Guide to Becoming a Teacher in Kentucky

If you’re hoping to become a teacher in Kentucky, has the data, insights and information required to pursue this goal. This page describes the key steps you’ll need to take to be a licensed Kentucky teacher and obtain a teaching position that meets your professional expectations.

1. Choosing a Program: The first step is to find a teaching program that supports your budget and short- and long-term career goals.

  • Finding an appropriate program that fits your needs is a critical first step. To ensure you select a program that meets your needs, ask the right questions. Are you concerned about the cost of the program or the amount of debt you might incur? Does the program’s graduation rate matter? Are you concerned about the program’s history of job placement? Is there a specific specialization you hope to pursue and does the program offer this specialization? Are you interested in pursuing a degree at a faith-based college or university?

2. Planning for Licensure in Kentucky: In Kentucky, you will need a minimum of a bachelor degree and an education degree. You will also need to write and pass the state’s applicable certification exams.

3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed your education and passed the applicable exams, you can launch your teaching career in Kentucky.

  • At this point, it is important to consider the type of teaching environment in which you hope to work. Are you interested in working in a city, small town or rural community? What are your lifestyle priorities? What are your salary expectations? During this stage of the process, you should also keep developing your resume, expanding your education by engaging in professional development activities for teachers and gaining additional work experience. Finally, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and network with local educators. Knowing local teachers will help you anticipate when openings will be posted and give you a competitive edge.

Choosing an Education Program in Kentucky understands that choosing the right program can be challenging. For this reason, we have streamlined the process. Using a complex algorithmic tool designed just for aspiring teachers, we have evaluated education programs across the state. Specifically, our team has analyzed total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings, and return on investment.

Below, you’ll discover the very best education programs in Kentucky for 2015. Find out which ones stand above the rest and best match your own priorities.

Ranking Factors Explained

Our ranking data is based upon, IPEDS, and the Carnegie Foundation data sets.

How to Become a Teacher in Kentucky

Teacher licensing in the State of Kentucky is overseen by the Kentucky Department of Education; there are two primary pathways to teacher certification in the state:

  • Pathway 1: Earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a regionally or nationally-approved college or university, complete an educator preparation program, including an internship for the grade level desired, and then pass the state’s required licensing exams, which include the Praxis Core Academic Skills Assessments and applicable Praxis content area exams.
  • Pathway 2: Another popular option is to complete a bachelor’s degree and approved teacher preparation program in another U.S. state. Notably, candidates who have not previously held a valid teaching license outside of Kentucky, must comply with the state’s internship, testing and GPA requirements. Out-of-state teachers who have been accredited and licensed for a period of two years in their another U.S. state and are currently in good standing can simply apply for a Kentucky license.

What is the job outlook for teaching careers in Kentucky?

In 2015, there were 2,400 kindergarten teachers, 18,820 elementary teachers, 8,200 middle school teachers and 12,590 high school teachers in Kentucky. Career data for the State of Kentucky shows that there are approximately 2,000 job openings for teachers annually. These openings include both new hires and replacement hires for retiring teachers. Elementary and secondary school teachers have among the highest number of job openings of any occupation in Kentucky.

The state average teacher salary has been steadily rising in recent years but not necessary as quickly as inflation. According to reports published by the Kentucky Department of Education, the current average classroom teacher salary is $51,635 annually. While teacher’s salaries lag behind many U.S. states, an advantage to teaching in Kentucky is the remarkably low student to teacher ratio. Teachers in Kentucky enjoy an average a 15 to 1 student to teacher ratio, which is much lower than nationwide averages.

What resources do teachers have to help them during their careers in Kentucky?

  • The Kentucky Department of Education is the primary governing body for education in Kentucky; their website offers up-to-date information about statewide initiatives and educational policies.
  • Kentucky’s teachers are represented by Kentucky Education Association (KEA); the KEA advocates on behalf of teachers and public education.
  • A key resource of educators in Kentucky is the KET P-12 School Services Website; this website has links to educational resources, websites, and state and national education organizations.
  • The Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation hosts the AdvanceKentucky program, which that offers a variety of resources to teachers including classroom, professional, curriculum, and program resources.
  • The Kentucky Association of Teacher Educators promotes the improvement and advancement of teacher education across the state.

What online programs are available to potential teachers in the state of Kentucky?

Eastern Kentucky University offers several online education programs, including programs at the graduate level. The University of the Cumberlands also offers several online programs, including programs in literacy and educational administration.


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