How to Become a Teacher in Kentucky

Obtaining certification and licensure as a teacher means taking responsibility for the future of our youth. As a teacher you’ll not only educate students in vital academic skills like literature, history, science or math, you’ll help to teach them interpersonal and life skills. You’ll help them learn how to succeed, not just in school and work, but in life.

As a teacher, you’ll also be responsible for their safety, and for helping to obtain social services for kids with difficulties. It’s a challenging but ultimately very rewarding career. Kentucky has specific steps you must take, and requirements to fulfill in order to get certified. Read about how these steps work and the different levels of teacher licensure in Kentucky that are available.

Kentucky Teacher Certification Requirements

Kentucky Teacher Certification Types

Like several other states, Kentucky’s certification is available in tiered levels, designated by Ranks. Rank III is the basic, with Rank II being the next level, and Rank I the highest possible licensure.

Kentucky Teacher Education

The basic level of certification in Kentucky requires a bachelor’s degree with a teacher education program including student teaching. Continuing education allows for progression into higher Ranks of licensure, starting with 30 semester hours of graduate-level or authorized continuing education.

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Master’s Degree Program

To achieve Rank I level, a teacher will need to complete a qualified master’s program in teaching or education, or achieve NBPTS (National Board of Professional Teaching Standards) certification.

Kentucky Teacher Certification Exam

Completion of the Praxis Core exam, as well as subject assessments as the principles of teaching and learning exams, are required.

Teacher Experience

Student teaching is required to get licensure. Likewise, as you progress from Rank III to Rank I, you’ll gain additional experience.

Background Check

Teachers must be safe to work with children, and establishing this requires federal and state criminal background checks.

Kentucky Teacher Certification

Alternative Certification and Other Requirements

  • Kentucky Alternative Teacher Certification: Alternative certification exists for those taking nontraditional pathways to teaching. These include local district training programs, certifications for armed forces veterans, institutional certifications, college faculty certifications, certifications based on exceptional work, and emergency teaching certificates, among others. Each has its own individual requirements.
  • Teacher Certification Renewal: Your license must be renewed every five years, and progression through the levels of licensure during this time is compulsory. This means your continuing education will eventually carry you through a Master’s degree program.
  • Kentucky Substitute Teaching: Certification is required for substitute teachers, and is good for five years. Applicants must have a valid or expired license to teach and complete an application with a $15 fee.
  • Reciprocity: Teaching reciprocity is available for teachers from other states, but you must apply and each application is reviewed on its own merits to ensure you have the qualifications and skills necessary.

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What Does a Teacher Do in Kentucky?

Teachers do much more than lecture in class. They provide hands-on educational experiences. They plan lessons. They work with the administration and other educators to make sure they’re delivering the best, most advanced lessons possible. They watch for students who have learning or behavioral difficulties and refer them for services. Teachers are leaders, mentors, counselors, and guardians as well as educators. They have a great deal of responsibility for the students under their care.

Kentucky Teacher Salary

According to the U.S. BLS, teachers in Kentucky earn around $52,540 annually, on average. The job is expected to enjoy an astonishing 16% growth in the state over the next seven years. Kentucky is a great place for aspiring teachers.

Kentucky Teacher Certification Links

Teacher Certification Programs in Kentucky

Teacher Certification Programs in Kentucky

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Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Becoming a teacher is an important decision that requires commitment, dedication, and passion. Teacher certification requirements vary by state. However, there are a number qualifications that every state requires to teach at the public school level. Request information from multiple schools to find the best program and educational opportunity for you!