How to Become a Teacher in Arizona

There are more than 60,000 certified teachers in Arizona, and many students aspire to become an Arizona certified teacher and join their ranks. These teachers instruct more than 1 million students per year in a diverse set of topics as well as make sure their students can pass comprehensive examinations. Becoming a teacher in Arizona typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with some positions requiring additional education. Certified teachers can teach in most of the more than 2,200 schools in the state, though special certification may be required for those who wish to work with certain demographics, such as English language learners.

Education Requirements

Most forms of Arizona teacher certification require at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Some students choose to complete these at online teaching schools in Arizona, though it is more common for students to study at traditional institutions because they provide increased access to teaching practicum programs, which allow students to teach in classroom settings and gain experience before acquiring their degrees, as well as other student teaching resources. A prospective teacher’s bachelor’s degree does not need to be in education, as many schools may lack undergraduate education programs, though students with other degrees will be required to complete teacher education preparation that is not included in their majors in order to gain teaching certification.

Arizona Teaching Certification

Arizona teaching certificates include a provisional and a standard early childhood education certificate (birth through grade 3), an elementary education certificate (grades 1-8), or a secondary education certificate (grades 7-12).

Required Tests

Candidates for teacher certification must pass a test of subject knowledge and a test of professional knowledge administered by Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments (AEPA). Complete details about these tests is available on the Arizona Department of Education website. Beginning March 1, 2013, National Evaluation Series (NES) tests will replace some of the AEPA subject knowledge tests for Arizona teacher certification. Both NES and AEPA tests will be administered by computer beginning in spring 2013.

State Certification Reciprocity

An out of state candidate may be issued a reciprocal provisional teaching certificate if he or she holds a valid comparable early childhood education, elementary education, or secondary education certificate from another state. Many NES tests are now accepted by the Arizona Department of Education to fulfill the testing requirements for many Arizona teacher certificates.

Helpful Resources

Arizona Christian University

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2625 E Cactus Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85032-7097
(602) 489-5300

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Bachelors

Accrediting Agency:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Arizona State University

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University Drive and Mill Avenue
Tempe, AZ 85287
(480) 965-2100

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Arizona Western College

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2020 S. Avenue 8E
Yuma, AZ 85365-8834
(928) 317-6000

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

Central Arizona College

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8470 N Overfield Rd
Coolidge, AZ 85128-9030
(520) 494-5444

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

Cochise College

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4190 W Highway 80
Douglas, AZ 85607-9724
(520) 515-0500

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

Eastern Arizona College

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615 N. Stadium Ave.
Thatcher, AZ 85552-0769
(928) 428-8322

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

Accrediting Agency:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Grand Canyon University

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3300 W Camelback Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85017
(800) 800-9776

Type of School:

  • Private for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Mohave Community College

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1971 Jagerson Ave
Kingman, AZ 86409-1238
(928) 757-4331

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

Northern Arizona University

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Knoles Drive, Babbitt Administrative Center
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-4132
(928) 523-9011

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Certificate
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors

Ottawa University-Phoenix

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10020 North 25th Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85021
(602) 371-1188

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Masters
  • Post-Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Pima Community College

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4905C East Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ 85709-1275
(520) 206-4500

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 2-year

Programs Offered:

  • Associates
  • Certificate

Prescott College

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220 Grove Ave
Prescott, AZ 86301
(877) 350-2100

Type of School:

  • Private not-for-profit
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters

Accrediting Agency:

  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

University of Arizona

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1401 E University
Tucson, AZ 85721-0066
(520) 621-2211

Type of School:

  • Public
  • 4-year

Programs Offered:

  • Bachelors
  • Doctoral
  • Masters
  • Post-Bachelors
  • Post-Masters
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