Individuals with a baccalaureate degree or higher may be eligible for certification as a teacher in Alabama. You can choose to become certified through an Alabama-approved program, reciprocal agreements with other states, or through recognition of your certification and experience elsewhere. Individuals applying to become a teacher in Alabama will also have to meet the requirements of the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP).
You can choose to become certified as an Alabama teacher by taking a State-approved teacher education program. This approach is generally used by new teachers who have not taught in other states previously. If you have already been certified as a teacher in a state that follows National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) or National Assocation of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification Interstate Agreement (NASDTEC) curriculum requirements, you will not be required to complete additional certification. If you do not have certification from one of these states, you may still be able to qualify with your previous certification and experience. Once you’ve passed certification, you’ll be required to pass the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP). Teachers are also required to pass clearance with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
There are more than 1,541 individual schools in Alabama for elementary and secondary students. Primarily, teachers can find employment in Alabama’s large cities and districts. These include Birmingham (district 4), Mobile (district 1), Huntsville (district 8), and Montgomery (district 5). If you plan to apply to a number of different school systems in Alabama, be sure to use Teach in Alabama, an online program that will allow you to apply to every school system in Alabama with just one electronic application.
Professional educator certificates in Alabama are valid for five years, and can be renewed by meeting certain continuing education requirements. These include various combinations of experience, continuing education units, and hours of allowable credit. Education can be earned through teacher education programs and professional growth education. If your certificate has lapsed, you may be required to retake the Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program (APTTP).