How to Become a High School Teacher in Arizona

Read to learn the steps required to become a high school teacher in Arizona. Get the pertinent information on certifications, education requirements, and career outlook. Schools offering Teaching - K-12 degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Info for Arizona High School Teachers

All Arizona high school teachers must hold a Standard Professional Secondary Certificate (Grades 6-12). The easiest path to obtaining this certification involves the completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program. Those who did not complete formal teacher preparation must have at least two years of teaching experience or a similar out-of-state certification. The table below summarizes all pertinent information for Arizona high school teachers.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements Professional and subject knowledge required examinations
Certification Standard Professional Secondary - Grades 6-12 Certificate
Certification Renewal Period 12 years
Average Salary (2018)* $48,610 (for all Arizona high school teachers)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% (for all high school teachers nationwide)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Who Is Eligible for Certification?

There are three pathways to certification depending on the candidate's educational background. Candidates with an out-of-state teaching certification and a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution can apply for the Secondary Education Standard Certificate with no additional education requirements. Candidates with a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution must have completed coursework in several topic areas related to high school education and at least two years of teaching experience at the high school level. Examples of mandatory coursework include classroom management, instructional strategies, and professional responsibility. Candidates who have completed an Arizona-approved teacher preparation program with a focus on secondary education are also eligible to apply under their own pathway (which does not require prior teaching experience).

How Many Tests Are Required?

The certification process involves two separate examination requirements. The first exam requirement involves the completion of the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA) or National Evaluation Series (NES) in professional knowledge for secondary education. This can be waived, though, with three years of documented teaching experience at the high school level, a comparable certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, or a similar out-of-state examination.

The second exam requirement involves the completion of the AEPA or NES tests in the specific subject you will be teaching at the high school level (i.e. mathematics, Spanish, science, etc). This requirement can also be waived with a comparable NBPTS certificate, a similar out-of-state examination, post-secondary teaching experience, five years of work experience in the subject area, or a degree in the selected subject.

What Other Requirements Apply?

All candidates must clear a background check from the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS). This clearance involves a fingerprint scanning and national verification of criminal records (and can be completed in-person or via mail or fax). Candidates must submit their completed application packets with their fingerprint clearance cards, college transcripts, and all other relevant documentation to the Arizona Department of Education. If a certification is approved, candidates must also meet several coursework requirements during their first three years of certification. These requirements include courses on the United States constitution, the Arizona constitution, dyslexia and professional ethics. The certification renewal period is 12 years.

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