How to Become a Teacher in Alabama

This is a difficult time to work as an Alabama certified teacher, especially as their numbers have dropped during recent years, by as many as 3,290 public school teachers between 2007 and 2011 alone. According to the National Education Association, Alabama employed just more than 54,000 public school teachers during the 2010-2011 school year, which makes it the 25th highest employer of teachers in the United States. The Alabama teaching license is regulated by the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), a state agency that allows a few different paths towards earning an Alabama teacher certification.

Educational Requirements

Individuals wishing to teach kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school students in the public school system in Alabama must complete a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited senior institution.

A four-year college education is the typical pathway to becoming a teacher in Alabama. The state of Alabama has three different levels of certification for teachers practicing within the state. Class B certification is extended to individuals who have completed their bachelor’s degrees. Class A certification is for master’s degree graduates, and Class AA is extended to specialists such as doctoral degree holders.

Teacher certifications are typically awarded to individuals who complete bachelor’s degree programs in education from accredited traditional colleges or online teaching schools in Alabama. Applicants may also be eligible for alternative teaching certification programs if they complete a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education, like math or English. These individuals often have to take some course work in education within their major field to make up for any undergraduate deficiencies.

Alabama Teaching Certification

Alabama has three different levels of certifications for teaching within the state. Class B requires a bachelor’s degree and Class A requires a master’s degree. Class AA is for specialists or individuals holding a doctorate degree.

Required Tests

In order to receive an Alabama Professional Educator certificate or an alternative or preliminary certificate, candidates must take and pass the Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program (AECTP) (formerly known as the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program).

Candidates for certification must also pass the Praxis II tests required in the AECTP for their certification area.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out of state candidates applying for teaching certification in Alabama reciprocally must hold a valid professional certificate issued by another state, U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, or the Department of Defense Education Activity.

Helpful Resources