TEACH Colorado LogoColorado
Male teacher in front of classroom

Not licensed but want to teach?

Learn how you can teach in Colorado with an alternative teaching license.

Get Free 1:1 Coaching

What is an alternative teaching license?

Man standing in front of chalkboard

An alternative teaching license lets you teach while you complete your teacher preparation program. You’ll earn a salary, take classes outside of school hours and put your new skills into practice as you go. (1

Alternative licensure programs work directly with school districts to train teachers. Colorado has alternative licensure programs across the state, so you can find one that works for you! 

Who should consider alternative licensure?

Alternative licensure could be a great option if you: 

  • Recently completed an undergraduate degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program.
  • Are mid-career but are interested in making a difference.
  • Are a community member with a college degree and life experiences you could apply to the classroom.
  • Are a school staff member who wants to get your teaching license faster. 

In 2021, Colorado’s public schools had over 5,700 open teaching positions. Those are job opportunities, just waiting for someone to pursue them! (2)

Benefits of alternative licensure

Make a difference, build your skills and get paid as you go.

What if I have an out-of-state teaching license? If you already have a teaching license or certificate from another state, you may not have to apply to an alternative teacher licensure program in Colorado. Learn about Colorado’s out-of-state licensing process at the Department of Education’s Credentialing Guide.

How to apply for an alternative teaching license

A Colorado alternative licensure candidate sits in her classroom, filling out paperwork on a clipboard

To get an alternative teaching license, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.

You’ll also need a teaching job in a Colorado school district. The jobs you apply for should match the subject and grade level you want to eventually teach. In your job applications, make sure to say that you're prepared to enter an alternative licensure program. If you’re hired, your school district will help you identify and apply to their teaching program partner. 

Check out the district job boards below to find the position that’s right for you!

Want to know more about the alternative licensure process? Our Alternative Licensure article has more information about the steps you’ll need to take!

Pay and benefits vary by district, so make sure you check out district salary schedules to know what to expect! You can also learn more about Colorado salaries at our Salary and Benefits page.

Start here. Apply for a teaching job!

School districts are actively looking for people to fill teaching positions, especially in shortage areas like math, science and special education. Explore job boards from districts that partner with an alternative teaching program.


Schedule your coaching session

Talk to our alternative licensure specialists over phone, video or email! Choose your preferred date, then click to sign up. Don't see a calendar? Try refreshing your page or email colorado@teach.org for assistance.


  1. Alternative Teacher Candidates: What You Need to Know, Colorado Department of Education. https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprof/altteacheroverview 
  2. Colorado’s Educator Shortage Survey Results, Colorado Department of Education. https://www.cde.state.co.us/educatortalent/edshortage-surveyresults