Become a Teacher in Louisiana

Louisiana Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary: $48,430 
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary: $49,800 
Vacation Weeks per Year: 15 
Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 1:20  
Expenditure per Pupil: $10,749

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.


1201 North Third St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70804
(877) 453-2721

Louisiana Teacher Shortages

A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.

The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in Louisiana for the 2016-17 school year as reported by the U.S. Department of Education. ( see page 65)

  • Arts
  • Early Childhood Education (Pre-K–K)
  • Elementary Education (Grades 1–5)
  • Middle and Secondary Education
  • English
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Special Education

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Louisiana

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information 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: 11/1/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Louisiana, 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 Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Louisiana teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Louisiana Teaching Credential

To earn your Louisiana teaching credential you will have to complete required the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Louisiana issues three levels of teacher certification.

The beginning Level 1 Professional Certificate is valid for three years. The Level 2 Professional Certificate, renewable every five years, is issued to teachers with at least three years of experience and ce who have passed the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program (LaTAAP), a two-year period of mentoring and assessment that evaluates the teacher’s knowledge of his/her subject area and classroom management skills. The Level 3 Professional Certificate is issued to teachers with five years of experience in their area of certification who have passed the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program (LaTAAP) and completed a master’s degree.

Visit the Louisiana Department of Education to learn more about getting your teaching credential.Learn more about getting your teaching credential at

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Louisiana

All states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. Louisiana requires a certification area of focus, education coursework, field experience and student teaching. Louisiana requires 180 hours of field experiences, and one semester of student teaching or internship in a school as part of any teacher preparation program.

Step Two: Louisiana Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher certification programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area.  A list of accredited teacher preparation programs can be found on the Louisiana Department of Education’s preparation page.

Step Three: Required Tests for Louisiana

Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. Louisiana requires the PPST (Pre Professional Skills Test) for Basic Skills, and the Praxis II: Subject Tests and Praxis II PLT (Principles of Learning and Teaching for subject area competence.

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.

Read more about teacher certification tests on

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Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

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Alternative Teacher Certification in Louisiana

Louisiana has several routes to a Practitioner License which can allow a teacher to work in the classroom for up to three years (with annual renewal) while they complete an approved licensing program. The Practitioner Teacher program combines intensive coursework—18  to 33 credit hours depending on the area you plan to teach—with full-time teaching. The Master’s Degree Alternate Certification Program requires 33 to 39 credit hours combined with teaching. The Certification-Only program can be completed face-to-face or online and does not require a full-time commitment. It does require 80 contact hours of classroom readiness training.

For more information about different types of certification, visit the Teach Louisiana certification page.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Louisiana

It is no longer enough to only have years of experience teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures,  teachers are almost solely evaluated by their success in the classroom. A master’s degree in the field of education will give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor. After a master’s program, you may be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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Certification Reciprocity in Louisiana

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Louisiana, visit the reciprocity page or go to the Louisiana Department of Education’s out-of-state applicants page for more information.

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Financial Aid in Kentucky

Louisiana 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 on

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Louisiana Teacher Salary and Incentives

In Louisiana, teachers earned an average of  $51,381 per year in 2012-13, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Additionally, Louisiana provides differential pay for teachers willing to work in high demand districts and in shortage subjects. Salaries in Louisiana vary by parish, for more information go to Louisiana Department of Education’s Workforce page.  

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Louisiana Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Louisiana teachers become vested in the state retirement system after 10 years of service. Employees are allowed to retire at age 60 after 10 years of service, age 55 after 25 years of service, or any age after 30 years of service.The employee required contributions to the Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System is currently 8 7.5 percent of the gross salary. The state also contributes 15.8 percent to the teacher’s retirement fund. Other benefits include health insurance, paid holidays, sick and annual leave, and promotional opportunities. To learn more about the benefits of becoming a teacher in Louisiana, check out the Summary of Louisiana Teacher Benefits or read more about benefits for teachers on

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Professional Development for Teachers in Louisiana

Louisiana follows the National Staff Development Council’s standards for staff development. This council is widely recognized as a leader in the field of professional development. The standards are based on three questions: What are the students expected to know and be able to do? What are teachers expected to know and be able to do to ensure student success? Where must staff development focus to meet both of these goals? The Louisiana Staff Development Council is a branch of this council and  standards reflect the unique needs and challenges of Louisiana teachers.

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Louisiana Teaching Jobs

The State Of Louisiana Department of Education’s website aims to develop and administer human resources information for easy access by current and prospective teachers. The state also maintains the site Teach Louisiana which lists teaching vacancies, certification requirements, and more information on how to become a teacher in Louisiana.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on

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Louisiana Teacher Certification Information & Links

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