Teachers are required by every state to be licensed, and to maintain licensure, most must participate in continuing education activities. Continuing education requirements for teachers are determined by the states and therefore vary widely.
Pennsylvania's Department of Education, for example, licenses teachers for five years and requires either six college credits, six approved in-service credits, or 180 continuing education hours for each licensure renewal period.
Minnesota's Department of Education also licenses teachers for five year periods, but requires 125 clock hours of continuing education for each licensure period.
Arizona's Department of Education offers teachers a standard teaching certificate that is valid for six years. Each licensure renewal requires 180 clock hours of professional development activities, 12 semester hours of coursework, or a combination of the two.
Many school systems will provide ample opportunities for teachers to meet continuing education and professional development requirements. State and local teacher associations also are good sources of continuing education credits. Online continuing education is a growing area, and many teachers are finding this a convenient method for meeting licensure requirements and advancing teaching skills.