How to Become a Teacher in Arkansas

More than 230 public school districts in Arkansas serve an excess of 468,000 students each year, and teachers with Arkansas teacher certification make sure that these students receive the education they need. As in most states, those interested in an Arkansas teaching license must complete at least a bachelor’s degree, though professional educators with master’s or doctoral degrees become eligible for higher salary schedules. Many teachers in Arkansas choose to pursue these higher degrees, and more than 45% have attained them. This article will outline some of the benefits and drawbacks of becoming a teacher in Arkansas, as well as the required steps to enter this field.

Education Requirements

Teachers in Arkansas must have at least a bachelor’s degree to pursue traditional education licensure. Such degrees may be obtained from traditional schools or online teaching schools in Arkansas, so long as the schools have the proper educational accreditation. Alternative routes to licensure involve the completion of educator preparation programs, which give those interested in receiving an Arkansas teaching license the necessary educational background for teaching in Arkansas. Those enrolling in these programs usually have bachelor’s degrees in other fields but are interested in transitioning to teaching positions.

Arkansas Teaching Certification

The Initial Arkansas Teaching License is a three-year teaching license which allows one to teach in traditional preschool through grade 12 (P-12) settings, including public and private schools. The Standard Teaching Licenses is a five-year renewable license which allows one to teach in Arkansas public schools. There are six levels and areas of licensure, Early Childhood (P-4), Preschool/Early Adolescence (P-8), Preschool/Young Adulthood (P-12), Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence (4-8), Adolescence/Young Adulthood (7-12), and Post-Secondary (Above grade 12).

Applications for teaching licenses are available from The Office of Educator Licensure.

Required Tests

Candidates seeking Initial or Standard licensure must pass the required basic skills assessment tests, content assessment(s) for the specific licensure area(s) sought, and pedagogical assessment. Candidates seeking Initial licensure in Early Childhood Education, Middle Childhood/Early Adolescence, or Secondary Social Studies (7-12) must also complete a three-credit-hour course in Arkansas history.

State Certification Reciprocity

Out of state candidates can apply for a one-year provisional teaching license or a standard five-year teaching license if they hold a valid teaching license issued by another state. A three-hour Arkansas History course will be required for Arkansas licensure for Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle School licensure areas and for Secondary Social Studies. More details about licensure by reciprocity are available on the Arkansas Department of Education website.

Helpful Resources