Louisiana Out-of-State Teacher Certification

If you're a teacher who plans on relocating to Louisiana while maintaining your educational credentials, you'll need to obtain an out-of-state certificate. Find out how to earn this certification and how you can skip the Praxis exams normally required in Louisiana. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Out-of-State Certification for Louisiana Teachers

If you are moving to Louisiana, or you graduated from an educational institution outside of the state, you can become certified through two different methods. Which method you choose largely depends on what Praxis exams you have already taken.

Education/Experience RequiredBachelor's degree and a standard teaching credential
Exams RequiredPraxis Exams required for LV1 Certificate; exemption for OS Certificate
License ValidityThree years upon first issue of either certificate
License ExtensionOS certificate is non-renewable and upgrades to LV1
Average Louisiana Salary* (2018)$50,540 for kindergarten teachers
$48,740 for elementary school teachers
$49,960 for middle school teachers
$51,810 for high school teachers
National Job Growth* (2016-2026)8% for kindergarten, middle school, and high school teachers
7% for elementary school teachers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Types of Out-of-State Certificates

There are two types of certifications available for teachers coming from outside of Louisiana. The LV1 (Level 1) Professional Certificate is the same as in-state teachers: a three-year certificate that allows teaching at a Louisiana educational institution. If you have already completed the Praxis exams prescribed by the state of Louisiana, this is the certificate you'll receive when applying.

There is also the Out-of-State Certificate, or OS. If you have yet to complete Louisiana's required Praxis exams, you'll receive this certificate. It's valid for the same three-year period as the LV1 credential although it is non-renewable. OS candidates receive a letter of eligibility; once employed, they receive their OS certificate.

Exam Requirements/Exemptions

You can skip the Praxis exams if you meet several requirements when obtaining OS certification in Louisiana. You need a valid certificate or license from another state, and you'll need to have at least three years of teaching experience, which should be verified by an annual review. After teaching on a valid OS certificate in Louisiana for a full year, you will no longer be required to take Louisiana's Praxis exams and can apply for the LV1 certificate. You'll need your local superintendent's recommendation if you plan to pursue the exam exemption.

Academic Requirements

Out-of-state candidates who do not have three years of teaching experience in the five years prior to application must earn six semester hours of college credit relevant to their certification area. They may complete these hours while working with the one-year OS1 certificate. Once completed, they are issued the OS certificate.

Application Requirements

Once you have determined your eligibility, you can submit your application to become a teacher in Louisiana. You'll need official transcripts from all of your previously attended institutions. If you have taken Praxis exams, you can include them in your application or have them sent from ETS directly to the department where you are applying.

Your previous school district must verify your experience with the appropriate signatures. Your current teaching certificate should be posted in the application, and if you don't hold one, you'll need a letter from your previous state's Department of Education confirming your eligibility to teach. A $50 fee is required upon submitting your application.

Job Outlook and Salary Information

Teachers at all grade levels from kindergarten through high school can expect average job growth, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). An increase of 8% is predicted through 2026 for kindergarten, middle school, and high school teachers, while elementary school teaching positions will grow by 7%. The BLS also reports that in the state of Louisiana, kindergarten teachers made an average salary of $50,540 in 2018, elementary school teachers took home $48,740, middle school teachers made $49,960, and high school teachers earned $51,810.

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