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With a bachelor's degree or military/industry experience, you have many options for entering the teaching profession, some of which can earn you an income while completing credentialing requirements. 

With a bachelor's degree you have the option of substitute teaching and/or getting a teaching credential via either a traditional credentialing program or a teacher intern program. If you have no bachelor's degree but have industry experience, you too can take the alternative route to a teaching credential through a Career Technical Education (CTE) credential.CTE programs are robust across California and are always looking to hire industry professionals who can bring their experience into the classroom as students explore their career pathways. For an individual with industry experience and a bachelor's degree, a CTE credential along with other credentials can be attained. And, of course, there are those with military experience who may want to consider obtaining a credential in special subjects, specifically the ROTC or Basic Military Drill credential. So many options!

Pathways road illustration

It is always helpful to begin by understanding the credentialing requirements in California given one's background and experiences. This will provide a better sense of the best route to teaching. Take a look at the information below to learn more about credentialing requirements in California.

For the individual with a bachelor's degree, there are many different types of teacher preparation programs such as Online, blended, face-to-face, traditional and alternative programs. Let us help you determine which program best suits your strengths and needs.

SDCOE offers a designated subjects program which includes the career technical education (CTE) and special subjects credentials for industry professionals and military personnel. The requirements are far different than other credential programs both in prerequisites, coursework, and when to apply for the credential. Learn more about the requirements for designated subjects credentials below.

Take a look at the Education Career Pathway Flowcharts below to learn more about pathways and options. Then check out the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) approved teacher preparation programs website to find a program that fits you.

Education Career Pathway Flowcharts

Each type of educator has its own set of requirements. The steps outlined below give the basic overview of the steps you need to complete, whether you would like to be a classroom instructional aide (paraprofessional), an elementary teacher, secondary teacher, substitute teacher, or special education teacher (Education Specialist). You'll even see a description for those who are interested in a program where you can earn your bachelors and teaching credential through the same program (combined bachelors + credential). 

PASS AmeriCorps Members provide intensive case-management for 30 at-risk youth (grades 3 through 12) in a designated school site. Students receive academic tutoring / support, character development lessons, and service learning opportunities throughout the school year. PASS AmeriCorps' 40 members are assigned, individually or in pairs, to one of 31 school sites in Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, Escondido Union High, Valley Center-Pauma, or San Diego Unified School Districts for the duration of the school year. 


  • Full-time
  • 10-month commitment
  • 1,700 minimum hours
  • Monday-Friday (40+ hrs/week)
  • Some mandatory weeknights and weekend days/nights
  • Term-of-Service: September to June


PASS AmeriCorps members must:

  • Be 22 years of age or older
  • Possess an Associate's degree or higher
  • Be computer proficient
  • Own a vehicle and have a valid driver's license
  • Show proof of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency
  • Have 1-2 years of experience working with youth (preferred)
  • Spanish-speaking skills are a plus

Members will be required to complete SDCOE and AmeriCorps applications, fingerprinting / background check, reference check, TB testing, submit university transcripts, and sign a Term-of-Service contract.

SDCOE currently offers an education specialist intern program for those interested in teaching special education.  There are four credential options within this program: 1) mild/moderate 2) moderate/severe 3) early childhood special education 4) deaf and hard of hearing.  The prerequisite courses are offered in the spring with the intern cohort beginning in the fall.

In addition to the current education specialist intern program, SDCOE will begin offering the single subject credential program in math and science effective Fall 2022.  This will require prerequisite courses during spring 2022.  Becoming an intern allows you to earn a teaching salary, access health benefits, and pay into the State Teacher Retirement System (STRS) all while earning your credential.  This is a great option for those who feel comfortable learning to teach while teaching!   

The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC) requires evidence of basic skills and subject area competencies.  One option for demonstrating these competencies is by successfully passing the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET) and California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). There are FREE tools available to prepare you for these exams.

Substitute teaching is a fantastic way to get a sense of what teaching is like while also providing an opportunity for the school administrators and teachers to meet you and see what a great asset you can be to a school site/district.  This can open the doors to an internship if there is a need at the site and you are seen as a good fit.  Why not!?!?!  We can provide you the tools to be a well-prepared and impressive substitute teacher through our Substitute Teacher Training.

Need to obtain a Substitute Teaching Permit?

The SDCOE Credentials and Fingerprinting team can assist!

See the website for full details but the basics are as follows:

  1. Submit an Official Transcript to the SDCOE showing your Bachelor’s degree or higher.  Electronic transcripts must be emailed to by the university directly. Paper copies of Official Transcripts can be mailed directly from the university to:

    San Diego County Office of Education
    6401 Linda Vista Road, Room 104
    San Diego, CA 92111
    (858) 292-3500

    It is highly recommended to get multiple copies (if don’t already have your own copy) - One to send to SDCOE and at least one additional copy for yourself to have on hand if needed. You may be able to request official transcripts and sent directly to SDCOE electronically through university portals including the National Student Clearinghouse.
  2. Meet the Basic Skills Requirement (CBEST or CBEST alternative)
  3. Obtain Fingerprint Clearances - Make an appointment with SDCOE Fingerprinting department or any Livescan location. Print and bring 2 copies of the CTC Fingerprints (State) form and 2 copies of the  Clearinghouse Fingerprints (County) form.  On the bottom of each form is an ATI line.  That is the # that is issued to your scan.  Keep 1 copy of each form to submit to the SDCOE as verification you completed the prints.
  4. Using the information gathered above, complete the SDCOE Temporary County Certificate Mail a paper copy or drop off the completed form at:

    San Diego County Office of Education
    6401 Linda Vista Road, Room 104
    San Diego, CA 92111

Be sure to also take a look at our LevelUp! event, to help you learn more about educator preparation programs at local San Diego institutions.

Wish you had more information about how to apply for jobs?  Prepare for job interviews?  Complete your EdJoin profile?  Or perhaps you just want to learn more about recruitment events.  Check our recruitment events and resources!

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If you can't find your answers or need clarification, please reach out! We're happy to help.