Interested in becoming a CTE teacher?
The information below will show you how to get started!
What You Need
In order to teach a Career Technical Education course, a teacher must hold a Designated Subjects CTE or Single Subject CTE credential specific to the industry sector in which they plan to teach. This kind of credential can be obtained by a current teacher with industry experience or by an industry member with the required experience to qualify without a teaching degree. The CTC offers an industry sector occupation guide with examples of occupations within each sector which can give you an idea which credential you may qualify for.
To begin teaching, CTE teachers must obtain a Preliminary Credential. After obtaining the Preliminary Credential and upon completion of coursework and two years of successful teaching, the candidate may apply for a Clear Designated Subjects CTE Credential.
Fresno Unified recommends working with the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools as a sponsor. Information about the Fresno County CTE credential program can be found on their website.
For details regarding the preliminary and clear credentialing process and related requirements, please visit the Commission on Teacher Credentialing Credential Requirements website.
Preliminary Credential Requirements
To get your preliminary credential, you will need:
- High school diploma, GED, the foreign equivalent of a diploma, or official college transcripts
- At least three years’ work experience in the career technical area you wish to teach, paid or unpaid; At least one year must be within the last five years, or two years within the last ten
- Verification, signed by the Commission-approved program sponsor, that you have been apprised of the requirements for both the preliminary and clear credentials, including the requirements of the program of personalized preparation
- Completed Live Scan receipt verifying fingerprints have been taken and fees have been paid, unless fingerprint clearance is already on file with the Commission.
- CTC Credential Application Form 41-4
- Application processing fee
- Recommendation by a Commission-approved CTE program sponsor
Work Experience Requirement
To qualify for a CTE credential, you must have at least three years of work experience in the industry sector you wish to teach. Work experience must be verified by written confirmation signed by a past or present employer on company letterhead. At least one year of work experience must be within the last five years, or two years within the last ten years, immediately preceding the issuance of the preliminary credential. A “year” of work experience is comprised of at least 1000 hours, and may be part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, and may include self-employment, volunteer work, and internships/externships. Alternative options to satisfy up to two years of the industry experience requirement are:
- Completion of 48 semester units of postsecondary vocational training related to the industry sector(s) named on the credential may be substituted for a maximum of 2 years of required work experience. The course work must be verified by official transcript.
- One year of work experience can also be substituted with:
- Possession of an advanced industry certificate related to the industry sector to be named on the preliminary credential OR
- One year of full-time general education teaching experience in pre-K through grade 12
A teacher must have at least one year of actual work experience to qualify for a preliminary credential – meaning the above two alternate ways to meet the work experience requirement may not be combined to make up the required 3 years.
Current Teachers Adding a CTE Credential
To add a CTE credential to an existing California credential, current teachers must meet the same total work experience and recency requirements as new teachers. One year of experience is satisfied by teaching with a CA Clear credential for one year or more. Recency of industry experience is satisfied if the teacher has taught general education for one year within the last five years or two years within the last ten. Candidates must still meet the remaining minimum required years of work outlined above.
Credentials Required for Teaching in Each Sector
Designated Subjects CTE credentials are issued under the name of the appropriate California Industry Sector, and teachers are authorized to teach courses within that sector. To find out what sector(s) your industry experience may qualify you for, the CTC offers an industry sector occupation guide with examples of occupations within each sector. The 15 California Industry Sectors are:
- Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Arts, Media, and Entertainment
- Building and Construction Trades
- Business and Finance
- Education, Child Development, and Family Services
- Energy, Environment, and Utilities
- Engineering and Architecture
- Fasion and Interior Design
- Health Science and Medical Technology
- Hospitality, Tourism, and Recreation
- Information and Communication Technologies
- Manufacturing and Product Development
- Marketing, Sales, and Service
- Public Services
CTE can also be taught using Single Subject credentials, which do not match the subject description to the industry sector. Below is a chart of Single Subject credential authorizations.
|Single Subject Credential||Authorized Industry Sector(s)|
|Agriculture AND Agriculture Specialist (must have both)|| |
|Home Economics|| |
|Industrial and Technology Education|| |
Please note, if teaching using a Single Subject credential, a full Single Subject credential is required. Holding a Supplemental Authorization or Subject Matter Authorization does not authorize an individual to teach the CTE Industry Sector.
Visit our Career Readiness home page to explore the different sectors taught in Fresno Unified and which schools currently have programs.