How to Become an Art Teacher in Arizona

Read for an overview on the process of becoming a certified art teacher in Arizona. Learn about the education, examination and training requirements to gain full certification. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Info for Arizona Art Teachers

To work as an art teacher in any Arizona public school (grades PreK through 12), you must obtain a Standard Professional PreK-12 Art Education Certificate from the Arizona Department of Education. The application process involves a review of your education credentials, two separate examinations, and a background check. The table below is an overview of relevant information for Arizona art teachers:

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Exam Requirements Professional and subject knowledge required examinations
Certification Standard Professional PreK-12 Art Education Certificate
Certification Renewal Period 12 years
Average Salary in Arizona (2018)* Kindergarten: $44,670
Elementary: $44,430
Middle School: $43,560
High School: $48,610
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* Kindergarten and Elementary: 7% growth
Middle School: 8% growth
High School: 8% growth

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Tracks to Certification?

There are three main tracks to art teacher certification in Arizona. The first involves the completion of an approved teacher preparation program in the state. Those aspiring to teach art must pursue coursework in art teaching topics such as instructional design, art history, or studio art as part of their formal teacher preparation. Candidates who did not graduate from a teacher preparation program in Arizona must have at least two years of art teaching experience (in a PreK through grade 12 setting) and complete a variety of approved coursework in both teaching theory and art topics (including studio art, classroom management, and technical processes). Those with a valid out-of-state teaching license with comparable validations are eligible for a third track which involves no further examination requirements.

What Are the Required Examinations?

Candidates in the first two tracks (formal teacher preparation or experience and coursework validation) must complete two separate examination requirements with separate parameters. The first, known as the Professional Knowledge examination, can be cleared with a passing score on the National Evaluation Series (NES) or Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment (AEPA) in professional knowledge. Candidates with at least three years of teaching experience or a comparable art teaching certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) can waive this requirement.

The second is known as the subject knowledge requirement, which involves a passing score on the AEPA/NES Art exam (NT 503). Candidates with at least three years of art teaching experience at the secondary school level, a bachelor's or advanced degree in art or a comparable certification from the NBPTS can waive this requirement.

Does the Certification Process Involve Additional Training?

Once you have cleared the required education credentials and examinations, you can submit an application for certification to the Arizona Department of Education. If you meet all the requirements, you will be issued a 12 year certificate clearing you for employment in any Arizona public school. Once certified, however, you will have to complete several coursework and training requirements in your first three years in order to maintain the certification in good standing. These course requirements include topics such as the U.S. constitution, the Arizona constitution, and ethics.

Are There Any Other Requirements?

All teaching certification candidates must clear a national criminal background check with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS). Visit the Fieldprint Arizona website for additional information on obtaining your fingerprint clearance card. Art teacher candidates must not have a criminal history in order to be eligible for certification.

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