Teaching Here

Why Choose Washington?

To me, Washington is home and that makes it the best place in the world. It is incredible to be able to give back to my state and to help ensure that kids growing up here have access to an incredible education and graduate ready to embrace all that Washington, and the world, has to offer. From the Puget Sound to the Cascades to Seahawks Sundays, the Pacific Northwest is a gorgeous place to live and an innovative and unique contributor to the education reform movement. - Megan Claus (Washington '13)
I love living in the Yakima Valley for so many reasons. I love the smell of the grapes in the air in the fall and the cherries blooming on the trees in the spring. I love the community of students and families, whom I think are so critical, creative, and full of hope. I love working at my school, which is always striving for improvement. In my placement, as in a lot of rural communities, the school is the hub of the community, which positions my students as such powerful change-makers. The TFA family in the region may not be huge, but it's active and very supportive. Most corps members live together, attend school events together, and spend our weekends together. - Erin Schulz (Washington '14)

What You Need to Know


Salaries range from $38,000 - $45,000.




University of Washington (Optional two year program)


One year.

Becoming Certified to Teach

  • Overview
  • What is U-ACT?
  • What does it cost to become certified?
  • Can I pursue a Master's degree?

Certification Requirements

In Washington, corps members must complete the following before they begin teaching:

  • Take and pass exams
  • Enroll in an alternative certification program during their two-year commitments
  • Apply for conditional certification through the State Superintendent’s Office

Certification Program

Through the University of Washington U-ACT Certification Program, corps members will earn certification in their content area after completing one year of coursework and passing the TPA assessment.

U-ACT instructors observe corps members in the classroom and meet with them individually and in small content area groups to offer further support. Enrolling in the U-ACT program also requires corps members to work with a school district mentor. These mentors are experienced teachers in the district who tailor their support according to the needs of individual new teachers.

U-ACT is the Accelerated Certification for Teachers, specifically designed to support Teach For America corps members by the highly-ranked University of Washington College of Education. The three-quarter sequence of courses for U-ACT earns candidates a WA state residency teaching certificate. It also earns candidates 21 graduate credits, which s/he may choose to apply towards a Masters in Education. In this program, teachers develop pedagogical practices grounded in ambitious and equitable teaching that positions students as “competent sensemakers.” Teachers have the opportunity to work and collaborate in a content-specific cohort supported by professors and mentors from one of the most robust university partnerships in the nation. 

The cost of U-ACT for the 2016-2017 school year was $14,500. It is going to be approximately $15,000 for the 2017-2018 school year.

Corps members are able to apply for UW scholarships and student loans for the U-ACT program. At the end of each school year, corps members are then able to use their Americorps Award towards those loans.

While not required, corps members can complete a Master’s during their corps commitment through the University of Washington’s College of Education. Previously, corps members have pursued Masters in Curriculum and Instruction. The University of Washington is hoping to expand more pathways to earning your master’s in two years.

Learn more.

Subjects And Grade Levels

  • Elementary
  • Secondary ELA
  • Secondary Math
  • Secondary Science

In Washington, 45% of our corps members teach in elementary schools and 55% teach in secondary settings in English, Social Studies, Math and Science. We seek to meet the needs of our district partners and match our placements to the growing shortages, especially in STEM, that they are experiencing. 

Placement School Locations

Get to Know Our Communities

  • Greater Puget Sound
  • South Central Washington
A scenic photo of an urban beach along the coast of Puget Sound.

Located between Seattle and Tacoma and bordered by the beautiful Puget Sound, Federal Way is a thriving residential community with increasing diversity.

Corps members in the Greater Puget Sound teach in traditional and charter schools from South Seattle to Tacoma. Many make a home somewhere in between, as most teach in the South Sound communities of Kent, Tukwila, or Federal Way.

Federal Way counts 90,000 residents and is known for its diversity—more than 100 languages are spoken in Federal Way public schools. From May to October, the Federal Way farmer’s market is a popular destination for anyone looking for fresh, local produce and the chance to sample cuisine from some of the area’s best food trucks. But the overall proximity to Seattle city life and the incredible natural beauty of the Puget Sound presents all sorts of weekend options—from exploring neighborhoods with delicious international cuisine, to hiking through the Cascades, or taking a ferry to the San Juan Islands.

A dock lined with boats on the water at sunset.

Grandview, in the Yakima Valley, takes its name from the stunning views of both Mount Rainier and Mount Adams.

Our corps members in South Central Washington teach in traditional public schools in the rural communities of Grandview, Mabton, North Franklin and Sunnyside. While many choose to live in the same communities as their schools, others live in nearby Prosser and Tri-Cities. This rich agricultural area is primarily Latinx. Many of our students are the children of migrant or farm workers. Throughout the year, people gather around events like students’ basketball games, harvest festivals, and holiday parades, as well as multiple farmers’ markets, local theatre productions, live music, and a variety of parks and water-based activities on the Yakima, Snake, and Columbia Rivers. 

Regional Expenses

Monthly Salary

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Estimated Monthly Expenses

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What's Left Over
Ongoing Certification Costs
You may be able to offset ongoing certification costs with an AmeriCorps education award. Learn more.
One Time Summer Start Up Costs
Estimated Start Up and Certification Costs

Costs represent an average. Cost of living is likely to be higher in Greater Puget Sound and lower in South Central Washington.