Educator Licensure

Educator licenses are issued to individuals who have met all requirements established by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE). Massachusetts law requires all teachers and administrators employed in public schools to hold an active and valid license. Schools districts may require additional credentials, endorsements or work experience as a condition of employment in a new position.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has two different sets of licensure requirements for educators who seek employment in either academic programs or vocational education programs. Your job description and collective bargaining agreement may specifically identify the license(s) you are required to hold for your position. Always check with your local president if you have questions or concerns regarding your license and employment status.

Academic licenses and endorsements are appropriate for educators who are seeking employment most public schools, education collaborative, and some charter school positions. An active and valid license is required for employment.  Educators seeking licensure must complete all application requirements, submit all required documentation and pay any applicable fees.

Vocational Technical educator licenses are required for employment in Chapter 74 vocational technical programs. Such programs may be part of vocational technical high schools or programs that are embedded in traditional or comprehensive high schools. The specific requirements vary from each cluster and area of licensure. Prior full-time employment in the field of the license, occupational certifications and skill-based assessments may be part of the application for each license.

Instructional paraprofessionals are not required to obtain or maintain educator licensure for employment in Massachusetts schools and districts. Paraprofessionals may be required to meet other local, state and/or federal requirements as a condition of employment.