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How to Become a Teacher in Kentucky

Start preparing for a career as a teacher in Kentucky. Learn more about the steps needed to become a teacher in this state, including education and licensing requirements.

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In 2017, the National Education Association noted a shortage of teachers in Kentucky, especially in rural areas and for certain subjects or levels, such as math and elementary education. Now more than ever, well-qualified teachers are needed in Kentucky. You can make a difference in students' lives by becoming a teacher; here are the steps to show you how.

Kentucky Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Kentucky (2017)* $53,140 (Elementary School); $53,800 (Middle School); $55,300 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Elementary Education (Elementary School)
Major or 30 semester coursework hours in desired teaching subject (Middle and High School)
Testing Requirements Praxis Core (teacher preparation programs); Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching (all); Praxis Elementary Education (Elementary School); Praxis II subject test (Middle and High School)

Step 1: Earn Your Degree

Anyone interested in becoming a teacher in Kentucky must obtain a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. They must also complete a teacher education program that leads to certification and is approved by the Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB). For prospective elementary school teachers (grades 1-5), the degree includes coursework in all subject areas taught to elementary school students. Those wishing to become middle school teachers (grades 6-9) must have the equivalent of at least 30 semester hours of coursework in English, science, social studies, or mathematics as part of their degree. Prospective high school teachers must have a major in the subject they wish to teach.

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Step 2: Complete Teacher Training Requirements

As mentioned, Kentucky requires anyone applying for certification to complete approved teacher education preparation from a regionally accredited college or university. This involves supervised student teaching experience which allows you to gain real-word experience in the field before becoming a teacher. Most teacher certification programs require the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test before enrolling. You should check with the individual school to determine whether they require this test.

Step 3: Pass the Required Tests

All teachers must pass the appropriate Praxis Principles of Learning and Teaching test for their grade level before applying for certification. Elementary school teachers must also pass the Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects test, which includes subtests in Mathematics, Reading and Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. Middle and high school teachers must also pass the Praxis II test in the subject they plan to teach.

Step 4: Obtain the Kentucky Teaching Certificate

The Kentucky teaching certificate is a five-year renewable certificate. To apply for the certificate, complete the application form provided by the EPSB and pay the fee. All applications must include official transcripts for all coursework and verification that the applicant completed an approved teacher certification program. The superintendent or personnel director will verify that you completed the appropriate student teaching experience for your grade level.

Certification Resources for Kentucky Teachers

We have resources to help you study for your Kentucky teaching certification.

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