Education Requirements for Becoming an English Teacher in Kentucky

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One of the key goals for anyone considering becoming an English language arts teacher in Kentucky is realizing that all children are teachable. With that thought in mind, the typical roadblocks to a successful education — poverty, underprivileged populations, and language issues — all become cliché excuses when compared to that reality. When you begin the journey of becoming a teacher in Kentucky schools, that ideal should be at the forefront of your curriculum.

As a language arts teacher you will be afforded the opportunity to lay foundational skills in our nation’s youth that will stay with them for a lifetime. You will teach them how to read, write, communicate, and appreciate the beauty of the written word. While you may face challenges, you will also be rewarded in ways you never imagined. Seeing a child succeed and knowing you had a part in that success is part of that reward. If you are ready to embark on this new career, below are the general steps to becoming a teacher in Kentucky:

Choose a Degree and Teaching Program
Pass Kentucky Praxis Exams
Apply for Kentucky Teaching Certification
Renew Your Certificate



Step 1. Choose a Degree and Teaching Program

The basic education for teacher training in Kentucky for your first five-year license will be a bachelor’s degree. If this is your first time looking into the requirements to earn a teaching certificate in Kentucky, you may want to look at all your options, however.

Kentucky offers a ranking system for its teachers that will allow for a higher salary if you graduate with a master’s degree. Seeking a master’s degree at this time may also save you time when you need to renew your license.

Masters in Education or Language Arts

A master’s degree with a teacher preparation program will give you an excellent start in your new career. The programs are designed so that you not only have a foundational education, but advanced training in your teaching field as well.

If you plan to teach in the lower grades, a master’s in education will offer all you need to succeed in teaching younger children, not only language arts, but other subjects as well. Elementary school classes are contained classes which means you will stay with the same students all day, teaching them all of their subjects.

If you plan on becoming a secondary school teacher, your master’s program will not only offer general courses, but many core subject courses as well. You will become proficient in all aspects of the English language; from literature, to grammar, to composition. You will also have a section that is devoted to teacher classroom skills. This will include time spent as a teacher-in-training at a school.

Alternative Options for Earning a Kentucky Teaching Certification

Most states have various options for earning a teaching certification that allows candidates to change careers or count work experience towards teaching. Kentucky’s Educational Professional Standards Board has several alternative options for you to consider. If you already have experience in work that revolves around teaching English language arts and you already hold a degree, you may want to consider one of these alternative preparation plans.

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Step 2. Pass Kentucky Praxis Exams

As part of your teacher training, you will have several state exams that show you are ready to teach. The exams are the Praxis tests. There will be more than one test that you have to take. The first test (for all grade levels) is a basic skills exam proving your abilities in general educational subjects. The second test will focus on either the subject (English) or the age of children you will teach.

To determine which tests are appropriate for you, check out the Praxis website where they list each test available.

To apply for the tests, you will need to access the Praxis website and create an account online. Once you have completed this step, you will be able to sign up for all your tests, retrieve your scores, and make any changes to your personal information or testing appointments that may be necessary.



Step 3. Apply for Kentucky Teaching Certification

Kentucky licensing is based on teaching certificates earned in specialized areas and grades. The certificates are divided into age brackets with one additional certification for exceptional children. Here are the following teacher certifications available in Kentucky:

  • Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education
  • Elementary School (Primary to Grade five)
  • Middle School (Grades five to nine) – for this certificate you will prepare for English and communication.
  • Secondary School (Grades eight to twelve) – for this certificate you will prepare for English only.
  • Middle/Secondary School (Grades five to twelve) – Preparations for this certification do not include English language arts.
  • Elementary/Middle/Secondary School (Primary to Grade twelve) – Preparations for this certification do not include English language arts.
  • Exceptional Children (Primary to grade twelve and for collaborating with teachers to design and deliver programs) – This license is designed for teachers who will specialize in one of the following:
    • Learning and behavioral disorders
    • Children with advanced disabilities
    • Hearing impaired/ability to sign proficiency
    • Visual impairment
    • Communication disorders

To apply for your certification:

  • Send in a TC-1 application form
  • Include your sealed transcripts for all college coursework
  • Send a letter from your school official verifying your full-time teaching experience
  • Send in your Praxis test scores.
  • Send the verification for your teacher preparation program
  • Send the $50 fee (money order or certified check). Make the check out to: Kentucky State Treasurer.

You may also opt to use the EPSB “E-Pay” online payment service after you mail in your application.



Step 4. Renew Your Certificate

If you are renewing your certificate for the first time, these are the items that you will need in order to renew:

  • Complete the TC-2 application
  • Complete 15 graduate course hours. You may also choose to take 50% of continuing education requirements; plus have your superintendent verify that you have three years of teaching experience or a sealed transcript that indicates the courses you took for renewal plus a recommendation of an official from your college of education.
  • Pay a $50 fee in a money order or certified check made payable to the “Kentucky State Treasurer”. Applicants may also use EPSB “E-Pay” online payment service to pay certification fees once the completed application has been mailed.

For the next renewal period (5 years) you will have to complete an approved Master’s degree or an approved 5th-year program, which consists of 32 graduate hours. You may also choose to complete the remaining continuing education requirements along with all the requirements listed for your first renewal.



Kentucky English Teacher Salaries

In 2000 there were just twenty-eight people living in Concord, Kentucky, the smallest city in the state and home to just a handful of families. By contrast, Louisville, Kentucky has 375,000 people in what is considered the gateway city—home to Kentucky Bourbon, the Louisville Slugger, and Churchill Downs.

As a teacher you will find that your options for living abound in this midwestern part of the country. As you peruse the possibilities you may also want to look over each school’s salary schedules to consider how to maximize your earning power.

The state legislature has issued a mandate that requires that all teachers are paid certain minimums based on education and time on the job. The following list shows the greater the education, the higher the pay. Here are examples of the first fourteen years of service:

  • 0-3 years: $25,200(I), $22,580(II), $19,910(III), $17,150(IV), $15,810(V)
  • 4-9 years: 27,840(I), 25,200(II), 22,580(III), $17,150(IV), $15,810(V)
  • 10-14 years: $31,260(I), $28,600(II), $25,950(III), $17,150(IV), $15,810

It has been noted that each district has exceeded the state’s minimum requirements. For instance, in the Daviess, County Public Schools an entry-level high school English teacher will earn $37,281. The average teacher salaries vary from school to school. Here are just a few other examples:

  • Adair County- $47,525
  • Anderson County-$47,098
  • Franklin County-$47,326
  • Powell County- $45,919

For other salaries across metro areas throughout Kentucky see the chart below:

Area Name
Annual Median Salary
Bowling Green KY
Huntington-Ashland WV-KY-OH
Estimate Not Released
Lexington-Fayette KY
West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
Estimate Not Released
West Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
East Kentucky nonmetropolitan area

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