Become a Teacher in Alaska

Alaska Highlights



Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary:$73,220
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary:$80,550
Vacation Weeks per Year:15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio:16.6
Expenditure per Pupil:$18,217

 

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION & EARLY DEVELOPMENT

https://education.alaska.gov/
801 West 10th Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 110500 Juneau, AK 99811
(907) 465-2800

Alaska Teacher Shortage Areas

  • English/Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Social Studies

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 Alaska

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com 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: 11/15/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Alaska, 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 Alaska teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Alaska Teaching Credential

To become certified as a teacher in Alaska, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree, complete or be enrolled in a teacher preparation program, and pass the required standardized tests. If you have a teaching credential from another state, you may be able to use an interstate reciprocity program to become certified in Alaska. Learn more about Alaska’s certification requirements through the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development.

The two main types of teaching credentials used in Alaska are the Initial Certificate (valid for two years with a possible one-year extension, nonrenewable) and the five-year, renewable, Professional Certificate. To advance from the Initial to the Professional Certificate, you must teach for at least two years, complete a teacher preparation program, and take required courses. There is also a Master Teacher Certificate (valid for ten years, renewable) available for teachers who have earned National Board certification.

Learn more about getting your teaching credential on Teach.com.

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Alaska

All states require that prospective teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree and complete or be in the process of completing a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification. The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development provides a Directory of Approved Teacher Education Programs.

Some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements. Teacher education programs generally consist of two elements—curricula and fieldwork. Curricula generally include instruction on teaching fundamental skills, pedagogy (the science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Fieldwork often includes field observations, internships, student teaching, or a combination of all three. Check with your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information about specific requirements.

Alaska does not list specific course or credit hour requirements for an Initial Certificate, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. The state does require a period of student teaching or mentored/supervised teaching. To qualify for an extension of an Initial/Two-Year certificate or a Professional Certificate in Alaska, you must also complete approved coursework in Alaska studies AND Alaska multicultural studies.

Step Two: Alaska Teacher Certification Programs

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). The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development provides a Directory of Approved Teacher Education Programs.

Check with your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information about specific requirements. Alaska does not list specific course or credit hour requirements for an Initial Certificate, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. The state does require a period of student teaching or mentored/supervised teaching.

Step Three: Required Tests for Alaska

Becoming a certified teacher requires the completion of certain standardized tests. In addition, some states and teacher preparation programs require an exam for entry into the program. For an Initial Certificate, Alaska requires that applicants pass the Praxis 1/PreProfessional Skills Test (PPST), the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, or an equivalent basic competency exam from one of a number of other states.

For information on which states’ exams can be submitted and what scores are required, check the Basic Competency Exam Requirement section of the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development’s website. For a Professional Certificate, you must also pass a Praxis II Content Area Exam or a content exam from another state. Read more about teacher certification tests on Teach.com.

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:

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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 Alaska

The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development offers a Type M Limited Certificate to those who do not have a bachelor’s degree, but who can demonstrate subject matter expertise and teaching competency as verified by the local school district. This limited certificate applies to the specialty areas of Alaska Native language or culture, military science, and vocational or technical. In addition, Alaska participates in the Mountain Pacific Region Troops to Teachers Program, which helps military personnel transition to teaching careers.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Alaska

A master's degree in the field of education can increase your classroom competency, give you a wider breadth of pedagogical skills to draw from in planning lessons, and give you more confidence in dealing with students. This increased competence can often lead to an increase in pay. Teachers in the Anchorage School District with a master’s degree can expect to earn about $6,639 more per year than teachers with a bachelor’s degree and the same level of experience, 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 Teach.com.

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Certification Reciprocity in Alaska

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in other states to get an Alaska teaching credential. Visit the Teach.com Teacher Certification Reciprocity page to see which states offer reciprocity for Alaska, or contact the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development to inquire about your specific situation. 

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Alaska Teacher Salary and Incentives

Alaska is one of the top-three highest paying states for teachers, with elementary school teachers earning an average salary of $73,220 and secondary school teachers earning an average of $80,550. Learn more about teacher salaries.

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Alaska Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Teachers in Alaska receive full health benefits, including full dental plans, long-term health insurance, and long-term disability aid. Retirement is handled through the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS). Learn more about benefits for teachers.

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Professional Development for Alaska Teachers

Professional development in Alaska is handled by the Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN), which offers a comprehensive development program executed primarily through online webinars, but also through on-site school workshops and summer programs. The program stresses increased use of technology in the classroom, collaboration between teachers, and community building.

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Alaska Teaching Jobs

The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development and the University of Alaska maintain the Alaska Teacher Placement website with info on job openings and job fairs, and a forum where teachers can help each other find placements. The site includes a section on teaching in Alaska’s rural and Bush school districts, where teachers are needed most. Learn more about finding a teaching job on Teach.com. 

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