How to Become a Teacher in Alabama: Certification & Requirements

Teacher certification in the state of Alabama requires a bachelor's degree. Future teachers must also take tests to show that they have knowledge of the subject they want to teach and knowledge of the appropriate instructional skills needed to work with students. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Teacher Certification Requirements in Alabama

The main way in which teachers obtain certification in Alabama is to earn a bachelor's degree from an Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) approved program of teacher education. Other programs for certification are available for potential teachers who hold undergraduate degrees and would like to enter the teaching field. Testing for teacher certification includes the Praxis and edTPA.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements Praxis Core, Praxis Subject Assessment, Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching, edTAP
Average Annual Salary (2018)* $48,690 (for all education, training, and library occupations in Alabama)
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 7-8% all educators nationwide

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education

To become initially certified to teach in Alabama, most students complete an Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) approved program of teacher education at one of the state's colleges or universities. Students can earn a bachelor's in education with a major in a specific area such as elementary education, mathematics, or chemistry education. Students must have a minimum 2.75 grade point average with no grade below a C in professional studies classes. As an undergraduate, students will begin the process of state certification with the advisement of college counselors. A part of the program is an internship where students gain practical teaching experience in a school setting that mirrors the subject/major for which their college coursework has prepared them.

Certification Requirements

State teacher certification requires testing as defined by the Alabama Educator Certification Assessment Program (AECAP). The tests needed are Praxis Core Academic Skills, Praxis Subject Assessment, Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching, and the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA). These tests will assess basic academic skills, content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge of education. Prior to the issuance of professional educator certification, The Alabama Educator Certification Assessment Program (AECAP) is a precondition that must be met.

Besides the Professional Educator approach, Alabama offers different ways in which to obtain a teaching certificate. These options include Provisional Certification, reciprocity with other states and other specific approaches such as National Board Certification, Interim Employment Certificate, and emergency credentials.

Salary

According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly salary in Alabama for elementary teachers is $49,040, for middle school teachers it is $49,630, and for high school teachers it is $49,790. Salaries will vary across the state according to the school district in which a teacher is employed. Salary scales are used for determining how much a teacher earns. Salary scale steps are based on level of education, years of teaching experience, and how many days the teacher is hired to work.

Outlook

The job outlook is about average for teachers nationwide. According to a recent news report there is a teacher shortage in many areas of Alabama. The certification areas in most need are special education, math and science. The state legislature is addressing shortages by looking into changing the teacher retirement program and increasing wages.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • University of South Alabama

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    • Alabama: Mobile
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