How To Become a Teacher in Kentucky


Becoming a teacher in Kentucky requires foresight and planning. To begin, take a look at the areas of certification and endorsement. Plan your education appropriately so as to qualify for the corresponding area of teacher certification. In addition, make sure you are aware of all the requirements necessary to become a teacher, including recency, testing, fingerprinting and classroom teaching experience.

Kentucky Teacher Certification Roadmap

Areas of Teacher Certification

Kentucky offers three (3) ranks of initial teacher certification corresponding to teacher salary. Areas of base teaching certification include:

  • Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education (Birth to Primary)
  • Elementary School (Primary through Grade 5)
  • Middle School (Grades 5 through 9)
  • Secondary School (Grades 8 through 12)
  • Middle/Secondary School (Grades 5 through 12)
  • Elementary/Middle/Secondary School (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Exceptional Children (Primary through Grade 12)

Restricted Base Certificates include:

  • Psychology (Grades 8 through 12)
  • Sociology (Grades 8 through 12)
  • Journalism (Grades 8 through 12)
  • Speech/Media Communication (Grades 8 through 12)
  • Theatre (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Dance (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Computer Information Systems (Primary through Grade 12)
  • English as a Second Language (Primary through Grade 12)

Endorsements to Certificates include:

  • Computer Science (Grades 8 through 12)
  • English as a Second Language (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Gifted Education (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Driver Education (Grades 8 through Grade 12)
  • Literacy Specialist/Reading (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Instructional Computer Technology (Primary through Grades 12)

Other Instructional Services certification areas include:

  • Consultant
  • Endorsement for Environmental Education (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Endorsement for School Nutrition (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Endorsement for School Safety (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Endorsement for Mathematics Specialist (Primary through Grade 5)
  • Learning and Behavior Disorders (Grades 8-12)
  • School Guidance Counselor
  • School Nurse
  • School Psychologist
  • School Social Worker
  • Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps
  • Principal (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Supervisor of Instruction (Primary through Grade 12)
  • Director of Pupil Personnel
  • Director of Special Education
  • Superintendent

Kentucky Teaching Certificate Requirements

  • A bachelor's degree
  • Completion of a teacher preparation program
  • Verification by the Superintendent or Personnel Director of full-time classroom teaching experience
  • Passing score on Praxis I and Praxis II Specialty Area test scores for each area of certification
  • Recency - prepared as a teacher within the five years preceding the application or completed six semester hours of graduate credit within the five years
  • Completed application and fee

The requirements for each Rank are:

  • Rank 1- master's degree and 60 semester hours graduate credit or National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification.
  • Rank II- master's degree
  • Rank III- bachelor's degree

Education Requirements

In order to become a teacher in Kentucky, you must possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree. If you do not meet this requirement, here are some of the top online education degree programs to help you meet the requirements of becoming a teacher.


Kentucky requires each candidate to take and pass the Kentucky Praxix Series of Tests. This includes the Praxis I for Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, as well as the Praxis II content area tests for specific teaching areas.


Kentucky does not require fingerprinting or a background check as part of its initial licensure process. However, fingerprinting, a background check, and a police record examination may be completed by the local school district in which you are employed.

Certification Reciprocity

Kentucky is part of the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, which allows the state to accept teacher preparation programs from state-accredited colleges and universities from other states. Reciprocity is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, so you must complete a full application to be considered for a teacher license based on reciprocity.

Kentucky Alternative Teacher Certification

Kentucky offers eight options for alternative teacher certification. These include exceptional work experience, local district training programs, and college faculty certification, universities programs offering alternative teacher certification programs for candidates who hold a bachelor's degree, and the Teach for America alternative certification route.

In addition to these options, the Kentucky Troops to Teachers program offers teacher certification assistance to qualified military personnel seeking a career as a teacher in Kentucky.

Become a Substitute Teacher in Kentucky

If you have a college degree but don't qualify for a teaching certificate, you may consider becoming a substitute teacher in Kentucky. You may substitute teach while you attain your teaching credentials through an accredited online program.

Teacher Jobs In Kentucky

There are several resources for finding teacher jobs in Kentucky. The first is the Kentucky Educator Placement Service job search. This job search allows you to search teacher jobs by district and position type.

Kentucky REAP offers a teacher job search and also allows you to post your resume so school districts can find you for available teaching positions.

Another job resource is through the Kentucky Department of Education who posts job opportunities at schools and districts throughout Kentucky.

Lastly, to find a teaching position in Kentucky, you may wish to contact the school or school district directly. Use this Kentucky Schools Directory to locate a school's contact information and inquire about available teacher jobs.

Kentucky Teacher Salaries

Kentucky Teacher Salaries will vary by district, level of education and number of years teaching. To help prospective teachers get an idea of how much money a teacher in Kentucky makes, the Kentucky Department of Education offers Certified Salary Schedules. The certified salary report lists teacher salaries by rank and school district. Also provided on that page are Kentucky's minimum and average salary schedules. This information shows teacher salaries ranging between $27,432 and $70,472 with the average Kentucky teacher salary falling in the mid 40s.

Resources for Teacher Certification in Kentucky

Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board
100 Airport Road, 3rd Floor
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Phone: (502) 564-4606
Fax: (502) 564-7080
Toll Free: (888) 598-7667

Learn how to become a teacher in another state, or click on one of these neighboring states below.