How to Become a High School Teacher in Louisiana

Jan 02, 2019

Find out how the process for becoming a certified teacher in Louisiana works. Read about how to find a certified education program, what Praxis exams to take, and when to apply for Level 1 Professional Certification.

Secondary school teachers in Louisiana can become endorsed in many different subjects. The state offers certification for math, English, world languages, and more. Those looking to begin a career in education in Louisiana need to fulfill all requirements in order to become endorsed in the area of their choosing.

Louisiana Teacher Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Louisiana (2016)* $49,570 (Secondary Teachers), $55,300 (Career and Technical Education Teachers), $50,030 (Special Education Teachers)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Secondary Education
Testing Requirements Praxis: Core (or SAT/ACT), Principles of Learning and Teaching (7-12), subject tests

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Graduate with a Bachelor's Degree

All prospective high school teachers in Louisiana will need to pursue a bachelor's in education and the content area they hope to teach (like mathematics education, Spanish education, etc.) from an approved, accredited teacher preparation program. Each program will be slightly different, since the core subject areas vary, but there is a database of possible options available on Louisiana's Department of Education website. All teacher preparation programs will require some basic education classes like:

  • Teaching in a diverse society
  • Reading in the content area
  • Classroom management

Additionally, all students will participate in a student teaching component of the degree preparation program. Louisiana requires all students to maintain a 2.5 GPA during their teacher education program and then receive specific recommendation for certification from the university.

Step 2: Take All Required Tests

Once the degree program has been completed, teacher applicants will take all Louisiana's required tests. First, applicants need to complete a basic skills test. This requirement can be fulfilled by the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators series, made up of reading (a score of at least 156 is required), writing (a score of at least 162 is required), and mathematics (a score of at least 150 is required) subtests. This testing requirement can also be fulfilled by an ACT composite score of 22 or an SAT verbal/critical reading and math score of 1030, so every applicant will be able to decide which test best fits his or her needs.

Next, applicants need to take the Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (7-12) exam, which requires a score of 157. This test is 2 hours long and consists of 70 multiple-choice questions and 4 constructed-response questions covering professional development, the instructional process, and other basic pedagogical principles.

Finally, secondary school teacher applicants will need to complete the subject test that corresponds with the subject they wish to teach. Some subject tests are in biology, chemistry, English language arts, general science, mathematics, physics, social studies, and speech communication. Students could also choose to be certified in a world language, art, health and physical education, or music, as these tests are available for teachers of grades K-12. Vocational subjects are also available and include agriculture, family and consumer sciences, technology education, and business education. Those interested in teaching special education grades 6-12 have their own subject tests as well. Each test requires different minimum scores.

Step 3: Complete the Certification Application

Teacher applicants are then ready to apply for their Level 1 Professional Certificate. In order to apply for the certificate, applicants will need to submit proof of the state-approved preparation program, a 2.5 GPA or higher, university recommendation for certification, and the required scores on all Praxis testing. Applicants will also need to pay the required $50 processing fee. The Level 1 Professional Certificate is valid in the state of Louisiana for three years.

Study Resources for Future Louisiana Teachers

Those hoping to become secondary school teachers in Louisiana can begin studying for future Praxis exams now. Check out the resources and study guides below to get started.

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