Alaska Teacher Certification Guide


How To Become a Teacher in Alaska

There are specific requirements that candidates must meet to earn an Alaska teacher certification. The most traditional route for acquiring a license to teach in Alaska means that prospective educators must earn at least an undergraduate degree in education and complete a teacher preparation program.

Additionally, candidates must take specific certification exams to assess for competency in the area they wish to teach according to Alaska teaching certificate requirements. These exams include the Praxis Series tests assessing pedagogical and content knowledge.

Alaska offers several options for certification, beginning with the Initial Certification, which is typically valid for three years. During this time, candidates will work towards their Professional or Alaska Type A teaching certificate or their certification as a Master Teacher.

Alaska Teacher Certification Programs

The Alaska teaching certificate requirements for teacher certification programs vary depending on what subject area and grade level a candidate wishes to teach. Alaska requires future educators to have at least a bachelor's degree. Most universities have teacher preparation programs tied to either an undergraduate degree, postgraduate work, or graduate degree programs, which allows them to work on their coursework focused on teaching competencies and knowledge and skills. Candidates will also study pedagogical expertise according to their focus.

When learning how to get an Alaska teaching certificate, candidates should keep in mind that in addition to the education and teacher preparation program, the Alaska Department of Education also requires them to complete four training courses. These training courses include sexual abuse awareness and prevention, alcohol or drug-related disabilities; dating violence awareness and prevention; and suicide awareness and prevention.

The chart below outlines a few colleges and universities in Alaska that offer educator preparation programs and are well-known for their reputations.

School Teacher Preparation Program
Alaska Pacific University Elementary Ed. (K-8)
University of Alaska Anchorage Elementary Ed. (PreK-3) (K-6)
Secondary Ed. (7-12) (Multiple Subjects)
Special Education-Initial Certification (K-12 or 7-12 or both)
University of Alaska Southeast Elementary Ed. (K-8)
Secondary Ed. (6-12)
Special Ed. (K-12)
University of Alaska Fairbanks Elementary Ed. (K-8)
Secondary Ed. (7-12) (Multiple Subjects)
Art (7-12)
Music (K-8, 7-12, K-12)
Special Ed.-Initial Certification (K-12)

Alaska Teacher Education Requirements

Alaska teaching certificate requirements for candidates who wish to teach in the state must meet specific educational criteria. They must complete at least a bachelor's degree and go through an educator preparation program in the area they plan to teach.

The Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, or EED, also requires all candidates for teacher certification to complete three semester hours of coursework in both Alaska studies and multicultural education. While these courses do not have to be finished before their initial certification, they should be completed within two years of completion.

Additionally, candidates who have completed their degree and teacher preparation programs must also complete student teaching in public schools. This experience will be under the direction of a fully qualified teacher employed with a school district within Alaska.

Alaska Praxis

To become a teacher in Alaska, candidates must complete and pass a list of Praxis tests depending on the area they wish to teach. The following chart is designed to help navigate various tests for the different certification areas. It is important to note that teachers in all certification areas must take the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam.

Certification Area Praxis Test Name Passing Score
All Teaching Areas Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading 156
All Teaching Areas Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing 162
All Teaching Areas Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics 150
Early Childhood Education Birth Age 5 Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Assessment:
Math & Science Subtest
Reading and Language Arts & Social Studies

Elementary Developmental (K-8) Elementary Education: Content Knowledge
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Elementary Education Assessment:
Math/Science Subtest
Reading/Language Arts and Social Studies
Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects:
Reading/Language Arts
Social Studies
Elementary Education: Content Knowledge for Teaching:
Reading/Language Arts CKT
Math CKT
Science CKT
Social Studies CKT




Reading: Elementary Teaching Reading: Elementary 159
Middle School 6-8 Middle School: Content Knowledge 140
Middle School: English/Language Arts 6-8 Middle School English Language Arts 164
Middle School Mathematics 6-8 Middle School Mathematics
Middle School Math (5169) - through August 2022

Middle School Science 6-8 Middle School Science 152
Middle School Social Studies 6-8 Middle School Social Studies 149

Other exams not listed here can be found on the Alaska EED website or the ETS Praxis website under testing requirements.

Additional Alaska Teacher Certification Requirements

Additional Alaska teaching certificate requirements include submitting a fingerprint card that has been completed through the rolling or scanning process by a trained professional. Candidates must fill out the fingerprint in its entirety, including the technician's signature who did the procedure.

Additionally, all candidates for Alaska teacher certification must have a criminal background check completed by the Alaska Department of Public Safety and the FBI. Keep in mind that the Department of Education, Teacher Certification Office will only accept background checks done by these entities. They cannot be transferred from another state.

Alaska Teacher Certification Application Process

Once a candidate has met the requirements outlined by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, or EED, they can move forward with the process of completing their application for licensure.

The following chart shows the various application requirements and the information or documents that should be included for application completion.

Application Requirement What To Submit
Application for Teaching Licensure Online or Paper Application
Proof of Degree Official Transcripts From an Accredited University
Proof of Teacher Preparation Program State-Approved Verification Form
Exam Scores Official Test Scores Report Showing Passing Scores
Fingerprinting & Background Check Fingerprint Card With Official Signature this card will be used to initiate the background check
Other Information Anything That Is Pertinent To the Application

Alaska Teacher Certification Renewal Requirements

For teachers wishing to renew their certification, there are specific requirements they must meet to be approved. Aspiring educators should complete these requirements before the current certification's expiration date, or it can mean that a teacher is no longer certified and will need reinstatement.

It is important to note that teachers within their initial certification can only be renewed once they have completed requirements to transfer their certification to a professional or Master's license. During their three-year certification period, they should be taking steps towards these certification levels to be renewed.

Professional and Master teachers wishing to renew their certification at the end of their license period must earn at least six credit hours of coursework from an accredited college or university. Candidates can complete CEU or continuing education units in place of three of the credit hours.

Alaska Alternative Teacher Certification

Knowing how to get an Alaska alternative teacher certification is a topic that typically comes up, especially amongst those with degrees in other subject areas who wish to become certified. It is important to note that Alaska does not officially have what other states refer to as alternative teacher certification. This means that there are no existing programs that should be offered to certify educators through alternative means.

The Alaska Initial/Program Enrollment certificate was not created to take the place of traditional teacher preparation routes and is only offered to candidates who meet specific criteria. The program was designed for undergraduate degrees in different disciplines who have received an offer from a school district. These candidates should have life experience in the subject area they are applying for.

Additionally, they must meet specific criteria such as enrollment in a teacher preparation program and passing the basic competency tests required for Alaska teachers. They are also required to pass the content-area exams as well.

It is important to note that all other criteria, including fingerprinting and background checks, are required of these candidates as they are any other applicant. Once they have met all requirements, they can then apply for their Initial Certification in the state.

Certification in Alaska for Out-of-State Educators

Educators wondering how to get an Alaska teaching certificate should understand that Alaska does not currently offer full Alaska teacher certification reciprocity. This means that to be certified in the state, specific requirements must be met.

The following chart explains the various information concerning out-of-state educators applying for Alaska certification, including any Alaska Praxis exams required.

Reciprocity Criteria For Alaska Explanation
Full Reciprocity Agreement Alaska does not currently offer full reciprocity for out-of-state educators. The license does entitle these educators to apply for an Initial Out-of-State Teacher Certification which is valid for one year. During this one-year period, teachers are given the time to meet the criteria for applying for the Professional or Master's Teaching certificate.
NASDTEC Interstate Agreement Alaska does participate in this agreement
Required Coursework Teachers from out-of-state who are allowed to apply for the Initial Out-of-State certification are required to complete coursework that will qualify them for the Professional or Master's certificate. This coursework includes credit hours in both Alaska studies and Alaska multicultural education.
Assessments Out-of-State educators must submit proof of basic competency exam passing scores.

Alaska Teacher Employment Outlook and Salary

In Alaska, the job outlook percentage is expected to grow by at least 7% over the next ten years due to various factors such as families moving into the state for other employment reasons. It is reported that there are some job shortages in Alaska due to undesirable rural areas that can be difficult to get to under certain weather conditions. Because of this, the state has offered many incentives (including higher salaries) to lure more educators who are willing to teach in these areas.

The following chart gives specific information about salary percentages for the state in different subject areas. These statistics come from the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

Teaching Position Number of Current Employees Average Salary
Preschool Teachers 880 $36,930
Kindergarten Teachers 80 $72, 100
Elementary Teachers 3,380 $74,720
Middle School Teachers 960 $80,260
Career/Technical Teachers 60 $99,670
Secondary Teachers 2,470 $75,790
Special Education-Preschool Teachers 40 $70,410
Special Education-Kindergarten Teachers 570 $76,310
Special Education-Middle School Teachers 210 $79,340
Special Education-Secondary Teachers 550 $77,060

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I get certified to teach in Alaska?

    To get certified to teach in Alaska, you will need a minimum of an undergraduate degree. Additionally, you will need to enroll in a teacher preparation program and take the appropriate exams required by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.

  • Does a California teaching credential transfer to Alaska?

    A California teaching credential does not transfer to Alaska since the state does not allow full reciprocity. Out-of-State educators are entitled to an Initial Out-of-State certification while they meet other criteria to make them eligible for a Professional or Master's certificate.

  • What is the passing score for Praxis 5038?

    The Praxis 5038, or English Language Arts: Content Knowlege exam passing score for the state of Alaska is 167. Candidates must meet this score to be eligible for certification.

  • What qualifications do you need to teach in Alaska?

    The qualifications you need to teach in Alaska are completing at least an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. Additionally, it is required that candidates go through a teacher preparation program that will include student teaching. Finally, candidates will take the required exams to be eligible for a teaching license in the state.

  • What states have teaching reciprocity with Alaska?

    While Alaska participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, they do not grant full reciprocity for any state. This means all out-of-state candidates will need to apply for their Initial Out-of-State certification to teach in the state.