Become a Teacher in Arizona


Arizona Department of Education

1535 W. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007

(602) 542-5393

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    Become a teacher in Arizona

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            Earn Your Alabama Teaching Credential

            Important Note: Education licensure requirements and salary statistics (for teachers and administrators) are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 1/06/2015

            Earning a teaching credential requires the completion of a certain amount of undergraduate coursework, an accredited teacher preparation program, and a battery of standardized tests. If you’ve already earned your teaching credential in another state, you may be eligible for an Arizona credential through interstate reciprocity. Learn more here about getting your Teaching Credential in Arizona.

            Learn more about getting your teaching credential.

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            Prerequisite Coursework in Arizona

            All states require teachers to have at least a Bachelor’s degree. Within the Bachelor’s degree, Arizona has some specific coursework requirements based on the level of teaching at which you want to be certified. Early Childhood Education -- 37 semester hours of early childhood education courses, including courses in 8 areas including child growth and development, early language and literacy development, developmentally appropriate instructional methods, and typical and atypical early childhood behaviors.Elementary Education – 45 semester hours of education courses.

            Secondary Education – 30 semester hours of education courses.

            Special Education – 45 semester hours of education courses, including 21 hours of courses in special education.

            All levels of teaching  require 8 semester hours of practicum/student teaching.

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            Required Tests for Arizona

            As of September 1 2012, the AEPA (Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment) Professional Knowledge Test has been replaced by the NES® Assessments of Professional Knowledge for Arizona. Those looking to teach in Arizona must take the National Evaluation Series (NES) assessment appropriate for their desired level of education: Elementary or Secondary.

            Read more about teacher certification tests.

            You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

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            Arizona Teacher Certification

            Getting a teaching certificate usually involves the completion of an accredited certification course with both pedagogical theory and classroom practice components. These courses can be completed either on-site or online. More information about teacher certification, including available certificates and accredited teacher preparation programs in Arizona can be found here.

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            Alternate Teacher Certification in Arizona

            Arizona has some alternate pathways to your teaching certificate presented on their Transition to Teaching website. Two of the major alternate certification routes in Arizona are Teaching Internships and the Arizona Teaching Fellows program. Teaching Internships are available to applicants with a passing score in at least one Subject Knowledge Area of the AEPA (or comparable examination from another state) or a masters degree in the appropriate subject area. The Internship involves two-years of student teaching and mentoring resulting in a provisional teaching certificate. Arizona Teaching Fellows “trains accomplished professionals and recent college graduates to become high-impact teachers in schools serving disadvantaged students in communities throughout Arizona.”  Teaching Fellows participate in an intensive summer internship and then teach for two years while completing certification coursework in a curriculum designed to prepare Fellows for working with high-need students.

            The Troops to Teachers program is designed to help veterans transition to teaching jobs.

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            Certification Reciprocity in Arizona

            A teaching certificate through certain other states or through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards may make you eligible for an Arizona credential through interstate reciprocity. Click here to find out which states are eligible in Arizona, or contact the Arizona Department of Education to ask about your specific circumstances.

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            Benefits of a Masters in Education in Arizona

            Getting a Masters in Education will give you more classroom experience and a wider range of pedagogical knowledge and skills to increase classroom competency whenever you start work as a teacher.

            Learn more about the Benefits of a Master's in Education.

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            Masters in Education Financial Aid

            Arizona residents are eligible for the Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

            Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree.

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            Arizona Teacher Salary and Incentives

            Arizona has been one of the lower paying states for teachers over the past decade, but has been steadily increasing over the past few years. As of 2010, the average salary for an Elementary school teacher $42,000, while the average salary for a  Secondary school teacher $44,000. Entry level salaries tend to be $30-32,000, with pay increasing by level of degree and years of experience.

            The US Department of Education has funded the Arizona Ready-for-Rigor Project, a collaboration between Arizona State University and the Arizona Deapartment of Education. The program uses a series of pay-for-performance incentives to encourage high-quality teachers to work in high-need schools.

            Learn more about teacher salaries.

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            Arizona Teacher Benefits and Retirement

            Arizona teachers will receive benefits such as a comprehensive healthcare plan including vision and dental, life insurance, and long-term disability support. Arizona also offers a mandatory state retirement program for teachers with long, successful careers.

            Learn more about benefits for teachers.

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            Professional Development for Arizona Teachers

            The Arizona Department of Education website has a list of professional development resources.

            The Arizona Department of Education has adopted the NSDC Standards for Staff Development, a program that stresses research and data based teacher development and community building. The goal of the program is to improve the quality of education for all students, and to involve families to make sure students get the most out of their education.

            Arizona does not currently have a statewide induction program. However, the Arizona’s Master Teacher program run by the Arizona K-12 is introducing induction and mentoring programs into school districts across the state.

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            Arizona Teaching Jobs

            The Arizona Department of Education has put up a site called the Arizona Education Employment Board where users can search for job openings by district, subject area, public vs. charter and more. The site also allows users to apply online. Jobs can also be found through the Arizona State Jobs website, although it is not exclusively for teachers.

            Learn more about finding a teaching job.

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            Arizona Teacher Certification Information & Links

            Arizona Department of Education Home Page Arizona Department of Education Teacher Certification Page Arizona Education Jobs