Louisiana Teacher Certification Guide


How to Become a Teacher in Louisiana

There are three paths that candidates can take to achieve their goal of how to get a Louisiana teaching certificate. The first way is the traditional route of obtaining an Education degree from a college or university. A non-traditional path is available to those who have a Bachelor's degree with a 2.5 or higher GPA and have completed an accredited alternative education program. Louisiana also offers the Pre-Educator Pathway that begins training aspiring teachers in high school. All pathways require teaching candidates to pass the necessary Louisiana Praxis tests to receive their Praxis teacher certification.

Louisiana offers three types of teaching certifications:

  • Level 1 Professional Certificate: This first option is for teachers who have completed a traditional or alternative teacher prep program.
  • Level 2 Professional Certificate: Teachers with a Level 1 certification who have passed the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program (LATAAP) and have taught for three years are eligible to obtain this certificate.
  • Level 3 Professional Certificate: This last certificate is available to teachers with a Level 1 or a Level 2 certificate who have completed a Master's degree program, have taught for five years and have passed the LATAAP.

Louisiana Teacher Certification Programs

Accredited teacher certification programs are divided into undergrad and post-baccalaureate. The undergrad programs are the traditional paths to a teaching certification. The post-baccalaureate programs are the non-traditional paths to receiving a teaching certification.

The accredited colleges and universities below offer undergrad teaching programs:

University Graduation Rate Job Placement Rate Status Programs
The University of New Orleans 93.8% 73.3% accredited Elementary Education; Elementary Education and Mild/Moderate Disabilities; Human Performance and Health Promotion; Secondary Education
Louisiana State University 66.4% 69.76% accredited Elementary Grades Education; Dual Certification General/Special Education Grades 1-5; Health and Physical Education Teacher Certification; Secondary Education; PreK-3 Teacher Certification; Agricultural Education; Music Education
Louisiana Tech 51.5% 91% accredited Elementary Education; Secondary Education: English, Social Studies; Early Childhood Education: Grades PreK-3; Secondary Education: Agriculture; Education Studies; Minor in UTeachTech; STEM Education Studies
Northwestern State University 66.4% 80% accredited Elementary Grades 1-5; Physical Education; Secondary Education: English, Biology, Business, Social Studies; PK-3; Vocal/Instrumental Education; Scholars Programs: Elementary, Biology, Business, English, Math, Social Studies

There are a number of accredited colleges and universities with post-baccalaureate education programs. Because of the differences in education experience, the way the programs are operated, as well as the newness of such programs graduation rates, it's difficult to be specific about the job placement rates. Candidates should research the above listed programs for more information.

Louisiana Teacher Education Requirements

Candidates who wish to get a Louisiana teaching certification along the traditional pathway should be prepared to complete all courses, capstone projects, credit hours, and fieldwork and graduate with a 2.5 or higher GPA. All teaching candidates must receive a letter of recommendation upon satisfactory completion of their fieldwork. College course requirements are different for each subject area teaching candidates can specialize in:

  • Early childhood education
  • Elementary education
  • Middle school education
  • Middle school education - English
  • Middle school education - Math
  • Middle school education - Science
  • Middle school education - Social Studies
  • High school education - a variety of subjects

Louisiana Praxis

The Praxis Louisiana includes one basic skill test that all teaching candidates must take and subject-specific tests necessary to gain a Louisiana teaching certification in specific licensure areas. The Louisiana Core Academic Skills for Educators is divided into three subtests.

Subject Number of Questions Time Passing Score out of 200
Reading 56 Selected Response 85 minutes 156
Writing 40 Selected Response, 2 Essay 100 minutes 162
Math 56 Selected Response & Numeric Entry 90 minutes 150

Teaching candidates must pass all subtests to pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test. Teaching candidates who scored a 22 or higher on their ACT or a combined verbal/critical reading and math score of 1100 or higher on their SAT may submit their ACT or SAT scores instead of Core Academic Skills test scores.

Teaching candidates in Louisiana are also required to take a test targeted to one or more of 90 specific licensure areas. Each Praxis test is comprised of questions that will require selected-response, numeric entry, or essay answers. Each test has a different qualifying passing score. There are ten groups of test subjects:

  • Early childhood
  • Elementary education
  • Middle School Education Grades 4-8
  • Secondary Education Grades 6-12
  • All Grades
  • World Languages
  • Administrator/school leader
  • Special education
  • Vocational education
  • Instructional support personnel

Additional Louisiana Teacher Certification Requirements

Teaching candidates may apply for certification after they have completed their educational prep program and passed all required Louisiana Praxis testing. In addition to the original transcripts from an accredited educator prep program, a letter of recommendation from the fieldwork, and Praxis passing scores, teaching candidates in Louisiana need several documents to apply for their teaching certification.

  • Picture ID - state-issued, drivers' license, or passport
  • Background TA Compliance form - this will include fingerprints
  • Background clearance statement document
  • Professional conduct form with all questions answered

Praxis does offer at-home solutions for some of its subject-specific tests.

Candidates will receive notification from the Certification Division 10 to 15 days after all materials have been received. A certification appeals process is available for teaching candidates whose application for certification has been denied. Appeals must be submitted within 90 days.

Louisiana Teacher Certification Application Process

Teaching candidates should collect the following and compile it into a single pdf document:

  • Copy of social security card and picture ID
  • Completed application form
  • Professional conduct form with all questions answered, signed, and dated
  • Transcripts showing degree awarded and coursework completed
  • Praxis exam(s) scores - these may be electronically sent to LDOE by testing service
  • ACT/SAT scores (If used in Lieu of Basic Skills test)
  • Recommendation letter/form
  • GPA attestation form (for alternate pathway candidates)
  • Alternate Program Completion Verification form (for alternate pathway candidates)
  • Experience verification form
  • Self-evaluation checklist (optional)
  • Copy of payment confirmation (cost $50.00)

Submit compiled PDF through the Louisiana online educator certification portal.

Alternative Teaching Certification in Louisiana

The alternative path to getting a Louisiana teaching certification can take a couple of different directions:

  • The Practitioner Teacher Program: A certification path for adults who have a bachelor's degree (with a GPA of 2.5 or higher) and wish to work as they learn. This combines classes with full-time teaching. Often candidates can earn their teaching certification in one year.
  • The Master's degree Program: This certification path leads to a Master's degree in Education as well as a teaching certification. This pathway offers a number of certification specialty choices. Teaching candidates do have the opportunity to work as a teacher while seeking a teacher's certification. Candidates must complete a minimum of 9 credit hours per year.
  • Certification-only: Teaching candidates who wish to complete courses before working as an educator.

Louisiana offers Career and Technical Trade and Industrial Education (CTTIE) for teaching candidates who wish to embark on a secondary career. Candidates must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent worked a minimum of four years in an accepted field, and have a current state or national license.

Some schools offering an alternative path educator prep certification:

  • Louisiana Colledge participates in the iTeach program, a Post-Baccalaureate program. They offer general teaching certification and a general/special ed. merged program.
  • Louisiana Resource Center for Educators (LRCE), a Post-Baccalaureate program. They offer certification in early childhood, special education, middle school, secondary, foreign languages, and a merged special education/general.
  • Louisiana Tech offers UTeachTech program, a Post-Baccalaureate program. They offer secondary mathematics or science.
  • Loyola University offers a Masters in the Arts in Teaching, a Post-Baccalaureate program. They offer specialties in Middle School or Secondary.

Certification in Louisiana for Out-of-State Educators

Out-of-State educators can become a teacher in Louisiana as long as they have completed a teacher preparation program in another state. To do so, they must seek a letter of eligibility from the Louisiana department of education. To apply, candidates must provide:

  • Transcripts for a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A copy of an out-of-state teaching certificate or the teacher preparation/certificate status.
  • Documents showing completed student teaching, an internship, or year(s) of teaching experiences required..

Once a letter of eligibility for OS (Out-of-State) certification is issued, educators may seek employment in a Louisiana school. Once employed, the school will submit a request for a three-year non-renewable/non-extendable OS certification. A letter indicating the necessary Praxis required with be sent to the school, which will provide it to the educator.

Educators with three or more years of experience may be excluded from the Praxis test requirements.

Once an Out-of-State candidate has passed the Louisiana Praxis, the candidate can receive a standard, renewable, teaching certification.

Louisiana Teacher Employment Outlook & Salary

Public school teachers in Louisiana earn between $50,817 and $67,220, with the average salary being $58,215. Location, years of experience, education, grades teaching, performance, and public vs private schools can affect salary. School personnel retirements rose 25% between 2020 and 2021, so the outlook for new teachers in Louisiana remains good.

Louisiana has six salary levels for teachers. Base salary increases are based on instructor effectiveness, experience, and demand. Experience can only happen with time in the classroom, but educators can increase effectiveness with additional training and choose a school with a higher teacher demand. Due to the demand clause, cities throughout Louisiana can offered vastly different salaries.

City Average Salary average teacher-to-student ratio
DeSoto Parish $60, 433 16:1
Zachary Community School District $54,967 18:1
Ouachita Parish $51,526 16:1
Iberville Parish $$49, 765 13:1
Lafayette Parish $40,977 19:1
Tensas Parish $37,725 15:1

Louisiana offers professional advancement opportunities for educators through two programs: Louisiana Mentor Teacher and Louisiana Content Leader. Mentor teachers coach and support new teachers. Content leaders are educators who can provide curriculum-specific professional development to new and current teachers. Louisiana also requires educators with a level two or three certifications to earn 150 clock hours between renewal periods (5 years). Louisiana's Mentor Teacher and Content Leader programs can provide clock hours necessary for certification renewal.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you get a teaching certificate in Louisiana?

    Earning a teaching certification in Louisiana begins with either a four-year education prep program or a one-year alternative teacher prep program for those with an existing bachelor's degree. Upon completion of the candidate's program, Louisiana Praxis tests must be passed, and then candidates can apply for a Louisiana teaching certification.

  • How do you become a certified teacher without a teaching degree?

    A teaching candidate with a Bachelor's degree may follow an alternative path, which will include teaching while taking educator prep courses in an alternative teacher program.

  • Can I take my Praxis test at home?

    Some Praxis specific-subject tests are available for Praxis' "at-home" solutions. Not all tests offer candidates the option to take the test at home, though. Check the Praxis website for options.

  • What is a passing score for the Praxis?

    Each Praxis test has different passing scores and Praxis has 90 tests available. Check Praxis' website for the passing score of an individual test.

  • What degree do you need to be a teacher in Louisiana?

    In the state of Louisiana, a minimum educational requirement to become a certified teacher is to have a valid Bachelor's degree, as well as having completed an in-state or state-approved teacher preparation program.