How to Become a Teacher in Alabama

If you’d like to know how to become a teacher in Alabama, be prepared for research into the realities and requirements. Like most states, Alabama requires teachers to take a specific course load in college and to pass a series of certification tests establishing their professional competence.

Finding teaching jobs in Alabama can be a serious challenge because the state has trimmed its teaching rosters in recent years because of the slow economy. Many of those who aim to become a teacher have realized that the base requirement — a bachelor degree in a teacher-preparation program — just isn’t enough to stand out from the pack. In Alabama, going on to get a master degree can be the defining factor in scoring a teaching job.

Advantages of a Master Degree

In addition to giving you a step above other applicants, having your master means you will have more knowledge to pass on to your students. This will make you a better teacher and get you extra respect from your students as well as your peers. This can also help you to attain job security.

In many cases, a master degree will help you garner more money than others getting their first teaching jobs. And once you have the job, a master’s can be a key qualification to earning promotions.

Statistics for Teachers in Alabama

Over the last five years Alabama has lost more than 3,000 of its teacher positions, or about 6.7 percent of its teaching staff. This can certainly be a daunting fact when you are thinking about spending the time and money to go to college for a teaching degree. First-year teachers earn a salary of $36,198, according to 2012-2013 data from the National Education Association.

According to National Center for Education Statistics data  in 2010-11, Alabama had 1,615 schools with 755,552 students and 49,363 teachers, which works out to a student-to-teacher ratio of 15.31-to-1, slightly below the national average of 15.97-to-1.

Kinds of Degrees Available

With the decrease in the number of teachers in Alabama, there is a focus on quality. The demand for highly qualified educators is paying off with the SAT number in Alabama staying high even in the face of losing so many teachers. There are many degrees, certificates and continuing education programs that will give you the edge you need when learning how to become a teacher in Alabama. Here is an example of some of these extras that will help you out. Many of these are online degree programs:

  • Distance Education
  • Secondary Education (9-12)
  • Educational Administration
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Educational Leadership
  • Educational Technology
  • English as a Second Language
  • Elementary Education (K-8)
  • General Education
  • Elementary Reading Specialist
  • Special Education
  • Ongoing teacher education
  • Library and Resource Management

Adding any of these to your resume will help you be a better teacher as well as help you stand out.

Becoming a teacher can be daunting in a slow economy, but the payoff is worth the investment. Helping children realize their potential and watching them go off to make their mark on the world is a truly inspirational situation. Knowing that you had a hand in the success of the next generation makes the extra time and work you put into your education a small price to pay.