How to Become a Certified Teacher in Louisiana

Sep 18, 2019

Becoming a teacher in Louisiana requires a 3-step process. You must obtain a bachelor's degree in education, complete a teacher preparation program, and pass certification exams.

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Career Info for Louisiana Teachers

As with all states in America, you need to have a bachelor's degree to teach in Louisiana. You also need to apply to and complete a teacher preparation program and pass the required tests to obtain your certification. And finally, you will need to major in the subject area you wish to teach, such social studies or math.

Average Salaries for Teachers in Louisiana (2018)* $48,740 (elementary); $49,960 (middle school); $51,810 (high school)
National Job Outlook (2018-2028)* 3% (elementary); 3% (middle school); 4% (high school)
Required Degree Bachelor's
Degree Field Education
Testing Requirements Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, Principles of Learning and Teaching, and Area of Focus exams

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Step One

Enroll in a teacher preparation program in Louisiana. While the goal is to obtain an undergraduate degree, Louisiana allows you to enroll in competency-based curricula prior to obtaining it. There are seventeen (17) current higher education centers divided by four (4) regions throughout the state that offer the requisite programs for undergraduate studies. For instance, Louisiana State University - Alexandria and Louisiana College are the two located in the central region of the state.

Finally, completion of the program will require a yearlong residency in the classroom. Also, it is recommended that the candidate obtain 180 hours of field experience prior to student teaching.

Step Two

Obtain a bachelor's degree. Louisiana requires teachers to have a bachelor's degree in education. This can be either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. During this phase, you are more than likely going to determine what group of students you want to teach (i.e., elementary, middle school, or secondary school) and determine an area of focus as that will dictate which specific degree you'll be working towards. For example, Louisiana State University's College of Education provides sixteen (16) different degree tracks.

Step Three

Test for certification. Louisiana requires teacher candidates to pass several Praxis exams through the Education Testing Services, or ETS, website. All teachers must pass the three Core Academic Skills for Educators tests. In addition, you will be required to take tests for specific licensure areas, which will include the specific grade levels and area of focus you wish to teach. The core tests are:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators - Reading, Code 5712, 156 qualifying score,
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators - Writing, Code 5722, 162 qualifying score, and
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators - Mathematics, Code 5732, 150 qualifying score

A combined test for computer-delivered testing is available that will divide the scores among the specific sections. Since 2006, an SAT combined score of 1030 or an ACT composite score of 22 can be used in lieu of the base requirement tests. Having a master's degree can also allow you to bypass the CORE tests.

Additional licensure tests include:

  • Elementary School (Grades 1 - 5) - Principles of Learning and Teaching, Grades K - 6, Code 5622, 160 qualifying score, and
  • Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects, Code 5001
    • Reading and Language Arts, Code 5002, 157 qualifying score
    • Mathematics Subtest, Code 5003, 157 qualifying score
    • Social Studies Subtest, Code 5004, 155 qualifying score, and
    • Science Subtest, Code 5005, 155 qualifying score
  • Middle School (Grades 5 - 9) - Principles of Learning and Teaching, Grades 5 - 9, Code 5623, 160 Qualifying Score, and any one or combination of:
    • Algebra 1, Code 5162, 157 qualifying score
    • Middle School English Language Arts, Code 5047, 164 qualifying score
    • Middle School Mathematics, Code 5169, 165 qualifying score
    • Middle School Science, Code 5440, 150 qualifying score
    • Middle School Social Studies, Code 5089, 149 qualifying score
  • Secondary Education (Grades 6 - 12) - Principles of Learning and Teaching, Grades 7 - 12, Code 5624, 157 Qualifying Score, and any one or combination of:
    • Algebra I, Code 5162, 157 qualifying score
    • Biology: Content Knowledge, Code 5235, 150 qualifying score
    • Chemistry: Content Knowledge, Code 5245, 151 qualifying score
    • English Language Arts: Content Knowledge, Code 5039, 168 qualifying score
    • General Science: Content Knowledge, Code 5435, 156 qualifying score.
    • Mathematics: Content Knowledge, Code 5161, 160 qualifying score
    • Physics: Content Knowledge, Code 5265, 141 qualifying score
    • Social Studies: Content Knowledge, Code 5086, 160 qualifying score
    • Speech Communications: Content Knowledge, Code 5221, 146 qualifying score

Once you have completed these requirements, head on over to to fill out your educator profile and look for jobs throughout the state.

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