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A Colorado public school teacher smiles in his classroom. Behind him, students sit in rows of desks working with one another.

Jobs in Colorado

Learn how you can start a high-demand career and make a difference for Colorado students.

Educators are in high demand, and teaching positions are expected to grow by 7 to 8 percent in the coming decade. (1) Find out how and where you can be part of that growth, and build a sustainable, fulfilling career while you give back to your community. 

On this page, get information on:

Make an Impact on Students and Schools

A Colorado high school teacher stops to work with a student in her classroom. Students sit in pairs at their desks, with notebooks and pens spread out.

Colorado teaches nearly 900,000 students in almost 2,000 schools. (2) And in 2020, public schools had 6,910 open teaching positions—some of which never got filled. (3)

In short, Colorado needs more educators, from teaching assistants to classroom teachers.

If you’re passionate about education and community work, there are big opportunities to make an impact in Colorado.

Whatever your background, as a Colorado educator, you can help create more inclusive, culturally responsive classrooms. Students with disabilities, students who are new to the country and students who live in low-income or rural areas especially need strong advocates and imaginative educators. 

Where Teachers are Needed in Colorado

If you’re inspired to make a difference for students, you can have a big effect working in an educator shortage area.

The state of Colorado listed these shortage areas for the 2022-2023 school year: 

  • Business/Marketing
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (also known as English as a Second Language)
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Elementary Education
  • English Language Arts
  • Instructional Technology
  • Math
  • Music
  • P.E.
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education
  • Technology Education (also called Industrial Arts)
  • Visual Art
  • World Languages
  • Rural Education

Ready to explore job openings in education? Check out the district job boards on our alternative licensure page. You can also visit the Colorado Department of Education’s Colorado Teaching Jobs page. Under “I Have an Educator License,” you’ll find links to education job boards across the state. Don’t be scared off by the heading! Most of these boards also feature openings for education roles that don’t require a teaching license.

Why are these “shortage areas”? 

When you hear the term “shortage area,” you might be wondering why these areas are so hard to fill. There are a lot of reasons why the areas listed above have staffing shortages. We’ll go over a few of those here.

  • They’re unfamiliar subjects. Many shortage area subjects are shortage areas in part because they’re unfamiliar to people. For example, unless you or someone close to you has received special ed services, you may not have a clear picture of what special education entails.
  • They require more people. Some subject areas simply need lower student-to-teacher ratios to effectively support students. Special education students and English Language Learners often need more one-on-one support to excel. That means schools need to fill more jobs to work with a smaller group of students in those programs. 
  • Change takes time. Colorado’s growing Latino population means that Colorado needs more Spanish-speaking teachers. But as the Washington Post explains: 

“Latinos are younger, as a group, so they make up a greater share of the student population than the adult population. Teachers may stay in the profession for decades, so it takes time for the workforce to transform.” (4)  

What Is It Like Teaching in Colorado?

Learn about where Colorado schools are currently, where we’re headed and the kind of change you can help create.

If you’re curious about teaching, but not sure if it’s right for you, we have good news: You don’t have to commit right away! There are a lot of ways you can gain education experience and get a sense of the work before you pursue a teaching license.

What To Do if You’re Interested in Teaching Colorado

If you’re curious about teaching, but not sure if it’s right for you, we have good news: You don’t have to commit right away!

There are a lot of ways you can gain education experience and get a sense of the work before you pursue a teaching license. For example, you can consider:

  • Volunteering in classrooms or after-school programs
  • Looking for full-time, non-teacher positions in schools
  • Substituting as a teacher, teacher assistant or other non-full-time position

What do these jobs look like? In the next section, we’ll go over a few classroom roles and what to expect.

Education Roles in Colorado

How to Get a Teaching License in Colorado

A math teacher in a Colorado public school stands in front of the whiteboard in his classroom. He wears glasses and is looking at the camera and smiling. There are math equations filling up the whiteboard behind him.

If you’re wondering about the requirements to become a teacher in Colorado, you’ve come to the right place.

To become a Colorado teacher, you’ll need to complete a few steps. Here’s the short version (11):

  1. Decide what subject and grades you want to teach.
  2. Complete an educator preparation program. 
  3. Pass your teaching licensure test.
  4. Submit your teaching application to the state. 

Becoming a teacher in Colorado can sound like a lot—but that’s where TEACH Colorado comes in! We’re here for you every step of the way, from choosing the right program to completing your applications to preparing for licensure tests.

Visit our About Licensure page for a full explanation and (free!) downloadable PDF that covers the licensure process from start to finish.

Learn About Licensure


  1. Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics. United States Department of Labor. Data.BLS.gov. 
  2. Colorado Education Facts and Figures, Colorado Department of Education. CDE.State.CO.US. 
  3. Colorado’s Educator Shortage Survey Results, Colorado Department of Education. CDE.State.CO.US. 
  4. Meckler, Laura and Kate Rabinowitz. “America’s schools are more diverse than ever. But the teachers are still mostly white,” The Washington Post. December 27, 2019. WashingtonPost.com. 
  5. Will, Madeline. “Teacher Salaries are Increasing. See How Your State Compares,” Education Week. April 26, 2021. EdWeek.org. 
  6. Murray, Jon. “Denver’s population growth leads Colorado as urban areas outpace rural.” The Denver Post. March 25, 2020. DenverPost.com. 
  7. Census Data for Colorado (2020), State Demography Office. Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Demography.DOLA.Colorado.gov.  
  8. Hansen, Michael and Diana Quintero. “The Growing Need for Diverse Teachers in the Mountain West,” The Brookings Institution. December 2018.  
  9. Become a Substitute/Guest Teacher, Colorado Department of Education. CDE.State.CO.US. 
  10. Alternative Teacher Candidates: What You Need to Know, Colorado Department of Education. CDE.State.CO.US. 
  11. Initial Teacher License for In-State Applicants, Colorado Department of Education. CDE.State.CO.US.

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  1. Learn about your licensure options.
  2. Explore teacher training programs.
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