Career and Technical Instructional I Certificate Requirements

  • A minimum of 4 years wage-earning experience (8,000 hrs) in addition to the learning period required to establish competency in the occupation to be taught.
  • Successfully completed the Occupational Competency Assessment or evaluation of credentials for occupations where examinations do not exist.
  • Completed 18 credit hours in an approved program of career and technical teacher education.
  • Met all requirements provided by law (School Code 1209 and Title 22, Pa. Code, Section 49.12).
  • Presented evidence of passing the CORE Praxis tests in reading (Praxis Core: Reading 5713) and writing (Praxis Core: Writing 5723).
  • Received the recommendation from the preparing institution - The Pennsylvania State University.

IMPORTANT: Regulations published by the State Board of Education on September 25, 1999, provide that Career and Technical Instructional I certificates issued with an effective date of October 1999 or thereafter will be valid for eight (8) years of service during which time the applicant must complete the approved preparation program leading to the Career and Technical Instructional II Certificate. Career and Technical Instructional I certificates issued prior to October 1999 remain valid for seven (7) teaching years.


Career and Technical Instructional II Certification Requirements

  • Completed 3 years of satisfactory teaching on a Career and Technical Instructional I Certification attested to by the chief school administrator of the approved public or nonpublic school entity in which the most recent service of the applicant was performed.
  • Completed 42 credit hours in an approved program in the appropriate field of career and technical education.
  • Presented evidence of satisfactory achievement in assessments prescribed by the Department under Section 49.18(a) (relating to assessment). In addition, presented evidence of having passed the Praxis I test in Mathematics (Praxis Core: Mathmatics 5733; effective September 1, 2008).
  • Completed a Pennsylvania Department of Education-approved induction program.
  • Received the recommendation from the preparing institution - The Pennsylvania State University.

NOTE: The Career and Technical General Knowledge test (0890) was the required exam prior to September 1, 2008. If the Career and Technical General Knowledge Test was taken prior to September 1, 2008, with a minimum score of 560, it can be accepted in place of the Praxis I Mathematics exam. Career and Technical General Knowledge Test (0890) scores will remain valid for 10 years from the date the test was taken.

Getting and Staying Certified to Teach

Pennsylvania law requires that you demonstrate competence in the area that will be taught corresponding to the appropriate CIP Code plan to be taught. Candidates must have at least 4 years (8,000 hours) of paid wage-earning work experience in the subject they will teach and successfully complete the Occupational Competency Assessment (OCA) process. Once you have completed the OCA you are eligible to apply for an Intern Certificate on the TIMS website

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, through the Bureau of Vocational-Technical Education, has authorized The Pennsylvania State University to administer the Occupational Competency Assessment (OCA) examination for persons who desire to teach shop/laboratory subjects on a career and technical basis. Satisfactory completion of the OCA is one of the legal requirements for issuing a Career and Technical teaching certificate in Pennsylvania.


Open Enrollment Period

  • July 1st – June 30th

Candidates who are not eligible for a credential review must show competency by successfully passing the NOCTI Skilled Worker assessment. The assessment consists of 1) an electronic computer-based test and 2) a performance-based assessment. Testing occurs periodically throughout the year. Candidates are reminded that they should schedule and complete their OCA testing well in advance of their emergency certification expiration date. 

To apply please contact Wilda Hackman at (814) 863-0805 or by email: [email protected] 

IMPORTANT: Any testing deadlines will not be extended. Testing also includes the Cooperative Education NOCTI Assessment.

What are the Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible for the program the candidate must submit the following documentation to be reviewed by the testing center:

  1. Education: Documentation indicating the candidate is a graduate of a secondary school or possesses equivalent education credentials.  
  2. Work Experience: Documentation that verifies "a minimum of four years (8,000 hrs) wage-earning experience in addition to the learning period in the occupation to be taught. ***** NOTE: Work experience MUST be verified within our office.***** 
  3. Credentials: Must submit a complete personnel file of required, official credentials issued by the credentialing agency.

What are the Employment Experience Guidelines and Requirements?

Employment experience guidelines and requirements are:

  1. A minimum of four years of wage-earning work experience beyond the learning period in an occupation directly related to the occupation to be taught.
  2. Comprehensive experience to include major coverage of the skills of the occupation, not a narrow sampling of a few skills.
  3. Military employment or service beyond the training period directly related to the specific occupation.
  4. State professional licensure or selected national certification in the occupation.

What is the Learning Period?

You must have completed a learning period in the occupation you intend to teach. Work Experience, as it applies to the OCA is defined as: 

  1. Worker in a wage-earning experience as an apprentice and/or student. 
  2. Student in a career and technical school, career and technical institute or college. 
  3. Student in a cooperative career and technical education program. 
  4. Student in a career and technical teacher education program that includes specialized or technical courses directly related to the occupation. 
  5. Student in an associate degree program in the occupation field. 
  6. Graduate of an approved four (4) year college curriculum when the major field of study is directly related to the occupational field. 
  7. Military training or instruction directly related to the occupation. 

Employment Experience Considerations

  1. Part-time work experience will be evaluated on the basis of two thousand (2000) clock hours as equivalent to one (1) calendar year. 
  2. Occupations requiring a state professional license or selected national certification, such as a license or certification when issued by an accredited state or national association, will be accepted in lieu of the competency examination, but not in lieu of the Occupational Competency Assessment Program, which includes evaluation of wage-earning experience beyond the learning period, the validating of licenses, and high school graduation or equivalent. 
  3. Work experience used in verifying occupational experience in one occupation may also be used to verify occupational experience in another closely related occupation. 

Occupational Experience

Occupational experience is required in each of the major occupational areas combined to form a cluster career and technical program.

Teaching Experience

Teaching experience or supervisory experience in the occupational area cannot be counted toward meeting the work experience requirement.

  1. WFED Courses and Dates for Career and Technical Instructional I and II Teacher Certifications: CTE Teacher and Cooperative Education Certification 
  2. WFED Courses and Dates for CTE Leadership – Director of CTE Certification 
  3. WFED Courses and Dates for CTE Leadership – Director of CTE Certification and M.Ed. Degree 


The PPDC Course Planning Grid identifies when the Workforce Education and Development (WFED) courses required for Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) certifications such as Career and Technical Instructional I, Career and Technical Instructional II, Cooperative Education, Directors, and Directors with M.Ed. degree are being taught over a period of semesters. It does not list any of the required non-WFED courses needed for certification. To see when non-WFED courses are being taught consult Penn State’s LionPATH and search under the Find Classes tab on your personal LionPATH Student Home page. 


Note that while the planning grid lists classes over several semesters, due to updated certification regulations, faculty availability, and other factors, changes to the planning grid periodically occur. Check to see that the planning grid you are using is the most recent one for the semester you are registering for. 

All courses originate through the University Park campus or World Campus unless otherwise specified.