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Vocational Certification

The Pennsylvania Department of Education will issue Vocational Instructional Certificates to persons whose primary responsibility is teaching occupational skills in State approved vocational education programs in the public schools of the Commonwealth. 

Vocational Certification Areas and Codes (PDF)

VOCATIONAL INTERN CERTIFICATE

Vocational Intern certification for teaching in programs of vocational education in the public schools of the Commonwealth requires:

  1. Acceptable evidence of four years wage-earning experience in the occupation to be taught;
  2. Acceptance for enrollment in a State-approved vocational teacher preparation program at one of the universities listed below;
  3. Passing the appropriate occupational competency examination, or evaluation of credentials for occupations where examinations do not exist;
  4. The recommendation for the Vocational Intern Certificate by the university at which they are enrolled or accepted; and
  5. Meeting all other requirements provided by law (School Code 1209 and Title 22, Pa. Code, Section 49.12).

The Vocational Intern Certificate shall be issued for a validity period of three calendar years from the date of issuance.

VOCATIONAL INSTRUCTIONAL I CERTIFICATE

Individuals qualifying for the Vocational Instructional I Certificate shall be authorized to teach in the occupational competency area(s) they hold.  

The Vocational I certificate and the occupational competency areas are issued by the Department on the recommendation of a university having a Pennsylvania approved vocational teacher preparation program. The applicant must have:

  1. A minimum of two years wage-earning experience in the occupation to be taught.  A minimum of four years wage-earning experience in the occupation to be taught is required if following the intern route;
  2. Passed the appropriate occupational competency examination, or evaluation of credentials for occupations where examinations do not exist;
  3. Completed 18 credit hours in an approved program of vocational teacher education;
  4. Presented evidence of having passed the basic skills tests in reading and writing (not required for a post-baccalaureate program);
  5. Met all requirements provided by law (School Code 1209 and Title 22, Pa. Code, Section 49.12); and
  6. Received the recommendation of the preparing Pennsylvania university.

IMPORTANT:  Vocational Instructional I certificates issued on or after July 13, 2016 will be valid for eight (8) years of service. Vocational Instructional I certificates issued prior to July 13, 2016 that had six years of validity (under the 1999 regulations) and that are valid on July 13, 2016, will have a total of eight (8) years of validity. Vocational Instructional I certificates issued prior to July 13, 2016 that had seven (7) years of validity (under the 1987 regulations) and that are valid on July 13, 2016, will receive an additional one school term/year of valid service. 

VOCATIONAL INSTRUCTIONAL II CERTIFICATE

The Vocational Instructional II Certificate shall be a permanent certificate issued to an applicant who has:

  1. Completed three years of satisfactory teaching on a Vocational Instructional I Certificate attested to by the chief school administrator of the approved public or nonpublic school entity in which the most recent service of the applicant was performed;
  2. Completed 42 credit hours in an approved program in the appropriate field of vocational education;
  3. Presented evidence of satisfactory ratings conducted by the public or nonpublic school entity;
  4. Presented evidence of having passed the Vocational II assessment;
  5. Completed a Pennsylvania Department of education-approved induction program; and
  6. Received the recommendation of the preparing Pennsylvania university.

How to Apply

Candidates for Vocational Intern or Vocational Instructional certification must apply through one of the following vocational teacher preparing institutions:

Coordinator, Vocational Education
Temple University - Main Campus
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, Ritter Hall 372
Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215) 204-6025

Coordinator, Vocational Education
The Pennsylvania State University
301 Keller Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 863-0804

Coordinator, Vocational Education
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Reschini House
1110 Maple Street
Indiana, PA 15705
(724) 357-4435

Letter of Equivalency for Bachelor's Degree