Personnel & Certification


Our office can answer questions on a variety of issues, including: employment opportunities, NYS professional certification and civil service appointments, fingerprinting requirements and general human resources.


Lee Farrell, Director of Human Resources


Oneida County Civil Service

Employment Opportunities

Certification FAQs

1. Who needs to be certified?
Classroom teachers, administrative and supervisory personnel, and pupil personnel service professionals are required to hold a Certificate issued by New York State in order to be employed in the State's public schools. Certificates are issued in a wide variety of titles in each of these three major categories. Also, Teaching Assistants must be certified now. In addition, New York State also requires that Coaches, Visiting Lecturers and teachers of Adult, Community and Continuing Education obtain a Special License.

2. What are the types of certificates?
The type of certificate issued to you depends upon your educational background and experience. Examples include Initial certificate, Professional certificate, and Teaching Assistant Level III certificate. For a complete list, visit the New York State Education Department.

3. What are the requirements to become certified?
The requirements for certification fall into the following general categories:
Academic preparation - degree/coursework, student teaching
Assessment - selected tests in the New York State Teacher Certification Examination program series
Experience - teaching/other work experience
Additional requirements - Child Abuse Identification workshop, School Violence Prevention and Intervention (SAVE) workshop, moral character requirement, and fingerprinting.

4. Must all requirements for a certificate be complete before applying for an individual evaluation?
No. As long as you hold the minimum degree (usually a bachelor's degree, with a minimum 2.5 GPA) required for a certificate, you may submit an application at any time. Indeed, in order to receive a written evaluation of your status for a certificate you must file such an application.

5. Is there more than one way to become certified?
There are a number of pathways to obtaining your New York certification:

6. I am changing careers. Is there an easier way for me to get certified?
You may be interested in an alternative teacher certification program specifically designed for career changers. While you must meet all coursework and other requirements, these programs offer a time-shortened, intensive preparation program operated cooperatively by a college and school district. Alternative programs also allow you to be employed as a teacher while in the program.

7. Can I apply for a certificate through the Madison-Oneida BOCES?
If you hold a current NYS certificate, you may submit an application through the Regional Certification Office and receive expedited processing of your application. If this is your first certificate in NYS, you must complete a college-approved Teacher Education Program and be recommended by that college.

8. I completed my education in another country. How do I apply for a certificate?
You must complete an Application for Initial/Professional Certificate and include the $100 fee, accompanied by original credentials of formal schooling (and notarized translations where applicable), verification of required training in the identification and reporting of child abuse, Dignity for All Students Act (DASA) and training in school violence prevention and intervention, copies of valid certificates issued by another jurisdiction, and verification of completion of the testing requirement. In order to satisfy the Citizenship Requirement for a Professional (or Permanent certificate) you must be either a U.S. citizen or have USCIS Permanent Residence status. Please note that the Office of Teaching Initiatives can evaluate foreign credentials only for persons seeking State certification. Requests for evaluation of coursework for salary or other purposes should be addressed to the agency or institution most directly involved.

9. I hold a certificate from another state. Do I still have to apply for a NYS teacher certificate?
Yes, you must hold a New York State certificate to teach in the State's public schools. Reciprocity under the Interstate Agreement of Qualification of Educational Personnel is limited to coursework requirements only. Also, it applies only to the first-level regular certificate a member state issues. You must complete any examination requirements a member state may have.

10. When I apply for certification, should I send a personal check or money order?
Always use a postal money order. A postal money order has no expiration date and, as such, insures that you will not be charged for a bad check.