fax: 724-357-6200
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.