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The Louisiana Teaching and Certification Resource

All teachers must be certified before they begin working in Louisiana’s K-12 education system. The certification process is overseen by the Louisiana Department of Education. Continue reading to learn more about how to become a teacher in Louisiana.

How to Become a Teacher in Louisiana

All teachers in Louisiana are required to hold a bachelor’s degree, complete a Louisiana teacher preparation program, and pass the appropriate Praxis exams. For traditional route educators, the required teacher preparation – which includes 180 hours of field experience and a full year of classroom residency – is included in the bachelor’s degree curriculum.

Those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree but did not complete teacher preparation may be eligible for alternative teacher certification in Louisiana.

Louisiana uses a tiered licensing structure. Those who meet the basic requirements above are eligible for a Level 1 Professional Certificate. Teachers can advance to the Level 2 Professional Certificate by completing the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program (LATAAP) and successfully teaching for three years. Educators can advance to the highest certificate, the Level 3 Professional Certificate, by earning a master’s degree and teaching for at least five years.

Quick Guide

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in Louisiana

Projected Job Growth

5.4%

Growth in Teaching Jobs in LA through 20242

Perhaps the most important step to becoming a certified teacher in Louisiana is completing training in an approved teacher preparation program. Certification candidates must note that teacher preparation programs in Louisiana must be approved by the Board of Education. Non-approved programs will not qualify graduates for licensure.

When evaluating program options delivered out-of-state or online, applicants must confirm that the school is accredited by the appropriate regional accreditation agency. The US Department of Education oversees six regional accreditation agencies. Schools attended must hold accreditation from one of these six bodies for graduates to be eligible for Louisiana teacher licensure.

In addition, schools may hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). This organization is the result of the consolidation of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC). Voluntary accreditation from CAEP is highly respected and serves as a marker of high standards.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in Louisiana.

Louisiana Teacher Outlook
The Louisiana Workforce Commission predicts 100 average annual job openings due to growth and 400 average annual job openings due to replacements for elementary school teachers, 50 average annual job openings due to growth and 200 average annual job openings due to replacements for middle school teachers, and 80 average annual job openings due to growth and 340 average annual job openings due to replacements for secondary school teachers in Louisiana from 2014 to 2024.3 Estimates from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics place the number of elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in Louisiana at 43,920, excluding special education teachers.4 The average salary for elementary school teachers in the state is $48,430, while middle school teachers make an average annual salary of $47,530 and secondary school teachers make an average annual salary of $49,800.4 For more information and news regarding employment opportunities and teaching in Louisiana, visit the Louisiana Association of Educators.

Louisiana Teacher Education Requirements

Louisiana State SealThe state requires that those pursuing Louisiana teacher licensing complete a bachelor’s degree and state-approved teacher preparation program with a minimum 2.5 GPA. In addition, the applicant must have a written recommendation from the teacher preparation program completed to be eligible for Louisiana teacher certification.

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

Louisiana Teacher Testing Requirements

In order to earn Louisiana teacher certification, candidates must take and pass the Praxis exams appropriate to the grade level(s) and subject(s) they wish to teach. The required examinations include the Core Academic Skills for Educators to assesses the candidate’s basic skills in reading, writing, and mathematics, as well as content-area exams. Consult the Louisiana Department of Education for a current breakdown of required exams by endorsement area.

Additional Louisiana Teacher Certification Requirements

Louisiana is one of the few states that does not require new teachers to complete a fingerprint background check. However, individual schools and districts reserve the right to conduct their own criminal history checks. In addition, candidates for a teaching certificate are required to disclose previous criminal convictions on their applications.

Louisiana Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once prospective educators have completed all of the steps listed above, a complete application packet must be sent to the Louisiana Department of Education. Candidates must provide the following documentation:

  • Verification of bachelor’s degree.
  • Verification of completed Louisiana teacher preparation program, including certification recommendation from the program’s designated official.
  • Verification of passing scores on the required Praxis exams.
  • Completed application with non-refundable processing fees.

Applicants should use the state’s online licensing portal for educators, Teach LA. Visit the Louisiana Department of Education for further details on teaching certification in Louisiana.

Louisiana Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 3,420 $37,240
Preschool Teachers, Special Education 1,280 $49,090
Kindergarten Teachers 2,450 $47,870
Elementary School Teachers 24,690 $48,430
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 2,620 $48,720
Middle School Teachers 5,140 $47,530
Middle School Teachers, Special Education 1,410 $48,200
Secondary School Teachers 14,090 $49,800
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education 1,890 $49,810
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education 1,550 $54,990

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4

Louisiana Teacher Interview

Interview with Cindy Wallace, Louisiana Math Teacher & Assistant Principal

Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in Louisiana

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

Answer: To become a certified elementary teacher in Louisiana, you must have a bachelor’s degree in education and complete a teacher preparation program. The state also requires that you pass the Praxis tests for elementary certification and participate in student teaching in an elementary classroom.

Teaching and Education Programs

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References:
1. Louisiana Department of Education: http://www.teachlouisiana.net/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. Louisiana Workforce Commission: http://www.laworks.net/labormarketinfo/lmi_employmentprojections.asp
4. US Department of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Louisiana: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_la.htm