Tennessee Occupational License

The Occupational, sometimes referred to as CTE (Career Technology Education) license allows industry experts in several fields to become licensed to teach the skills necessary for their industry.  Occupational teachers are in high demand to provide skilled applicants for the workforce upon the students' high school graduation.  This page provides information for candidates interested in applying for an initial occupational license as well as information for advancing or renewing a current occupational license.

*Please note that there are some CTE courses that require an Academic license, the Occupational License is strictly for specific occupations/fields.  Please check out more information on the TNDOE website to see the current available Occupational endorsements and the experience and industry certification requirements for each endorsement. 

Tennessee Occupational License

Occupational CTE teachers are in high demand to provide skilled applicants for the workforce. If you are interested in pursuing becoming licensed to teach in an area you have experience in, check out the application guide (link at the bottom of the page). 

  • Practitioner Occupational License
    The practitioner occupational license is valid for three years and may be renewed. Tennessee offers a practitioner occupational license in many endorsement areas. At a minimum, educators interested in the occupational practitioner license must:
  1. Be a high school graduate.
  2. Be enrolled in or have completed a state approve educator preparation program.
  3. Be recommended by a state-approved occupational educator preparation program.
  4. Meet endorsement experience requirements.
  5. Meet industry certification requirements. 

        Renewal Information

         To renew a practitioner occupational license, an educator must:

  • Complete an approved occupational educator preparation program.
  • Submit proof of current industry certification as required by the endorsement area.

If you’re ready to renew your Practitioner license, follow the instructions here:  
Renew a Practitioner 1st Issuance License

Advancement Information

To advance from a practitioner occupational license to professional occupational license, educators must:

  • Have three (3) years of qualifying experience as defined by the Department and submit documentation of thirty (30) PDPs or a recommendation from the director of schools or leader of a charter school or the school’s CMO.
  • Complete an approved educator preparation program.
  • Have completed the Department’s new teacher training during the first year of teaching.
  • Have observed three (3) experienced teachers within the same area of endorsement and one (1) experienced teacher in a different area of endorsement.
  • Have an assigned mentor teacher during the first (3) years of teaching.
  • Have current valid industry certification required by the endorsement area

If you’re ready to advance, follow the instructions here:  
Advance to Professional Occupational

  • Professional Occupational License
    The only requirement to renew is 60 Professional Development Points (PDPs) and updated industry certification.

If you’re ready to renew
a Professional Occupational License, follow the instructions here:
Renewing Your Professional Occupational License

Guide to apply

The following guide provides information on how to create an account with the TNDOE on the state website that houses licensure.  Please note that for the section that requires you to indicate the Educator Preparation Program you will enroll with, please select UTC, as that is the institution the district has partnered with.

TNCompass Licensure: Career and Technical Guide 

The following form is for documenting and providing evidence of your experience. The form will need to be completed and notarized by former employer(s) is one of the requirements for applying

Occupational Work Experience and Qualifications Form