The United States Department of Education defines a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) as a subject matter or grade level within a state in which there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary teachers. The shortage may be caused by teaching positions that are unfilled or are filled by teachers who have temporary certification or teach in in academic subject other than their area of preparation. According to a report by the USDE Office of Postsecondary Education, Arkansas has the following Teacher Shortage Areas:
Gifted and Talented
Guidance and Counseling
Science (Earth, Life, and Physical)
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Arkansas
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com 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: 11/3/2016
To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Arkansas, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:
Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
Step Four: Submit an Arkansas teaching credential application.
Continue below for more information.
Earn Your Arkansas Teaching Credential
Earning your Arkansas teaching credential will require completing the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as completing an accredited teacher’s certification program.
Arkansas has two main levels of licensure – Provisional, which allows qualified professionals to teach while completing required coursework, and Standard, for teachers who have fulfilled the standard requirements. Learn more about earning your Arkansas teaching credential at the Arkansas Department of Education Educator Licensure Unit page.
All states require that prospective teachers have at least a Bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification. Some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements.
Teacher education programs generally consist of two elements—curricula and fieldwork. Curricula generally include instruction on teaching fundamental skills, pedagogy (the science of teaching) and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Fieldwork often includes field observations, internships, student teaching or a combination of all three.
Check with your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information about specific requirements. Arkansas does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information.
Step Two: Arkansas Teacher Certification Programs
Teacher preparation typically requires the completion of an accredited teaching certification program. To earn your teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. More information on preparation for the Arkansas License and a list of accredited teacher preparation programs can be found at the Arkansas Department of Education Educator Preparation page.
Step Three: Required Tests for Arkansas
Arkansas requires teachers to take the Praxis I/PPST (Pre-Professional Skills Test) for entry into a teacher preparation program, the Praxis II test in your subject area, and the Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching exam.
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A master's degree in the field of education can give teachers more field experience, as well as a greater knowledge of teaching theory. As the teacher’s job market is increasingly performance based, a Master’s can provide increased job security, as well as higher pay. According to the Arkansas Department of Education, a Master’s degree can result in a $4,000 increase in salary over a Bachelor’s degree.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a teacher in Arkansas is $46,631, which is 121% of the state average.
Salary schedules are determined by school district, with a minimum wage of $30,122 for a Bachelor’s with no experience and up to $61,000 for experienced teachers with a Master’s or Doctorate, according to the Arkansas Department of Education. Arkansas offers increased pay to teachers of high-need subjects or teachers willing to work in high-demand districts. Learn more about
Teachers in Arkansas receive healthcare, dental, and vision plans, with optional programs for life insurance and other types of support. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System website has some helpful guides and multiple plans.
In order to renew a Standard teaching license, teachers in Arkansas must complete 36 hours of development training each year. For more information about professional development for teachers and professional development providers in Arkansas, visit the Arkansas Department of Education Professional Development page.