The Louisiana Teaching and Certification Resource

For aspiring teachers in Louisiana, there are quite a few ways to obtain a Louisiana teacher certification. All teachers working in the K-12 educational system must be certified before they begin working in a school. The certification process is overseen by the Louisiana Department of Education, Division of Teacher Certification, Preparation and Recruitment. Although there are a few alternative ways to become a teacher in Louisiana, the traditional pathways are outlined in detail below.

How to Become a Teacher in Louisiana

All teachers in Louisiana are required to hold a bachelor’s degree, complete a Louisiana teachers certification program and pass the required Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test, or PPST.

For those experienced teachers that hold an out-of-state certification, Louisiana reciprocity may be possible under specific circumstances. Applicants should apply for an Out-of-State Teaching Certificate, which is valid for three years. During that time, teachers must complete the additional requirements to obtain the standard Louisiana teacher certification. For more details contact the state’s Department of Education.

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Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Louisiana

Perhaps the most important step to becoming a certified teacher in Louisiana is receiving proper teacher training from an accredited teacher preparation school. When evaluating program options, applicants must confirm that the school is accredited by the appropriate regional and national accreditation agency.

The US Department of Education oversees six regional accreditation agencies, which are responsible for the accreditation of all US schools and universities. Louisiana schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Online teaching certification programs offered by distance schools should also hold an accreditation from one of the six recognized accreditation organization. If the online school is headquartered out of state (University of Arizona, for example), then the school must be certified by its corresponding regional agency.

In addition to finding a Louisiana school that is SACS accredited, it is recommended that aspiring teachers confirm that their school of choice is in good standing with the national accrediting organization,The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness or CAEP. This organization is the result of a recent consolidation between NCATE and TEAC, two former accreditation bodies recognized by the US Department of Education. Unlike a SACS accreditation, which is mandatory for state approval, a CAEP accreditation may not be necessary for a school to be approved by the Louisiana Department of Education. However, the CAEP organization is highly respected and serves as a marker of high standards in terms of curriculum, process and organization.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Louisiana.

Quick Guide

Louisiana Teacher Education Requirements

Louisiana State SealThe state of Louisiana requires that those educators pursing Louisiana teachers licensing via the traditional route complete a state-approved teacher preparation program with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA. In addition, the applicant must have a written recommendation from the university or other institute of higher learning to be eligible for Louisiana teacher certification. Candidates who meet these minimum requirements will receive a Level 1 Professional Certificate which is good for three years after which time it must be renewed or upgraded. After three years of teaching experience, applicants can apply for a Level 2 Professional Certificate provided they fulfill the appropriate testing requirements. The Level 2 Professional Certificate is valid for five years. After five years of full-time teaching experience, eligible candidates can apply for a Level 3 Professional Certificate if they have a master’s degree from an accredited college or university.

Teacher Quote “Know that you are entering a profession that allows you to truly impact lives everyday. You have a tremendous opportunity to cultivate not only the talent that is obvious to others, but also the hidden potential within each student.” -Cindy Wallace, Louisiana Math Teacher

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Louisiana Teacher Outlook as of 2014
The Occupational Supply & Demand System predicts 440 average annual job openings for elementary school teachers, 450 average annual job openings for middle school teachers, and 550 average annual job openings for secondary school teachers in Louisiana for the 2012-2022 projection period. Estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics place the number of elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Louisiana at 42,710, excluding special education teachers. The average salary for elementary school teachers in the state is $47,440, while middle school teachers make an average annual salary of $48,870 and secondary school teachers make an average annual salary of $49,470 (BLS 2013). For more information and news regarding employment opportunities, education legislature or teaching in Louisiana, please visit the Louisiana Association of Educators.

Louisiana Teacher Testing Requirements

In order for prospective candidates to obtain a Louisiana teacher certification, they must take and pass the Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST). This examination assesses the candidate’s basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics in order to determine whether or not they are ready for a teacher education program at the post-secondary level. Once they have passed the PPST and completed a Louisiana educator certification program at an approved college or university, candidates are then eligible for a Level 1 Professional Certificate.

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Additional Louisiana Teacher Certification Requirements

Louisiana is one of the few states that does not require new teachers submit to a fingerprinted background check. However, individual schools and districts reserve the right to conduct their own criminal history checks before employment may be offered.

Louisiana Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once applicants have completed all of the steps listed above, a complete application packet must be sent to the Louisiana Department of Education. Summertime is a very busy time for the certification department and it may take up to eight weeks to process applications. Therefore, it is recommended that all applications are sent in at least three to four months before the desired date of employment.

  1. Verification of an applicants bachelor’s degree
  2. Verification of a completed Louisiana teachers certification program at an accredited school
  3. Certification recommendation from the university where you earned your degree
  4. Submission of passing scores on the Praxis Pre-Professional Skills Test, or PPST
  5. Submission of completed application with non-refundable processing fees

LA Department of Education
Division of Certification, Preparation, & Recruitment
P. O. Box 94064
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9064
Phone Toll Free: 1-877-453-2721

Visit the Louisiana Department of Education for further details on teaching certification in Louisiana.

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Louisiana Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 2,830 $30,890
Kindergarten Teachers 2,990 $48,060
Elementary School Teachers 12,740 $48,070
Middle School Teachers 13,340 $48,220
Secondary School Teachers 16,970 $48,790

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

Louisiana Teacher Interview

Interview with Cindy Wallace, Louisiana Math Teacher & Assistant Principal

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Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Louisiana

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

Answer: To be a certified elementary teacher in Louisiana requires a bachelor’s degree in education or a bachelor’s degree with completion of a teacher preparation program. The state also requires that you pass the Praxis tests for certification and participate in student teaching in an elementary classroom. The experience must include 180 hours of actual teaching.

Teaching and Education Programs

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1. Louisiana State Department of Education: http://www.louisianabelieves.com/
2. Teach Lousiana: https://www.teachlouisiana.net/
3. US Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm#25-0000

Page edited by Charles Sipe.