Licensure and Certification

In order to qualify to work for the Department, you may need to meet certain licensure and/or certification requirements, depending on the position you are seeking.

​5-Year Strategic Plan

Hawai'i's Teacher Education Coordinating Committee (TECC) developed a five-year strategic plan to improve teacher recruitment and retention through coordinated partnership efforts. 

Preparation Programs

Programs that prepare teachers, including counselor and librarian candidates, or other practicing professionals (e.g., occupational and physical therapists, etc.) must obtain an affiliation agreement with the Hawaii Department of Education (HIDOE) in order to place candidates in HIDOE schools under the direct supervision of a HIDOE mentor. ​​


Visit to learn more the benefits of teaching in Hawaii, including teacher licensing.

Substitute Teachers

A substitute teacher certification is not required for those who have completed a State-Approved Teacher Education (SATE) program.

Those with a Bachelor's degree or higher (no teacher training) will need to complete a Substitute Teacher Certification program.

Applicants with less than a Bachelor's degree may be hired by exception, but with a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent and must have complete a Substitute Teacher Certification program.

All substitute teacher certifications are valid for five (5) years and may be obtained using one of the following programs:

To be recertified, applicants must successfully obtain a re-certification by obtaining a certificate from one of the Substitute Teacher Certification programs above.

Paraeducator (Educational Assistants)

A paraeducator works under the supervision of teachers or other professional practitioners. Their jobs are instructional in nature and they provide other direct services to children and youth and their families, including:

  1. One-on-one tutoring
  2. Assist with classroom management
  3. Provide instructional assistance in a computer laboratory
  4. Conduct parental involvement activities
  5. Provide instructional support in a library or media center
  6. Act as a translator, or
  7. Provide instructional support services under the direct supervision of a highly qualified teacher or professional practitioner.

Minimum requirements for paraeducators:

  1. Forty-eight semester credits of baccalaureate-level courses from a regionally accredited institution of higher education recognized by the Department. The 48 credits may be from various program or academic subject areas. In addition, 6 of the 48 credits must have been for math and English courses at the baccalaureate level. Or,
  2. An Associate in Arts (AA) or Science (AS) degree from a regionally accredited institution recognized by the Department. The credits earned for the degree must have been for courses that are baccalaureate level. Or,
  3. A certificate with a minimum score of 459 on the ParaPro Assessment provided by the Educational Testing Service.

For more information, contact Classified / Support Services Personnel Recruitment at 808-441-8411.

ParaPro Assessment
The ParaPro Assessment is a computer-based assessment option for Educational Assistants (EA) and part-time Paraprofessional Tutors (PPT) to meet Department of Education minimum qualifications for employment.

The administration of the ParaPro Assessment is managed by the Community School for Adults​ (CSA). Individuals interested in future ParaPro Assessment opportunities can contact the following CSA campuses for more information:

  • McKinley CSA:
    • McKinley Campus: 808-594-0540
    • Kauai Campus: 808-274-3390
    • Maui Campus: 808-873-3082
  • Waipahu CSA:
    • Waipahu Campus: 808-307-9677
    • Hilo Campus: 808-480-3231
    • Wahiawa Campus: 808-305-3200
    • Windward Campus: 808-307-1455

School-Level Educational Officers 

The Hawaii Department of Education certifies school administrators through the Hawaii Certification Institute for School Leaders (HICISL). The HICISL Vice-Principal and Principal Certification programs prepare and support aspiring school leaders through direct instruction, coaching, coursework and residency components. The HICISL programs are run by the Professional Development and Educational Research Institute (PDERI) under Department's Leadership Institute.

There are two main tracks available for interested persons to apply to participate in the HICISL program.  Applicants must meet the following minimum requirements.

Track A (Regular)

  • Tenured, certificated teacher currently employed in the HIDOE public school system

  • Four (4) or more years of K-12 teaching experience

  • Satisfactory performance evaluations

Track B

  • Currently non-tenured HIDOE employee or non-HIDOE employee

  • Holds a K-12 administrator license or a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration or Educational Leadership from an accredited university

  • Four (4) or more years of K-12 teaching experience

  • Satisfactory performance evaluations

NOTE: Persons applying through Track A or B are screened and selected to participate in the HICISL Summer Institute. Successful completion of the Summer Institute is required to continue to the Residency phase of the HICISL program. The Residency phase is one year.

Persons who possess a current, valid school level administrator license through another state, holds a master’s degree in Education Administration or Education Leadership, and has a minimum of three years of experience as licensed school level administrator may be eligible for certification in Hawaii if they meet additional requirements.

Applicants who meet requirements for Track IV and/or Track V may complete an online application and submit all required documents at the eHR website. If it is determined that all requirements have been met, applicants will be issued a provisional certificate (valid for two years from date of issue) and be able to apply for vacant school level administrator positions.  Upon securing a position, applicants must participate in identified program activities to support his/her transition into the Department and to obtain final certification.  Participation in the appropriate program (HICISL VP Certification, HICISL Principal Certification or New Principal Academy) and two (2) years of satisfactory performance evaluations during probation is required for certification. 

For further information about becoming a certified school level administrator (i.e. Principal or Vice Principal), contact:

Professional Development and Educational Research Institute (PDERI)

Address: 345 Puuhale Road Room 106, Honolulu, HI 96819


Phone: 808-784-5300

Fax: 808-832-3207

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