Become a Teacher in Arizona

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Teaching in Arizona Snapshot

$48,610Secondary School Teacher Salary
$45,600Elementary School Teacher Salary
$8,003Public School Spending Per Student

All career and salary information pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 pupil expenditure information was provided by Governing.

ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

1535 W. Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
(602) 542-5393

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University Name Type of Program Learn More Program Description
University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching Learn more about USC Rossier The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.
Fordham University Master of Science in Teaching Learn more from Fordham University Fordham University’s 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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Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Arizona

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 update: 04/26/2020)

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Prerequisite Coursework in Arizona

All states require teachers to have at least a Bachelor’s degree. Furthermore, Arizona has some specific coursework requirements based on the level of teaching at which you want to be certified:

    • Early Childhood Education: Early childhood education courses, including courses in 10 areas, such as child growth and development, early language and literacy development, developmentally appropriate instructional methods, and teaching students with exceptionalities.
    • Elementary Education: 45 semester hours of education courses.
  • Middle Grades Education: Education courses in a variety of areas including early adolescent psychology, developmentally appropriate instruction delivery, and more.
  • Secondary Education: Education courses in a variety of areas including early adolescent psychology, developmentally appropriate instruction delivery, and more.
  • Special Education: Requirements vary by grade level.

All levels of teaching require practicum/student teaching.

 

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Arizona Teacher Certification Programs

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 on the Arizona Department of Education website.

 

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Required Tests for Arizona

Applicants for teacher certification must pass both a test of subject knowledge and a test of professional knowledge. This can be accomplished by either taking the the AEPA (Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessment) Exams or the National Evaluation Series (NES®) assessments for Arizona-appropriate to Elementary or Secondary education.

Read more about teacher certification tests on Teach.com.

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting Teach.com's Ultimate Guide to the Praxis Exams and read more about teacher certification tests on Teach.com.

Initial Teaching Certifications

To become certified as a teacher in Arizona, you will need to earn a bachelor’s degree, complete or be enrolled in a teacher preparation program, and pass the required standardized tests. If you have a teaching credential from another state, you may be able to use an interstate reciprocity program to become certified in Arizona. Learn more about Arizona’s certification requirements through the Arizona Department of Education & Early Development.

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 about getting your teaching credential at the Arizona Department of Education Educator Certification page.

Learn more about getting your teaching credential on Teach.com.

Discover an 8-week Online Teaching Short Course from Harvard's Bok Center

Learn more about an 8-week short course from Harvard's Bok Center

Earn recognition of your ability to develop and deliver a memorable teaching experience when you receive a premier certificate from Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX, upon successful course completion.

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Alternative Certification in Arizona

Arizona has some alternate pathways to your teaching certificate. 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 Master’s 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 2 years while completing certification coursework in a curriculum designed to prepare Fellows for working with high-need students.

Arizona Teacher Certification Information & Links

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Transferring Your Certification

Certification Reciprocity in Arizona

A teaching certificate from other states or through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards may make you eligible for an Arizona credential through interstate reciprocity. Visit the Arizona Educator Certification page to find out more, or contact the Arizona Department of Education to ask about your specific circumstances.

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Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Arizona

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 on Teach.com.

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 2018, the average salary for an Elementary school teacher is $45,600, while the average salary for a  Secondary school teacher $48,610, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Learn more about teacher salaries on Teach.com.

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 on Teach.com.

Arizona Teacher Shortage Areas

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 an academic subject other than their area of preparation.

According to a report by the USDepartment of Education, Arizona has the following Teacher Shortage Areas:

  • Elementary Level
    • English as a Second Language
    • Special Education
  • Middle Grades
    • English as a Second Language
    • Language Arts/Reading
    • Mathematics
    • Science
    • Social Studies
    • Special Education
  • Secondary Level
    • Chemistry
    • Earth Science
    • English as a Second Language
    • General Science
    • Physics
    • Special Education

Career Advancement

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 standards of Learning Forward, 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 through communities of educators dedicated to continuous improvement and sharing best practices.

The State of Arizona Department of Education allows districts to use Title II-A funds for teacher induction and mentoring programs to retain and recruit highly qualified teachers.

Benefits of a Master's Degree in Arizona

Getting a master's degree in the field of education can 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 of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on Teach.com.

Explore Sponsored Program Options in Education

Featured Online programs
University Name Type of Program Program Description
University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.
Fordham University Master of Science in Teaching 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.
Harvard University Advanced Certification in Teaching The 8-week Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.

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Last Updated May 2020