K-12 Job Search

The following resources and tools are available to assist you in seeking positions in K-12 school settings.

Licensure Information

University Certification

The School of Education certifies you to teach (endorses you getting a license from the relevant licensing body). You are eligible to apply for a teaching license AFTER you have been certified by UW-Madison.

To ensure that your endorsement of certification is sent to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), complete the License Endorsement Request online before the end of your last semester of coursework at UW-Madison. This procedure should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

It is advisable to make an appointment with Education Academic Services (EAS), 139 Education Building, to confirm that you are on track for certification during your final semester. Call (608) 262-1651 or email easinfo@education.wisc.edu to schedule an appointment.

Teaching License

A teaching license is issued by each state for use within that state and is valid for a specific time period. The license (in some instances called certificates, permits, credentials) indicates that the holder is qualified to teach the subjects and/or grade levels endorsed on the license. Licenses are required in all states and United States territories to teach in public schools. They are not valid outside the state in which they are issued.

The Educator Licensing page has more information about the Wisconsin licensing process, requesting pre-approval or program verification letters to support your job search before you get your license, and applying for licenses in another state.

Applying for Your WI License

Wisconsin Licensure is overseen by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. For instructions on how to complete an application online, proceed to the DPI website.

Applying for Your License in Other States

The School of Education Career Center recommends you apply for your Wisconsin license. Many other states will require it to grant you their license, and it preserves your ability to teach in Wisconsin in the future.

Still have questions? Schedule an appointment with a Career Consultant for further details and explanations.

Job Search Timeline

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Early in Student Teaching

Become familiar with the job search & application process.

  • Attend Career Center workshops on topics including resumes, interviewing, job search strategies, etc.
  • Develop your job search materials, such as resume, cover letter, and application information.
  • Make an appointment with a Career Advisor to review materials and discuss your job search.
  • Meet with Education Academic Services (EAS) to be sure you will have all degree requirements completed.
  • Learn more about the Teaching License application process in Wisconsin and if applicable, other states.
  • Request reference letters. Note that this is an ongoing process and your supervising teacher may not write you one until the end of the semester.

Midway Through Student Teaching

Research school districts, respective application deadlines, and state license requirements.

  • Create an account on WECAN, an online teacher hiring system serving over 500 districts in Wisconsin.
  • Identify and attend education recruitment fairs.
  • Develop your portfolio completion plan – addressing the UW standards with evidence by selecting artifacts and organizing the presentation.
  • Collect reference letters from 3-5 individuals along with current contact information of your references.

Middle of Student Teaching through Summer

  • Complete the WECAN and other applications & upload your supporting materials to WECAN.
  • Contact a Career Advisor to discuss the process or for a final review of your application materials before you submit them.
  • Apply for positions when you become aware of vacancies. Early spring through summer is the peak hiring time for teaching positions.
  • Practice interviewing skills in a mock interview.
  • Complete state licensing application process and pay fees in accordance with DPI or other state guidelines.
  • Complete edTPA and submit for scoring.
  • Submit License Endorsement Request to EAS. Request pre-approval letters when necessary.

Late in Student Teaching to Summer

  • Meet with a Career Advisor to review and refine your job search strategies. Learn how to use your portfolio as a tool in interviews.
  • Continue to attend education recruitment fairs and information sessions.
  • Prepare for and participate in interviews.
  • Send thank you notes to all interviewers.
  • Check WI DPI or state equivalent department to assure license application is in process through appropriate channels.
  •  Research and consider substitute teaching opportunities in school districts of interest.
  • Keep references current on job search activity.
  • Notify employers of decisions to accept or decline offers.
  • Send thank you notes to references.
  • Notify the Career Center and update your contact information.
  • Update First Destination Survey with employment information.

School District Information

  • WECAN: Wisconsin Education Career Access Network is a state-wide online district application system to search vacancies and apply to over 500 WI employers who hire licensed teachers. This is a great place to get started!
  • DPI directory features both public and private school districts. Contact information is available for each school.
  • WISEdash provides informational data for each of the public schools in Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) is an official government site that provides important education information on Wisconsin schools, licensing, jobs, salary reports, etc.
  • Map of Wisconsin includes interactive links to districts.
  • Wisconsin charter schools are listed by DPI. Use the menu bar on the right side of the page to see a directory and map of Wisconsin charter schools or to search for a particular charter school.
  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) Education Postings includes job postings for a variety of educational positions in Wisconsin.
  • National Public School Locator allows you to search for public schools anywhere in the United States by grade, type of school, etc.
  • 50 States’ K-12 Employment Opportunities– Looking for a job in a different state? This site from the University of Kentucky includes links to job search sites and certification requirements for the fifty states.
  • Teachers-Teachers is a free job site for teaching positions across the United Sites.
  • K12 Jobs – Create an account (free) and you will have access to vacancies (you can search by your field and by state), a list of upcoming job fairs, job search strategies, and information on licensing and certification offices. Some states have more schools using it than others, but it is another possible job search tool.
  • TeachingJobs.com features postings for teaching jobs across the country and also includes a list of resources about teacher certification for each state.
  • Handshake is a job posting board for UW-Madison students and alumni. Out-of-state school districts will post positions.
  • National Association of Independent Schools, a non-profit organization, represents 1300 independent schools and associates nationwide with affiliates abroad. Find their philosophy (mission statement) and job bank on this site.
  • Council for American Private Education includes a job bank and descriptions of various types of independent schools (i.e. Montessori, Christian, Waldorf schools, etc.).
  • Association for Experiential Education includes job listings for teachers, camp counselors, corporate team builders, therapists, challenge course practitioners, environmental educators, guides, instructors, coaches, mental health professionals, etc.
  • Southern Teachers Agency is a free teacher placement service that can help you find a teaching position with a private school in Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana and Alabama.