Find an Education Path For Teaching in Alabama, AL

Once you decide that you want to be a teacher, the next step depends on where you are now on the path toward reaching your goal. Please choose the highest level of education that you have received and we will guide you through the next steps towards a teaching career in Alabama.

Choose Your Highest Level of Education:

Look over the information below and discover steps you should take to become a teacher in Alabama.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

Having a high school diploma or a GED opens doors to many institutions of higher learning that can lead you to a teaching career in Alabama. Bachelor’s degree programs typically require applicants to have a high school diploma.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
  3. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help you make a decision about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree …

Attending a community college and earning an Associate’s degree is a valuable step toward becoming a teacher in Alabama. Taking certain college classes before entering a Bachelor’s degree program may provide some prerequisites for courses offered in the four-year program.

  1. If you have earned an Associate in Arts (AA) degree or an Associate in Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree from a community college in Alabama, you may qualify to enter certain four-year colleges as a Junior and pursue a Bachelor’s degree that leads to teacher certification.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
  3. If you attended an Alabama community college or another two-year college and completed a certificate or degree program, you can continue on to a four-year education degree and full teacher’s license. Some aspiring teachers choose to use their Associate degree or credential in Early Child Development and Education to immediately begin working with pre-school children in certain capacities, such as teaching for Head Start, childcare organizations or private preschools.
  4. T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® ALABAMA is a scholarship program that developed to increase the level of education and effectiveness of early learning professionals. You can learn more by consulting the Alabama Partnership for Children website.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree …

A Bachelor’s degree is required before you are eligible to apply for a regular teaching certificate. If you want to teach in Alabama and already have a Bachelor’s degree, your next steps toward teacher certification will often depend on your undergraduate major.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education that included an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you have already fulfilled essential academic and teacher preparation requirements. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for teacher certification.
  2. The Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP) is mandatory for initial certification by the Alabama State Board of Education. The program consists of basic skills assessments and subject area assessments. Applicants with a Bachelor’s in Education degree must meet the requirements of the APTTP by the time they apply for teacher certification. Some universities require passage of the APTTP exams prior to admission into a Teacher Preparation Program.
  3. If you majored in Liberal Arts and received a Bachelor’s degree, you have accomplished a major step toward Elementary level teacher certification. Many certification programs recommend majoring in Liberal Arts, because it prepares elementary school educators to teach in many different subject areas.
  4. If you received your Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied some certificate programs’ recommended academic requirements. Majoring in a subject that can be taught at the secondary school level (high school and middle school) prepares you to become endorsed or qualified to teach classes in that content area.
  5. All prospective teachers are required to complete the mandatory exams in the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP). Students who have a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts or in a specific content area must take the exams prior to beginning either a stand-alone Teacher Preparation Program or the Teacher Preparation module of a Master’s of Education degree program.
  6. Alabama teachers, who have not earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education, must successfully complete a Teacher Preparation Program at a regionally accredited institution. Some of these are Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation programs and some are Master’s in Education programs. Gather information and decide which route works best for you.
  7. Once you have successfully completed all academic and experiential requirements, you are ready to begin the application process that will lead to your certification as an Alabama educator.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or are in a Master’s Degree program

If you have a Master’s degree in Education, your major coursework probably included the Teacher Preparation program and exams required prior to applying for an Alabama Teaching Certificate. You can move forward in a few different directions once you have your Master’s degree.

  1. Alabama offers an Alternative Fifth Year Program, which is a graduate teacher education program designed for aspiring teachers who have a Bachelor’s degree in any field other than education, but do not yet hold a teaching certificate. This Alternative route allows some graduate students to earn a Master of Arts degree in education, while simultaneously completing their Teacher Preparation requirements for an Alabama Class A Teaching Certificate.
  2. If you want to begin your teaching career shortly after you complete all of the coursework, testing and student teaching needed for your Master’s degree, the next step is to apply for your teaching certificate. Contact the Alabama Department of Education and request information and an application. (
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctorate degree (Ph.D. and ED.D.) or an Education Specialist degree (ED.S.). The Educational Specialist degree (Ed.S.) is especially useful for prospective community college teachers.