How to get a teacher certification in Alabama
Being a teacher is one of the most valuable jobs because you are forming and helping the future professionals of our country. However, if you live in Alabama there are some requirements to get a proper teacher certification and be able to work.
The regular process is to earn a bachelor’s degree, out of a four-year program (which also has to be approved by the Alabama State Department of Education, ALSDE); but if this is not your case, there are other ways to get there.
If you are interested in getting a teacher certification, in this article we will explain everything you need to know.
Requirements to get a teacher certification in Alabama
Every aspiring teacher in Alabama must meet these requirements:
You must have at least a bachelor’s or master’s degree (from an accredited institution) to get a Class B or Class A certification, respectively.
Also, you can have a Class AA certification if you complete a 6-year program.
As a general recommendation, you should have achieved at least a 2.5 GPA at the end of your studies.
Educator Preparation program
This consists of two tasks:
- Participate in field experiences: You will be able to observe and assist classes and school activities of your desire teaching field.
- Complete an internship: This includes working full-time for at least one semester in the teaching field related to the certification.
To get more information about approved institutions to take the Educator program, check this list.
On the other hand, you will have to take two tests to get the certification:
- The Alabama Educator Certification Testing Program: Basic Skills Assessment, which examines your basic skills in mathematics, reading, and writing.
- Ant the PRAXIS II: Subject Assessment exam, which focuses on the specific area you want to teach.
The institution in charge of administrating these tests is The Educational Testing Service (ETS). You can find more information about this subject by clicking here.
This is requested to certify that you have no criminal history. As a result, you will have to submit your fingerprints to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to get a clearance and proceed with the application.
Application process and documentation
After you have completed the Educator Preparation program, tests, and background check, you are ready to apply! Therefore, these are the documents you need to collect to get your Alabama teacher certification:
- NAL Form (including the personal data barcode page).
- Supplement CIT, or Declaration of Citizenship or National Status.
- Supplement NA1, or Recommendation for certification by an Alabama College/University.
- Official transcripts of your college or university, as well as the tests’ scores.
- Supplement Exp, or professional educational work experience verification form.
- Receipt of the $30 fee. It can be paid by cashier’s check or money order payable to the Alabama State Department of Education, or through the online payment system with a credit card.
- Background clearance from the ABI and FBI.
Also, all of the things mentioned above must be sent only by mail to this address:
Alabama State Department of Education
Educator Certification Section
PO Box 302101
Montgomery, AL 36130-2101
Frequently asked questions
Can I still apply if I do not have a bachelor’s degree related to education?
Yes. If you have any other bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2,5 you can still apply through an Alternative Certification. You can find more information on this page.
How much does a teacher get paid in Alabama?
According to data of 2019 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a teacher is $50,270 in elementary school, $51,600 in middle school, and $51,950 in secondary school (all of them annually). However, these numbers can vary depending on the institution and specialty.
Can I still apply if I am not a citizen of the United States?
Yes. In this case, the only condition is that you must be a permanent resident.
What universities in Alabama offer education programs?
There are plenty of universities that offer these programs, but the best ranked in 2021* are:
1. Auburn University
2. The University of Alabama
3. University of Alabama at Birmingham
4. University of South Alabama
5. University of West Alabama
*According to the College Factual website.
In addition, if you have any questions or doubts about the process, you can call the Educator Certification Section to (334) 694-4557 (from 10 am to 12 pm, and 1 pm to 5 pm).