Alabama Teacher Certification
How to Become a Teacher in Alabama
Becoming a teacher in Alabama requires more than just a love for children and a grasp of the content you are to teach. Before you will be able to enter a classroom in Alabama, you must obtain teaching certification. There are several paths to certification in this state, as long as you have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. If your degree is in education, you can obtain certification in a traditional way; if your degree is not in education, you can obtain teacher certification through an alternative path.
- I want to be a teacher in Alabama, but don’t have a degree: Earn an Education Degree
- I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in education: Learn about Alabama’s Alternative Certification Process and Programs
- I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Learn about Master’s Degree Education Programs or Doctorate Education Programs and Information.
- MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
- MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)
Alabama Teacher Education Requirements
The most direct route for teacher certification is obtaining a bachelor’s degree in the desired certification area from a teacher education program in an Alabama college or university. In this case, all you need to do is work with the certification officer at the institution to ensure you have completed all paperwork and met all requirements.
For prospective teachers who have graduated from institutions outside of Alabama or have been certified in other states, certification may be obtained through reciprocal agreements, assuming that Alabama offers a comparable certificate in your desired certification area. This may be accomplished through completing a teacher education program at an NCATE-accredited teacher education program at a college or university in another state or complying with the requirements of the NASDTEC Interstate Contract. In this case, applicants should contact the certification office at their university to ensure that one of these options can be met.
There are several areas in which prospective teachers may be certified in Alabama. These areas include early childhood (preschool to grade 3), elementary (kindergarten to grade 6), collaborative special education (K-6 or 6-12), early childhood special education (preschool to grade 3), middle school (grades 4-8) and secondary (grades 6-12) with a content area endorsement, and elementary-secondary (P-12) in areas like music, art, and foreign language.
At the start of 2012, Alabama’s unemployment has fallen to 8.1%, lower than the 8.5% national average (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 3,100 annual teaching, library and other education-related openings in Alabama through 2018. The National Center for Education Statistics shows there were 47,800 public school and 6,400 private school K-12 teachers in Alabama in 2008 and 2007 respectively. Average and starting teaching salaries in the state are $46,900 (32nd nationwide) and $36,100 (NEA, 2012). According to the Sunshine Review in 2012, the state budget situation has continued to improve along with employment gains, but they continue to face cuts in some education and government programs. You can visit the Alabama Teachers Association for latest news on issues impacting teachers. Given the projected hires, now is a good time to research school options to become a teacher in Alabama as the recovery should be deeply established by the time you complete a degree.
Alabama Teacher Testing Requirements
Candidates who wish to obtain Alabama certification must take two tests. The Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP) is a test of basic skills in reading and mathematics. After completing that test, candidates must take the Praxis II test for their certification area (such as elementary education, early childhood education, etc.).
Additional Alabama Teacher Certification Requirements
One requirement for everyone that desires teacher certification in Alabama is a background check. Candidates who apply for initial certification must submit fingerprints for a background check by the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Prospective teachers must submit two fingerprint cards, a Release Form, a Background Review Consent Form, and a fee to have this done.
Alabama Teacher Interview
Read our interview with Marla Vaughn, President of the Alabama Conference of Educators.
Profiles of Well-Known Schools
Auburn University: The Auburn University College of Education is located on the university’s main campus in Auburn, AL. The College of Education is currently ranked in the top 25% of education programs according to U.S. News & World Report. Students are able to choose from over 50 majors at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. Some of the most popular majors include Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Nursing Education Educational Administration and Counseling Education. The AU College of Education currently serves the university’s largest number of graduate students and fifth largest population of undergraduates. With over 30,000 alumni, the Auburn University College of Education has one of the largest alumni networks in the country. The mission of the College of Education has and continues to be the development of competent, professional, passionate and reflective educators capable of flourishing in today’s global learning community.
Alabama Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers||21,170||$48,470|
|Middle School Teachers||7,560||$49,480|
|Secondary School Teachers||14,880||$50,120|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.
Alabama Teacher Interviews
Interview with Julie Hicks, Alabama Kindergarten Teacher
Interview with Marla Vaughn, President of the Alabama Conference of Educators
Interview with Linda Dunnavant, Alabama Fifth Grade Teacher
School Programs for Becoming a Teacher in Alabama
Request free information from the following schools to learn more about your options for choosing a teacher degree program. We recommend you: Request information from one or more of these schools
- Early Childhood Education (Certification Only)
- Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
- MA in Teaching: Advanced Studies in Secondary Education- National Board Preparation
- Superintendent Letter of Eligibility (SLE)
- And more...
- M.A. in Education/Early Childhood Ed.
- M.A. in Education/Secondary Teacher Education
- B.S. in Education / Elementary Education
- A.A. in Elementary Education
- And more...
- Teacher Aide
- B.S. in Early Childhood Education (Birth - 5 Years)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education
- Special Education (Early Childhood/Elementary)
- Educational Administration: (EDD)
- And more...
- Doctor of Management - Graduate Level Instructional Practices
- Doctor of Management - Private Sector Higher Education Leadership
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Alabama
Question: How can you become a substitute teacher in Alabama?
Answer: To become a substitute teacher in Alabama you must have a high school diploma and a license from the state, which is inexpensive. Individual districts may have more requirements and may include training sessions. Apply to each district to find out the hiring requirements.
Schools with Teaching Degree Programs in Alabama
Alabama A & M University
4900 Meridian St
Normal, AL 35762
Alabama State University
915 S Jackson Street
Montgomery, AL 36101-0271
Athens State University
300 N Beaty St
Athens, AL 35611
Auburn University Main Campus
Auburn, AL 36849
Birmingham Southern College
900 Arkadelphia Road
Birmingham, AL 35254
5345 Atlanta Hwy
Montgomery, AL 36109-3378
1500 East Fairview Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36106-2148
Jacksonville State University
700 Pelham Road North
Jacksonville, AL 36265
302 Bibb St
Marion, AL 36756
5500 Myron Massey Blvd
Fairfield, AL 35064
7000 Adventist Blvd NW
Huntsville, AL 35896
800 Lakeshore Drive
Birmingham, AL 35229-2240
627 W Battle St
Talladega, AL 35160
The University of Alabama
739 University Blvd
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0166
Troy, AL 36082-0001
Tuskegee, AL 36088-1920
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Administration Bldg Suite 1070
Birmingham, AL 35294-0110
University of Mobile
5735 College Parkway Drive
Mobile, AL 36613-2842
University of North Alabama
One Harrison Plaza
Florence, AL 35632-0001
University of South Alabama
307 N University Blvd
Mobile, AL 36688-0002
Page edited by Charles Sipe.