Career and Technical Education Teacher Licensing

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) approves Career and Technical Education (CTE) Programs meeting program criteria, including appropriate teacher licensing requirements. These programs are eligible to access federal Carl D. Perkins and CTE Levy funds. Districts that accept these federal dollars must report enrollment and student proficiency for CTE courses and programs to the department. To be eligible for Perkins and/or CTE Levy funding with an approved program, a teacher must hold the appropriate license or permission. 

A CTE license is a classroom teaching license that authorizes the holder to teach a specific subject in a Minnesota public high school or charter school. The difference between a CTE license and other teaching licenses is that a CTE license places an emphasis on career development and occupational experiences and is designed for teachers in programs preparing high school students for specific occupations and postsecondary training and education.

Table C identifies which licenses are required to teach specific CTE programs.

Work-Based Learning Endorsement License (160000)
This credential is an endorsement license and cannot stand on its own. It requires the applicant to either apply for or hold a full-time, standard license that allows the teacher to work with grades 9-12 at the time of application. The standard teacher license does not have to be in a CTE area.

Special Education Work-Based Learning Coordinators
Licensed work-based learning coordinators who work with special education students must hold a full-time special education license or special permission, allowing the teacher to work with special education students.

Teacher Shortage Areas
The U.S. Department of Education has designated Minnesota’s teacher shortage areas. For information on loan deferment, cancellation, and forgiveness, please refer to the U.S. Department of Education website

Career and Technical Education (CTE) or Career Pathways License

Minnesota offers a teaching license specific to CTE or Career Pathways fields. To be eligible for a CTE or Career Pathways license, an applicant must meet at least one of the following requirements: 

  • Hold an Associate's degree or higher in the area directly related to the requested licensure field;
  • Hold a professional certification in an area directly related to the requested licensure field; or
  • Have five years of verified work experience in an area directly related to the requested licensure field.
An applicant for a CTE or Career Pathways license may also need to have a job offer from a Minnesota public school district or charter school or meet additional requirements depending on the license tier sought. 

CTE or Career Pathways Minnesota Educator License applications are available on the PELSB website

Special Permissions

Minnesota school districts that are unable to hire a fully-licensed teacher in a particular teaching assignment may be able to seek an Out-of-Field Permission (OFP) from the Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB) 

To learn more about the OFP process, email PELSB