Become a Teacher in Arkansas

Arkansas Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $48,110
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $50,990
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 08/09/2018

This page is sponsored by our partner Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in Arkansas.

To become a certified teacher in Arkansas, you will need to fulfill these requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit an Arkansas teaching credential application.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating with new information on a regular basis.

Step One: Arkansas 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. Arkansas, however, does not have any undergraduate credit hour requirements.

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Learn more about getting your MAT online with our partner USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: Arkansas Teacher Preparation

Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (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 more scholarships for teachers specific to the State of Arkansas visit our Arkansas Teacher Scholarships page.

Traditional Educator Preparation Program

The Arkansas Department of Education recognizes 20 four-year colleges/universities that offer educator preparation programs, leading to licensure for preschool through 12th grade:

  • Arkansas State University
  • Arkansas Tech University
  • Central Baptist College
  • Crowley’s Ridge College
  • Harding University
  • Henderson State University
  • John Brown University
  • Lyon College
  • Ouachita Baptist University
  • Philander Smith College
  • Southern Arkansas University
  • Univ of Arkansas – Fayetteville
  • Univ of Arkansas – Fort Smith
  • Univ of Arkansas – Little Rock
  • Univ of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
  • Univ of Arkansas – Monticello
  • Univ of Arkansas – Pine Bluff
  • Univ Central Arkansas
  • University of the Ozarks
  • Williams Baptist College

Please view Arkansas’ Educator Preparation Programs Matrix for a guide to each school’s specific programs.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose Bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements, such as:

  • Non-traditional MAT, MED and MTLL route to educator licensure
  • Teach for America
  • Provisional Professional Teaching Licensure

Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure

The Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure (APPEL) is an alternative teacher licensure route available through the Arkansas Department of Education. To be employed as a classroom teacher, program enrollee’s must have a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) and complete the necessary requirements for an Arkansas teaching license. The APPEL is a two-year program track that includes assessments, classroom teaching, portfolio development and teacher preparation classes.

Learn more about Arkansas alternative certification programs.

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Step Three: Arkansas Required Tests

Passing scores on the Praxis I and II exams are required by the Arkansas Department of Education in order to obtain an Arkansas teaching license.

Praxis I: Pre-Professional Skills Assessment (PPST)

Measures basic skills in three categories: reading, writing and mathematics. These tests are used to qualify candidates for both teaching licensure and entrance into educator preparation programs.

Praxis II: Subject Assessments

Measures knowledge relating to general and specific subjects relating to K-12 educators’ teaching skills and classroom knowledge. Exams(s) cover 120 subjects. Test requirements depend on your certification requirements. 

Arkansas Required Tests
Tests Offered/Required Certification Area
Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading
Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing
Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics
Acceptance into Teacher Prep Programs (Traditional and Nontraditional)
Principles of Learning & Teaching: Early Childhood
Early Childhood: Content Knowledge
Middle School: Multiple Subjects (*Required for 5-6 Extension)
Early Childhood Education
Principles of Learning & Teaching: Grade K-6 Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects Elementary Education
Principles of Learning & Teaching: Grades 5-9
Middle School: Multiple Subjects
(Additional content-specific testing is required depending on certification)
Middle School Education
Principles of Learning & Teaching: Grades 7-12
(Additional content-specific testing is required depending on certification)
Secondary Education
World Languages Pedagogy
Languages include: Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Spanish
World Languages
Gifted & Talented: Gifted Education
Special Education: Hearing Specialist
Special Education (P-4) & (Infant/Toddler)
Special Education (4-12)
Special Education: Visual Specialist
Special Education

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

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Step Four: Arkansas Application Requirements

Background Check

In order to obtain an initial teaching license, the state of Arkansas requires background checks via the following agencies: Arkansas State Police, Child Maltreatment Central Registry and the FBI. These background checks are also mandatory for those who wish to change school districts.

All teacher candidates must complete an ADE Background Check Consent/Fingerprinting Request form. Live Scans for electronic fingerprinting are located at the Arkansas Department of Education. Visit the Arkansas Department of Education Background Check page for more information.

Teachers-Teachers: Arkansas

Teachers-Teachers is an online database designed to allow certified teachers to search for job vacancies in desired school districts. Individuals are allowed to search for teaching opportunities, but must register with the website in order to gain full access to district information within the state of Arkansas.

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Arkansas Certification Reciprocity

Arkansas will accept some teaching credentials from all but the following states: Alaska, Iowa, and Minnesota. Contact the Arkansas Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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Arkansas Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Arkansas 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: Arkansas has strong induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $48,110
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $50,990
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15 weeks of vacation per year

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Arkansas Certification Links & Resources

Office of Educator Licensure
Four Capitol Mall, Room 106-B
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
(501) 682-4342 – Contact the Arkansas Department of Education

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