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by Kerry Knapp, National School Recruiter at Epic Special Education Staffing

Thanks to travel contracts and tele-practice, school therapists and special education teachers holding multiple state licenses now have an edge in the race to work in school-based positions across the country. Not only do multiple active licenses give a competitive advantage to these professionals, but it also affords them opportunities to find better pay rates and locations when deciding on which contracts to pursue. 

However, it’s not enough to simply obtain multiple state licenses. It is critical to keep these licenses up to date if you ever decide to pursue your options and begin a new position without the frustration of waiting for a license to be approved.

Prepare for the Unexpected

So why stay on top of your licenses? The bottom line is that you never know if you are going to need them. Will you need to move closer to family one day? Do you miss a once-loved beach or mountain town? Do you crave the simplicity of a small town or the excitement of big city living again?  

By keeping your licenses up to date, you’re essentially keeping multiple doors open. This way, whenever your plans change for whatever reason, you’ll have one less thing to worry about. Don’t let your licenses lapse, and your future self will thank you for it.

Avoid the Hassle of License Reinstatement

You might be hesitating to renew your license because you don’t really want to pay the fees associated with it. Before you are tempted to let it lapse, keep in mind that initial licensure can be more costly compared  to a renewal fee charged by various state agencies.  

It’s also a bigger hassle to reinstate a lapsed license than to renew it. Some states can be quite strict when it comes to reinstating a lapsed license. For example, failure to renew a professional license may result in an automatic suspension that could last years.

The process for reinstating a lapsed license can also be quite tricky and will vary depending on the state. Some states will require completing a refresher course if the applicant has been out of active practice in that state for a certain number of years.

Stay on Top of Your Continuing Education

There is no end to learning. As a professional, you’re expected to continue your education to ensure you can deliver the best service to your students. Routine licensure renewal asserts that you will be staying on top of the continuing education that is required of your profession. 

This can be a lot of hours if you let it pile up, making the process rather daunting! Additionally, state regulations, laws, and standards change and improve year to year. By staying on top of your licenses, you can better manage the hours you need for your continuing education and ensure you’re up to date on the latest changes.

Remember, being a student of your profession only makes you stronger as an educator or therapist. While taking a break from the actual practice may be necessary or needed, remaining up to date on your state licensures will expedite your return to your once loved job when the time is right.  

Final Reminders

So, now is the time to investigate the steps you will take to maintain the hard-earned licenses you already hold. Some states are faster than others, where wait times can be weeks to months, so keep this in mind in relation to when you want to begin a new job.

And just a warm reminder, nothing good is ever easy.  Be prepared for detailed requests, snail mail, understaffed government agencies, and long wait times in order to contact local and state departments. By putting on “your patience hat” and partnering with a supportive and knowledgeable agency such as Epic Special Education Staffing, you will be well on your way!

A Note for Schools and Districts Hiring Special Education Staff

Epic Special Education Staffing serves as a special education staffing partner for school districts across the country, and we are not exempt from the stringent requirements of state licensure. In fact, our school clients should expect our high credentialing standards, which includes vetting and verifying all licensure of the teachers and therapists we represent. To learn more about how our team helps you keep continuity in the classroom, contact us!

About the Author

Kerry Knapp

Kerry Knapp is a National School Recruiter for Epic Special Education Staffing with over 20 years of experience working in education and recruiting. Kerry’s approach is highly consultative, focusing on a deep understanding of professional and personal goals to target the best placement options. She encourages her therapists and teachers to “dream big” and realize that anything is possible when looking for a new state, city, or school. 

In her spare time, Kerry “dreams big” herself by spending time planning travel with her husband and two daughters and is a lover of anything French. Her attitude can be summed up in the words of Walt Disney: “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”