Become a Teacher in Arkansas

Arkansas Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary: $45,120
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary:$48,600
Vacation Weeks per Year:15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio:14.7
Expenditure per Pupil:$9,616

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

Four Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
(501) 682-4475

Arkansas 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 in academic subject other than their area of preparation.  According to a report by the USDE Office of Postsecondary Education, Arkansas has the following Teacher Shortage Areas:

  • Business
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Guidance and Counseling
  • Library Media
  • Science (Earth, Life, and Physical)
  • Middle Childhood
  • Music
  • Mathematics
  • Special Education

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Arkansas

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. 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 updated: 11/3/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Arkansas, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit an Arkansas teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Arkansas Teaching Credential

Earning your Arkansas teaching credential will require completing the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as completing an accredited teacher’s certification program.

Arkansas has two main levels of licensure – Provisional, which allows qualified professionals to teach while completing required coursework, and Standard, for teachers who have fulfilled the standard requirements. Learn more about earning your Arkansas teaching credential at the Arkansas Department of Education Educator Licensure Unit page.

Learn more about getting your teaching credential on

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Arkansas

All states require that prospective teachers have at least a Bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification. Some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements.

Teacher education programs generally consist of two elements—curricula and fieldwork. Curricula generally include instruction on teaching fundamental skills, pedagogy (the science of teaching) and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Fieldwork often includes field observations, internships, student teaching or a combination of all three.

Check with your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information about specific requirements. Arkansas does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information. 

Step Two: Arkansas Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher preparation typically requires the completion of an accredited teaching certification program. To earn your teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program.  More information on preparation for the Arkansas License and a list of accredited teacher preparation programs can be found at the Arkansas Department of Education Educator Preparation page.

Step Three: Required Tests for Arkansas

Arkansas requires teachers to take the Praxis I/PPST (Pre-Professional Skills Test) for entry into a teacher preparation program, the Praxis II test in your subject area, and the Praxis II: Principles of Learning and Teaching exam.

Read more about teacher certification tests on

Learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

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Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

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.

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Alternative Teacher Certification in Arkansas

Arkansas has several alternatives for certification. Individuals with a Bachelor’s degree can become a Highly Qualified teacher through the Arkansas Professional Pathway to Educator Licensure (APPEL), allowing them to teach while completing the requirements for Standard License.  Veterans may be able to earn their license through the Troops to Teachers Program. More non-traditional routes to licensure can be found on the Arkansas Department of Education Non-Traditional Routes to Licensure page.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Arkansas

A master's degree in the field of education can give teachers more field experience, as well as a greater knowledge of teaching theory. As the teacher’s job market is increasingly performance based, a Master’s can provide increased job security, as well as higher pay. According to the Arkansas Department of Education, a Master’s degree can result in a $4,000 increase in salary over a Bachelor’s degree.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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Certification Reciprocity in Arkansas

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another. . For more specific questions about your situation, contact the Arkansas Department of Education.

To find out what other state teaching licenses can be used in Arkansas, check out our Teacher Certification Reciprocity page on

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Arkansas Teacher Salary and Incentives

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a teacher in Arkansas is $46,631, which is 121% of the state average.

Salary schedules are determined by school district, with a minimum wage of $30,122 for a Bachelor’s with no experience and up to $61,000 for experienced teachers with a Master’s or Doctorate, according to the Arkansas Department of Education. Arkansas offers increased pay to teachers of high-need subjects or teachers willing to work in high-demand districts. Learn more about

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Arkansas Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Teachers in Arkansas receive healthcare, dental, and vision plans, with optional programs for life insurance and other types of support. The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System website has some helpful guides and multiple plans.  

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Professional Development for Arkansas Teachers

In order to renew a Standard teaching license, teachers in Arkansas must complete 36 hours of development training each year. For more information about professional development for teachers and professional development providers in Arkansas, visit the Arkansas Department of Education Professional Development page. 

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Arkansas Teaching Jobs

The Arkansas Department of Education runs a teaching job site where public schools can post job vacancies. Also, Arkansas teaching jobs can also be applied for on the website.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on

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