How to Become a Teacher in Kentucky
The Kentucky Department of Education believes that every child should be proficient and prepared for success. With great support, becoming a teacher in Kentucky will prove to be one of the most rewarding decisions. Here are the steps to help you become an educator in Kentucky.
Choose What You Want to Teach
One of the first things you must do is decide which level or subject you want to teach. Do you want to work with young children in an elementary school? Do you prefer working with older children in high school? Perhaps you are more interested in special education. Before you become a teacher in Kentucky, it is important to think about what type of students and subject(s) you would like to teach, because each level requires different certification. The Kentucky Department of Education has information about teachers, students, and schools in the state, which can help you make your decision.
Complete Your Education Requirements for Teaching in Kentucky
As with other states, the basic education requirement to become a certified teacher in Kentucky is the possession of a Bachelor's Degree. Individuals will also need to complete a State Board-approved educator preparation program.
Complete a Teacher Preparation Program
Educator preparation programs prepare individuals to become professional teachers. These programs are usually a combination of college classes and fieldwork. The courses tend to focus on areas such as subject-based teaching methods, differentiated instructional strategies, multiple assessment measures, classroom management, and integration of technology. Fieldwork tends to be comprised of classroom observations, student teaching, or interning. The student teaching process allows pre-service teachers the opportunity to practice their craft in a real classroom. Students teaching usually lasts for a set amount of time under the guidance of a certificated teacher. Student teachers are usually responsible for planning and implementing lessons based on the needs of the students in the class.
A teacher preparation program is usually completed as part of a Bachelor's Degree program. However, if you decide to become a teacher after earning a Bachelor's Degree in an unrelated field, you can most likely complete a post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program. Several institutions of higher education even offer joint Master's Degree and teacher preparation programs as well.
Teacher preparation programs can be completed online or at a campus, as long as it is approved by the state and accredited. For Kentucky, the accreditation organization is the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
If you already have a Bachelor's Degree, you will most likely be able to complete a post-baccalaureate, or alternative, teacher preparation program.
Alternative Teacher Certification in Kentucky
There are alternative routes to teacher certification in Kentucky for individuals who have demonstrated exceptional work and/or educational experiences.
Kentucky Teacher Internship Program
Individuals may receive a Temporary Provisional Certificate if they meet certain criteria. This certificate allows candidates to teach in a school as they are completing a teacher preparation program. Individuals in this route should take part in the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program. These individuals will be asked to complete all necessary requirements for earning certification within three years. Requirements for a temporary provisional certificate include a Bachelor's Degree with a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA or a graduate degree, qualifying scores on the GRE, passing scores on content area tests, and an offer for employment.
Pass the Required Tests for Kentucky
In Kentucky, the Praxis series of tests are used to assess the abilities of candidates who apply for teacher certification in the state.
Basic Skills Test
The Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test might be required before entering a teacher education program, but this varies by college or university. This test assesses a candidate in areas of general math, reading, and writing.
Candidates pursuing the traditional Kentucky educator certificate route must complete the Praxis II exam for the area(s) they want to become certified in. This test measures general and subject specific teaching knowledge. In addition, the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) test must be completed for the appropriate grade level.
If you you have an out-of-state teaching certificate and two years of teaching experience, you may be able to waive the testing requirement in Kentucky. Inquire with the Kentucky Department of Education if this situation applies to you.
Apply for your Kentucky Teacher Certification
Once applicants have completed all of the requirements as stipulated by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, applications should be completed and sent in to the Department. It is recommended to send applications in at least three months before the desired date of employment, because some months can be very busy. Like many other US states, Kentucky requires new teachers applying for Kentucky teachers licensing to submit a state and federal background check. All applicants must provide fingerprints through the Verified Credentials Online system before working with children in the state of Kentucky.
Submit the following with your application:
- A completed teacher certification (TC-1) application form
- Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate coursework
- Passing scores for Praxis II Specialty Area test and the Principles of Learning and Teaching test
- Verification of completion of Kentucky teachers certification program from accredited college or university
- A non-refundable $50 money order or certified check made payable to the "Kentucky State Treasurer"
Division of Certification
Education Professional Standards Board
100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (502) 564-5846
Find a Teaching Job in Kentucky
After your application is processed and accepted, you will be ready to begin you career as an educator in Kentucky. You will be prepared to bring about positive change in the lives of those you teach.
Teaching in Public Schools
Candidates applying for teaching jobs in the state of Kentucky can access the Kentucky Educator Placement Service Program (KEPS) through the Kentucky Department of Education website. Current needs are for elementary and middle school educators, as well as administrators and special education teachers.
Having obtained full time employment, Kentucky teachers are eligible to join the Kentucky Education Association for labor support, and the Kentucky Association of Professional Educators (KAPE). These were formed to support teachers in their networking and professional development endeavors.
KTRS (Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System)
Teachers retiring from a public education position are eligible to draw pension benefits through the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System (KTRS). Benefit amounts are based on length of service and final average salary.
Teaching in Private Schools
Many teachers consider employment within one of Kentucky's 386 private schools. With a ratio of 12:1, many teachers prefer this. Although private schools are not mandated by the state to hire only certified teachers, many still prefer it. Private schools may offer differing pay and benefits than their public school counterparts. However, moving to higher positions in the school may be more accessible in a private school.
Teacher Shortage in Kentucky by Subjects or Discipline (2014-2015)
The following list of teacher shortage areas in Kentucky has been obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) list for the 2014-2015 school year
- Career and Technical Education
- English as a Second Language
- Emotional-Behavior Disorder
- Functional Mental Disorder
- Hearing Impaired
- Learning Behavior Disorder
- Visually Impaired Mathematics
- Earth Science
- General Science
- Social Studies
- World Languages
Number of Public School Teachers By Grade
The table below lists the number of public school teachers in Kentucky by grade level during the 2012-2013 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Pre-kindergarten & Preschool Teachers||894|
|Middle & High School Teachers||10,120|
|Ungraded Class Teachers||10,776|
Data obtained from the State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data 2013
Number of Private School Teachers By Grade
There are more than 300 private schools with an estimated 4,700 private school teachers in Kentucky. The table below details the number of teachers by grade level during the 2011-2012 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Elementary School Teachers||2,217|
|Middle & High School Teachers||841|
|Combined K-12 School Teachers||1,667|
Data obtained from the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2012
Continue Your Education and Professional Development
Teachers pursue professional development from the time they are granted licensure until retirement. Ongoing professional development ensures that the nation's educators continually adapt to meet the needs of today's students and the career climate that those students will enter after graduation.
Professional Development in Kentucky
The state of Kentucky has mandated that all professional development opportunities be listed on the Effective Instructional Leadership Act database (EILA). EILA has criteria for accepting training providers that meet the professional development needs of teachers in the state. Teachers, administrators, and district personnel with questions are encouraged to visit the Professional Development homepage to touch base with accredited providers such as ACE Corp, Atlantic Research Partners, Bluegrass Center for Teacher Quality, and Consortium on Reaching Excellence, Inc.
Employment and Teacher Salary in Kentucky
Teachers in Kentucky can expect to earn $35,166 annually during the first year of employment which is directly comparable to the annual personal per capita income. The state is actively recruiting teacher applicants to add to its preschool, elementary, and secondary workforce across 1,571 schools; teachers are advised to apply to districts with high enrolment numbers first such as Jefferson County Public Schools, Fayette County Public Schools, Boone County Schools, and Hardin County Schools.
Salary Range$43,000 - $64,190
Elementary school teachers have a salary range between $43,000 to $64,190 a year in Kentucky. There are around nineteen thousand employed elementary school teachers. Read about what it takes to become an elementary school teacher.
Elementary School Teachers
|Louisville, Jefferson County||4,890||$55,300|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Elementary School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2021)
Salary Range$41,210 - $87,600
English teachers have a salary range between $41,210 to $87,600 a year in Kentucky, with over 1,240 employed in the state. See details on how to become an english teacher.
English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor)
|Louisville, Jefferson County||280||-|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1123)
Salary Range$43,590 - $70,190
As a high school teacher in Kentucky you can expect to make between $43,590 - $70,190. There are around twelve thousand employed high school teachers. Take the next step and learn to how to become a high school teacher.
High School Teachers
|Louisville, Jefferson County||3,730||$55,980|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for High School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2031)
Salary Range$49,850 - $100,500
In Kentucky, a history teacher's salary may range from $49,850 to $100,500. There are around 520 employed history teachers. Get more information about becoming a history teacher.
History Teachers (College Professor)
|Louisville, Jefferson County||80||-|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for History Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1125)
Salary Range$43,860 - $68,310
Kindergarten teachers in Kentucky, can earn between $43,860 to $68,310 a year. There are around a thousand employed kindergarten teachers. Read about what it takes to become a kindergarten teacher.
|Louisville, Jefferson County||610||$56,590|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Kindergarten Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2012)
Salary Range$43,000 - $109,260
As a math teacher in Kentucky you can expect to make between $43,000 - $109,260. Kentucky is home to about forty thousand math teachers. See our guide on how to become a math teacher.
Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor)
|Louisville, Jefferson County||180||$70,080|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1022)
Salary Range$19,070 - $69,270
P.e. teachers have a salary range between $19,070 to $69,270 a year in Kentucky. Kentucky is home to about a thousand p.e. teachers. See our guide on how to become a p.e. teacher.
Coaches and Scouts
|Louisville, Jefferson County||840||$35,480|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Coaches and Scouts (SOC Code: 27-2022)
Salary Range$24,170 - $56,920
In Kentucky, a preschool teacher's salary may range from $24,170 to $56,920, with over 2,460 employed in the state. See details on how to become a preschool teacher.
|Louisville, Jefferson County||650||$38,930|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Preschool Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2011)
Salary Range$32,090 - $109,490
As a school administrator in Kentucky you can expect to make between $32,090 - $109,490. Kentucky is home to about four thousand school administrators. Take the next step and learn to how to become a school administrator.
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program
|Louisville, Jefferson County||100||$41,080|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program (SOC Code: 11-9031)
Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School
|Louisville, Jefferson County||1,050||$91,820|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School (SOC Code: 11-9032)
Salary Range$40,760 - $77,590
School counselors in Kentucky, can earn between $40,760 to $77,590 a year, with over 3,030 employed in the state. See our guide on how to become a school counselor.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
|Louisville, Jefferson County||850||$59,550|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors (SOC Code: 21-1012)
Salary Range$46,520 - $74,010
School librarians have a salary range between $46,520 to $74,010 a year in Kentucky. Kentucky is home to about two thousand school librarians. Read about what it takes to become a school librarian.
|Louisville, Jefferson County||490||$57,500|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Librarians (SOC Code: 25-4021)
Salary Range$40,360 - $65,570
In Kentucky, a special education teacher's salary may range from $40,360 to $65,570. Kentucky is home to about seven thousand special education teachers. Interested in becoming a special education teacher?
Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School)
|Louisville, Jefferson County||920||$56,390|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School) (SOC Code: 25-2052)
Special Education Teachers (Middle School)
|Louisville, Jefferson County||490||$54,190|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Middle School) (SOC Code: 25-2053)
Special Education Teachers (High School)
|Louisville, Jefferson County||620||$55,460|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (High School) (SOC Code: 25-2054)
Salary Range$18,800 - $35,840
In Kentucky, a substitute teacher's salary may range from $18,800 to $35,840. Kentucky is home to about 100 substitute teachers. Read about what it takes to become a substitute teacher.
|Louisville, Jefferson County||560||$21,700|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Substitute Teachers (SOC Code: 25-3098)
Salary Range$21,190 - $36,020
In Kentucky, a teaching assistant's salary may range from $21,190 to $36,020. There are around seventeen thousand employed teaching assistants. Interested in becoming a teaching assistant?
|Louisville, Jefferson County||4,430||$28,650|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Teacher Assistants (SOC Code: 25-9041)
Top School Districts Supporting Teachers in Kentucky
Teachers work hard every day and the more support they have the better they can succeed at inspiring our future. This is why Teacher.org has ranked school districts in Kentucky that excel in supporting teachers inside and outside of the classroom. 118 school districts in Kentucky were analyzed with the top 30 school districts being featured below. The school districts were scored on several factors which represent how well a school district supports their teachers.
For more information on school district rankings, see our methodology page: http://www.teacher.org/school-district-ranking-methodology.
Continued List of School Districts in Kentucky
Data obtained from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey