Become a Teacher in Alabama

Alabama Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary:$49,120
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary:$50,060
Vacation Weeks per Year:15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio:15.82
Expenditure per Pupil:$8,773

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

5114 Gordon Persons Building
Montgomery, AL 36104
(334) 242-9700
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Alabama Shortage Areas

  • Arts: Art, Band, and Music (Grades 6–12)
  • Career Technologies (Grades 6–12)
  • Foreign Languages (Grades 6–12)
  • Mathematics (Grades 6–12)
  • Science (Grades 6–12)
  • Special Education Autism (K–Grade 12)
  • Visually-Hearing Impaired (K–Grade 12)
  • Gifted (K–Grade 12)
  • Learning Disabled (K–Grade 12)
  • Mentally Retarded (K–Grade 12)
  • Multi-Handicapped (K–Grade 12)
  • Speech (K–Grade 12)

Teacher Shortage information was provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listings for 2016–2017, and was determined by examining the most recent data about unfilled teaching positions; positions filled by teachers certified by irregular, provisional, temporary, or emergency certification; and teachers teaching in subject areas other than their area of preparation.

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Alabama

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: 10/13/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Alabama, teaching candidates must meet the following 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 a Alabama teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Alabama Teaching Credential

To get your teaching credential in Alabama, you will need to complete the necessary college coursework, teacher preparation program, and standardized tests required by the State of Alabama. If you attained your teaching credential from another state, you may be able to gain an Alabama teaching credential through interstate reciprocity. Learn more about earning your Alabama teaching credential through the Alabama State Department of Education. Alabama has three levels of teacher certification. A Class B certificate is issued to new teachers who have completed a bachelor’s degree and a teacher education program, a Class A certificate is available to teachers who have earned a master’s degree, and the Class AA is for teachers who have completed a sixth-year program.

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Alabama

Every state requires teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree to be certified. Teaching in Alabama will require an academic major in the required field with at least 32 semester hours of credit, including 19 semester hours of upper-level credit. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information about coursework requirements.

Step Two: Alabama Teacher Certification Programs

To earn your teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. The Alabama Department of Education provides a list of Educator Preparation Institutions. Teacher certification programs generally require both coursework and fieldwork components. The coursework consists of essential knowledge and skills for teachers, as well as an exploration of contemporary pedagogy (the art and science of teaching). Fieldwork involves classroom observation, student teaching, and/or education internships.

Step Three: Required Tests for Alabama

Teacher testing in Alabama is handled by the Alabama Educator Certification Assessment Program (AECAP). Three Basic Skills Assessments (Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Writing) and the Praxis II exams for subject proficiency are required. Learn more about Praxis testing requirements for Alabama. Read more about teacher certification tests.

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

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Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

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Alternative Teacher Certification in Alabama

Alabama offers an Alternative Baccalaureate-Level Certificate for grades 6–12, a Preliminary Certificate for Library Media, School Counseling, or Speech and Language Impairment, and a Special Alternative Certificate for prospective special education teachers, any of which let teachers earn a certificate over a maximum of three years while teaching full time. See the Alabama Department of Education website for more information and a list of institutions offering alternative teacher certification programs. Members of the military can learn more about the Troops to Teachers program in Alabama.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Alabama

A master’s degree in the field of education will give you more knowledge and skills to use in the classroom, ultimately enabling you to become the best teacher you can be. Teachers in Mobile County with a master’s degree can expect to earn $6,479 more than those with a bachelor’s degree only, according to 2015–2016 data from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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Certification Reciprocity in Alabama

Interstate Reciprocity is a program where you can use a certification from another state to become certified in a new state. Read more on the certification reciprocity page to check which states are eligible for reciprocity in Alabama, or contact the Alabama Department of Education if you have more specific questions about your state or institution.

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Alabama Teacher Salary and Incentives

Minimum teacher salaries in Alabama range from $38,342–$64,522 for an 187-day contract, according to the 2018 Salary Schedule from the Department of Education. The average elementary school teacher receives a salary of $49,120, while the average secondary school teacher receives a salary of $50,060, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pay levels increase with higher levels of education as well as with every three years of experience. Teacher incentives in Alabama are primarily handled at the district level. Some federal student loan forgiveness is offered to teachers willing to work in high-need schools. Learn more about teacher salaries.

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics report and the Alabama Department of Education’s 2018 State Minimum Salary Schedule.

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Alabama Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Retirement benefits for teachers in Alabama are handled by the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS). Retirement planning information as well as retirement and social security calculators can be found on the TRS website. Learn more about benefits for teachers.

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Professional Development for Alabama Teachers

As of August 2011, professional development and evaluation in Alabama is handled by EDUCATEAlabama. EDUCATEAlabama features a set of teacher evaluations as well as online developmental resources to build upon on-site development days. 

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Alabama Teaching Jobs

The Alabama Department of Education runs a teaching job recruitment website called Teach in Alabama, which allows users to browse available positions and apply online. Positions can be filtered by school district or board district and tracked through an online account. Additionally, the Alabama Department of Education participates in the Troops to Teachers program, which helps veterans find work as educators in Alabama schools. Learn more about finding a teaching job. 

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