How to Become a Teacher in Louisiana

Have what it takes to become a teacher in Louisiana? Explore teaching salaries in Louisiana and the steps to becoming a licensed teacher.
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How many of us can still remember that one teacher who believed in us? From Adele to Bill Nye, so many passionate people continue to recognize the important role a good teacher has played in their lives.

As a teacher, you can make a difference in the lives of others while enjoying the consistency of a stable job market. Earning your bachelor's in education can set you on a path to state licensure and into the classroom.

Explore the steps you should take to become a teacher in the Pelican State.

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How Do You Become a Teacher in Louisiana?

Although earning your teaching license in Louisiana will take several years, becoming a teacher in the state is a straightforward process.

1. Earn Your Bachelor's Degree

Earning a bachelor's degree ensures you have the content knowledge necessary to teach academic subjects.

A bachelor's in education program will also teach you necessary skills like how to create and grade assessments, how to manage a classroom, and how to enact education and teaching principles.

In Louisiana, you can earn a bachelor's degree in education in a specific area, like elementary education, secondary language arts, or special education. You can also earn a bachelor's degree in any subject and pursue the post-baccalaureate teacher preparation pathway.

2. Gain Student Teaching Experience

In Louisiana, you gain student teaching experience as part of your educator preparation program. The state's programs provide at least 180 hours of field experience. You may also complete an internship or in-school residency as part of your training. These classroom requirements help you strengthen your skills and knowledge.

You can also meet the requirement with out-of-state student teaching experience or classroom experience as a licensed teacher in another state. The state's alternate teacher preparation options also incorporate hands-on classroom experience before you qualify for a license.

3. Take Required Certification Tests

Certification tests are content area exams that demonstrate you are a content expert in the subject(s) you are going to teach. In order to be an effective, licensed teacher, you must pass the required certification tests in order to apply for your license.

Depending on the grades and subjects you plan on teaching, you will take one or more of Louisiana's competency tests, most likely a Praxis exam.

For instance, if you want to teach high school biology, you would need to complete the biology Praxis exam as well as the principles of learning and teaching for grades 7-12 Praxis exam.

4. Apply for Certification

For a Louisiana teaching certification, you must submit materials online. The application requires a Social Security number, mailing address, email address, telephone number, and the certification fee. You work with your school system to make sure the documents reach the state's department of education.

The certification fees vary depending on the endorsement areas. An initial teaching certificate costs $50, as does an out-of-state reciprocal certificate. You pay an additional $50 to add certification areas to your credentials or to list an added degree on your certificate. Extensions and renewals also cost $50.

How Do You Maintain Teaching Certification in Louisiana?

After receiving a teaching certification, you must keep your credentials current. Most certificates remain valid for 3-5 years. In addition to renewing a certificate, you can apply for a higher-level certificate.

The state offers three levels of teaching certificates. After completing three years of teaching, teachers with an initial level one certificate can apply for a level two certificate. Candidates for a level three certificate must hold a graduate degree and complete five years of teaching experience.

In Louisiana, you complete the renewal process through your school system. The school submits forms and requests a renewal, extension, or higher certification level. These applications include information about your teaching experience and effectiveness. Renewing a certificate or applying for a higher level costs $50.

How Much Will You Make as a Teacher in Louisiana?

According to a report from the Louisiana Department of Education, the average starting salary for teachers with a bachelor's degree in Louisiana was $42,988 in 2023. The average salary increased the longer teachers were in education, with the average top salary at about $55,000.

Overall, Louisiana ranks much lower than the national average for average teacher salaries. For context, the national average pay for teachers in 2023 was $73,800 per year.

Average Starting Salaries for Louisiana Teachers
Job Title Average Annual Salary (May 2023)
Preschool Teachers $39,430
Kindergarten Teachers $55,210
Secondary School Teachers $59,000
Special Education Teachers, Secondary $56,830
Middle School Teachers $55,970
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About Teacher Certification in Louisiana

Can you teach in Louisiana without certification?

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Although you do not need to hold a bachelor's in education degree to become a teacher, you do need a certification in order to teach in public schools in Louisiana. Depending on the circumstances, you may be hired conditionally to teach while pursuing a certification without having actually earned the license.

You may also be able to teach at a private or non-public school without holding a certification or become a substitute teacher.

How long does it take to become a teacher in Louisiana?

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You typically spend at least four years preparing for certification and teaching jobs. In Louisiana, you need a bachelor's degree that includes teacher preparation training. These programs, often a bachelor's in education or teaching, generally take four years.

What can you do with teaching certification in Louisiana?

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A teaching certification qualifies you for public school teaching in Louisiana. The state's K-12 school systems hire certified teachers in subjects like elementary education, language arts, social studies, math, and science. You can also work in world languages, special education, and English language learning.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges. Page last reviewed April 30, 2024. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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