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The Kentucky Teaching and Certification Resource

The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board oversees the state’s teacher certification process. The traditional process for earning Kentucky teacher certification is outlined in detail below for those looking to learn how to become a teacher in Kentucky.

How to Become a Teacher in Kentucky

Kentucky requires prospective teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree and complete an approved teacher preparation program. Depending on eligibility, there are alternative pathways to become a teacher in Kentucky for those who have a bachelor’s degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program.

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Kentucky has adopted a tiered teacher certification structure that requires educators to complete continuing education while working towards advanced ranks. New teachers earn Rank III status and must complete ongoing education within a set timeframe to advance to Rank II. The highest rank, Rank I, is earned through an approved master’s degree and 30 semester hours of additional graduate work or continuing education. Teachers can also earn Rank I through National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification.

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Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Kentucky

Projected Job Growth

11%

Growth in Teaching Jobs in KY through 202215

Perhaps the most important step to earning Kentucky teacher certification is completing an approved and accredited teacher preparation program. Completing a program at an institution approved by the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) is a requirement for licensure for prospective teachers.

Out-of-state schools must have regional accreditation from one of the six regional accreditation agencies overseen by the US Department of Education as well as approval from a state Board of Education for the preparation of teachers. Schools that do not meet these requirements will not qualify graduates for Kentucky teacher certification.

Additionally, accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is highly respected. CAEP was formed by the consolidation of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and is seen as a mark of quality teacher preparation curriculum in the education sector.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Kentucky.

Kentucky Teacher Outlook
The Kentucky Career Center projects 284 average annual job openings due to growth and 446 average annual job openings due to replacements for elementary school teachers, 113 average annual job openings due to growth and 178 annual average openings due to replacements for middle school teachers, and 87 average annual job openings due to growth and 337 average annual job openings due to replacements for secondary school teachers in Kentucky through 2022.2 The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 40,560 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Kentucky.3 The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in Kentucky is $51,160, for middle school teachers $51,550, and for secondary school teachers $52,230.3 Visit the Kentucky Education Association for current news for education professionals in the state.

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Kentucky Teacher Education Requirements

Kentucky State SealAs with most states, Kentucky requires that candidates for Kentucky educator certification complete a bachelor’s degree and teacher preparation program that includes student teaching. New teachers also receive additional assistance through the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP) during their first years of teaching.

Kentucky Teacher Testing Requirements

Kentucky uses the Praxis series of tests for prospective educators. The Praxis I test may be required prior to entering a teacher education program, but this varies by college or university requirements. All individuals pursuing the a Kentucky educator license must complete the Praxis II in each content area for which they are seeking certification as well as the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) at the appropriate grade level.

Additional Kentucky Teacher Certification Requirements

Like most US states, Kentucky requires new teachers applying for a Kentucky teaching license to complete a state and federal background check. For current instructions on completing this requirement, refer to the Education Professional Standards Board.

Kentucky Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once prospective educators have completed all of the requirements stipulated by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, an application for a teaching certificate must be submitted. The following documentation is required:

  • A completed teacher certification application form
  • Official transcripts from all graduate and undergraduate coursework
  • Verification of full-time classroom teaching experience at the appropriate grade level(s)
  • Passing scores on the Praxis exams for the endorsement areas sought
  • Verification of completion of a Kentucky teacher preparation program from an approved school, including the school’s recommendation for a license for the applicant
  • Non-refundable application fee

Applications should be mailed to:

Division of Certification
Education Professional Standards Board
100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

Visit the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board for further details on becoming a certified teacher in Kentucky.

Kentucky Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 2,470 $37,760
Preschool Teachers, Special Education 50 $45,290
Kindergarten Teachers 2,130 $51,770
Elementary School Teachers 19,240 $51,160
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 3,450 $51,640
Middle School Teachers 8,470 $51,550
Middle School Teachers, Special Education 1,170 $51,140
Secondary School Teachers 12,850 $52,230
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education 2,230 $52,210
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education 230 $56,740

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2014.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Kentucky

Question: How do I become an elementary teacher in Kentucky?

Answer: Becoming an elementary teacher in Kentucky requires certification from the state. You must have a bachelor’s degree and complete a teacher education program in elementary education at an accredited university. You must also pass state exams for teaching practices and basic skills and participate in student teaching.

Teaching and Education Programs

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References:
1. Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board: http://www.kyepsb.net/
2. Kentucky Labor Market Information/Career Center: https://kylmi.ky.gov/vosnet/Default.aspx
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Kentucky: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ky.htm
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Elementary School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252021.htm
5. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Middle School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252022.htm
6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Secondary School Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252031.htm
7. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Preschool Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252011.htm
8. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Preschool: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252051.htm
9. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Kindergarten Teachers: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252012.htm
10. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252052.htm
11. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Middle School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252053.htm
12. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252023.htm
13. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Special Education Teachers, Secondary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252054.htm
14. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014 Occupational Employment and Wages, Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252032.htm
15. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm