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Teacher Certification Made Simple!

Become a Teacher
in Alabama
Alabama Teacher Certification



This page sponsored by Rossier Online, an innovative Master of Arts in Teaching program delivered online from the University of Southern California.
Click here to learn more

 

To become a certified teacher in Alabama, you will need to fulfill all prerequisite coursework, teacher preparation, and testing requirements.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating the site with new information on a regular basis. To stay up-to-date with the latest in teacher certification, please complete the form in the right sidebar.

Certification Requirements

In order to be deemed eligible for Alabama State teacher certification, an application comprised of the following materials must be completed and returned to the Teacher Certification Section of the Office of Teaching and Learning:

  • Application for Alabama certification.
  • Non-refundable $30 application fee made payable to the Alabama State Department of Education
  • Official transcript(s) of all degrees and credits earned, sent in sealed envelopes from the institution(s)
  • Background clearance: Applicants for teaching certification who have not been cleared by both the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are required to be fingerprinted as part of a criminal history background check
  • Supplemental form(s) required by Alabama certification application as well as any supporting document(s)

Alabama Teacher Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Here are Alabama’s undergraduate prerequisites for some of the most popular specialty areas:

  • Elementary Education: The elementary education curriculum requires a teaching field of at least 32 semester hours with at least 19 semester hours of upper-division credit.
  • Secondary English/Language Arts: The English program requires an academic major of at least 32 semester hours of credit with at least 19 semester hours of upper-division credit.
  • Secondary Mathematics: The mathematics program requires an academic major of at least 32 semester hours of credit with at least 19 semester hours of upper-division credit.
  • Secondary History/Social Science: The history program requires an academic major of at least 32 semester hours of credit with at least 19 semester hours of upper-division credit.
  • Secondary Science: The science program requires an academic major of at least 32 semester hours of credit with at least 19 semester hours of upper-division credit.

Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork involved in an accredited teacher preparation program. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching and an internship.

While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For scholarships specific to the State of Alabama visit our Alabama Teacher Scholarships page.

Alabama Teacher Preparation

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. The Alabama Department of Education has information on prerequisite coursework for over 40 different subjects . Here are Alabama’s undergraduate prerequisites for some of the most popular specialty areas:

  • Elementary Education:
    • Plan One: A bachelor’s or higher degree with a major in elementary education which includes teaching reading at the K-6 level, or
    • Plan Two: A bachelor’s or higher degree with thirty (30) semester hours in elementary education to include the areas specified below: (a) Courses in teaching reading in grades K-6 to include each of the following: 1. Understanding the reading process and effective reading instruction, 2. Recognition and assessment of reading problems, and 3. Prescription and utilization of appropriate methods and materials to increase reading performance; and (b) Courses in each of the areas specified below: 1. Content and methods for teaching writing and language arts in grades K-6, 2. Content and methods for teaching science for grades K-6, 3. Content and methods for teaching social science for grades K-6, 4. Content and methods for teaching health education and physical education for grades K-6, 5. Content and methods for teaching art for grades K-6, 6. Content and methods for teaching music for grades K-6, 7. Content and methods for teaching mathematics for grades K-6, and 8. Materials for use in grades K-6 such as children’s literature, multi-media materials, library materials, and the computer as an instructional tool.
  • Secondary English/Language Arts:
    • Plan One: A bachelor’s or higher degree with an undergraduate or graduate major in English, or
    • Plan Two: A bachelor’s or higher degree with thirty (30) semester hours in English to include the areas specified below: (a) Credit in English composition and grammar beyond freshman English, (b) Credit in speech or oral interpretation, and (c) Fifteen (15) semester hours in literature.
  • Secondary Mathematics:
    • Plan One: A bachelor’s or higher degree with an undergraduate or graduate major in mathematics,
    • Plan Two: A bachelor’s or higher degree with thirty (30) semester hours in mathematics to include the areas specified below: (a) Six (6) semester hours in calculus, (b) Credit in geometry, (c) Credit in probability or statistics, and (d) Credit in abstract or linear algebra,
    • Plan Three: A bachelor’s or higher degree with specialization requirements completed for physics and twenty-one (21) semester hours in mathematics to include the areas specified below: (a) Six (6) semester hours in calculus, (b) Credit in geometry, (c) Credit in probability or statistics, and (d) Credit in abstract or linear algebra.
  • Secondary History/Social Science:
    • Plan One: A bachelor’s or higher degree with a major in social science, social studies, history, political science, geography, sociology, economics, or psychology.
    • Plan Two: A bachelor’s or higher degree with thirty (30) semester hours in social science or social studies to include: (a) Six (6) semester hours in United States history, (b) Courses in the areas specified below: 1. Western civilization or European history, 2. Asian, African, Latin American, or Middle Eastern history, 3. Economics, 4. United States federal government, 5. Geography, and 6. Sociology or psychology.
  • Secondary Science:
    • Specialization requirements for biology: Plan One: A bachelor’s or higher degree with an undergraduate or graduate major in biology, or Plan Two: A bachelor’s or higher degree with thirty (30) semester hours in science, to include twenty-one (21) semester hours in biological science with associated laboratory experiences, or Plan Three: A bachelor’s or higher degree with specialization requirements completed for chemistry, earth-space science, or physics and eighteen (18) semester hours in biological science.
    • Specialization requirements for chemistry. Plan One: A bachelor’s or higher degree with an undergraduate or graduate major in chemistry, or Plan Two: A bachelor’s or higher degree with thirty (30) semester hours in science to include twenty-one (21) semester hours in chemistry with associated laboratory experiences, or Plan Three: A bachelor’s or higher degree with specialization requirements completed for biology, earth-space science, or physics and eighteen (18) semester hours in chemistry.
    • Specialization requirements for earth-space science. Plan One: A bachelor’s or higher degree with an undergraduate or graduate major in earth-space science or earth science, or Plan Two: A bachelor’s or higher degree with thirty (30) semester hours in science to include twenty-one (21) semester hours in earth-space science or earth science with associated laboratory experiences, or Plan Three: A bachelor’s or higher degree with specialization requirements completed for biology, chemistry, or physics and eighteen (18) semester hours in earth-space science or earth science.
    • Specialization requirements for physics. Plan One: A bachelor’s or higher degree with an undergraduate or graduate major in physics, or Plan Two:. A bachelor’s or higher degree with thirty (30) semester hours to include twenty-one (21) semester hours in physics with associated laboratory experiences, or Plan Three: A bachelor’s or higher degree with specialization requirements completed for biology, chemistry, or earth-space science and eighteen (18) semester hours in physics.

Alabama Required Tests

In order to become a certified teacher in Alabama, The Alabama Department of Education requires that all teaching candidates complete the Basic Skills Test requirement along with any content-specific competence assessments (Praxis Exam) required for their level of instruction. The Alabama Prospective Teacher’s Testing Program (APTTP) consists of two assessments: the Basic Skills Assessment and the Praxis II Content Exam.

Basic Skills Assessment

The Basic Skills Assessment consists of three sections: Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Writing. These assessments measure the foundational skills that are required for becoming an effective educator in the state of Alabama.

Assessment

Test Format

Skill Section

Measures basic skills related to mathematical reasoning that are applicable to classroom and work-related problems

Multiple-choice questions
45 minutes

Applied Mathematics

Measures basic skills related to reading through use of work-related information, including instructions, policies, manuals and government regulations

Multiple-choice questions
45 minutes

Reading for Information

Examinees are required to write an original response to a work-related situation

Extended response
30 minutes

Writing

Praxis II

The Praxis II Subject Assessments measure knowledge of general and specific subjects related to K-12 teaching skills and classroom knowledge. The Praxis II Subject Assessments cover 120 different tests; the test(s) you take depend on the requirements set forth by your teaching discipline. The following assessments are required by the Alabama Department of Education:

Available test(s)*

Certification

Elementary Education: Content Knowledge

Early Childhood: Content Knowledge

Early Childhood Education

Elementary Ed.: Content Knowledge

Elementary Ed: Multiple Subjects

Content Knowledge: English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies

Elementary Education

Visual Arts, Biology, Chemistry, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Earth & Space Science, Economics, English/Language Arts, French, General Science, General Social Science, Geography, German, History, Latin, Math, Social Studies, Music, Psychology, Spanish, Theater

Middle School Education

Visual Arts, Biology, Chemistry, Dance, Dramatic Arts, Earth & Space Science, Economics, English/Language Arts, French, General Science, General Social Science, Geography, German, History, Latin, Math, Social Studies, Music, Psychology, Spanish, Theater

Secondary Education

Visual Arts, Dance, Dramatic Arts, French, German, Latin, Music, Spanish, Speech Communication, Theater

All Grades (P-12)

See above. Alabama does not have a Special Education-specific content assessment

Special Education

* Not all listed tests are required for each certification. Visit ETS.org for certification-specific requirements

Alabama Certification Reciprocity

Alabama will accept some teaching credentials from the following states. Contact the Alabama Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming

Alabama Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Alabama provides differential pay for teachers teaching in high needs schools and for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Alabama has limited/weak induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: The average elementary school teacher in Alabama makes $49,820
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: The average secondary teacher in Alabama makes $52,640
  • Average Public School Teacher Salary: The average public school teacher in Alabama makes $46,938. District- and level-specific Alabama public school teacher salaries, along with more precise vacation information, are available through the Alabama Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development, and Retention.
  • Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in Alabama makes 133% of the salary of the average worker in Alabama
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: The average teacher in Alabama receives 15 weeks of vacation per year

Applying for Certification

How to Apply

Teach in Alabama

Teach in Alabama is an online application and job-search portal established by the Alabama State Department of Education. Teach in Alabama allows qualified teaching and administrative candidates to find job opportunities in any school district statewide. The portal allows you to upload your contact information, resume and credentials to allow districts to search for you, and also allows you to search directly for available job opportunities throughout the state of Alabama.

Fingerprinting

Please visit Alabama’s Cogent System or call (866) 989-9316 for instructions and information regarding Alabama’s fingerprinting process.

Alabama Substitute Teacher Requirements

Please click here to learn more about how to become a substitute teacher in Alabama.

Contact Information

      Alabama State Department of Education

      50 North Ripley Street, PO Box 302102

      Montgomery, Alabama 36104

      (334) 242-9700 – Contact

Additional links