As different states will have different programs available, they will also have different rules and regulations around degrees (required hours, institution certification, etc.) and Alabama is no exception. We've researched things like teaching related career statistics, what it takes to become a teacher in Alabama, and what to expect from some of the local state Masters programs. Utilize our data and research to make the right decision when looking at your options in the state of Alabama.
Alabama Teacher Career Statistics
While it might be easier to find national career statistics related to those that have achieved a Masters in Education, it can be challenging to find more state related data and insights. We utilized data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics to find information specific to Alabama. Trying got understand that things like cost of living should also be taken into account with these averages is important when making your evaluations of a masters degree.
- Average Alabama Elementary School Teacher Salary: $49,700
- Average Alabama Secondary School Teacher Salary: $49,960
- Employment Per 1,000: 6.76
There are some states that see a much greater difference in salary averages between the two school teacher roles mentioned above but Alabama is almost even. You should interpret averages as indicators and not necessarily a guarantee or a limitation of what you can expect to make if you gain one of these roles after completing your Masters in Education. You will also want to figure out if you plan to work in a major metro city in Alabama (Birmingham or Montgomery for example) as they can often come with that higher cost of living.
Becoming a Teacher in Alabama
As we stated at the beginning, each state can vary greatly on their requirements to even apply for a master’s in education program. Schools can also vary on the amount of hours or types of required classes within their masters curriculum. The University of Alabama will require MA in Elementary Education students to complete the “Evaluation of Classroom Learning” course depending on the courses you took in your undergraduate program. You can likely expect to see some of the following requirements for many MA programs in Alabama:
- Achieved Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited university
- A completed and submitted application to the graduate school
- Completed and submitted scores on tests like the GRE, MAT, or Praxis II
Just remember that each program can be different from the next regarding prerequisite requirements. If you are an out of state student looking to apply to a Alabama Masters in Education program, you must hold a valid certificate issued by another state. The key part of that statement is “valid”. You can go to the Alabama’s State Department of Education website to see if your current degree and/or certificate is on that list of valid institutions. If it isn’t, you will need to see what options you have to insure you meet whatever masters program you aim to enroll in.
What to Expect While Earning Your Masters in Education
With the various options avaiable in Alabama, you will want to better understand how to find the unique aspects of each program. These details can often be what separates one program from another and makes your decision process much easier.
The University of Alabama actually offers some different masters degree options for those that do not have any educator certifications. Their Alternative Master’s Degree will guide you to a Class A certification. Essentially, you will begin earning your Master of Arts degree in Education but also be fulfilling requirements for the Class A teaching certification. For those that might not meet all of those requirements, this program could be appealing and allow you to earn the masters degree while gaining the certification you need.
Alabama A&M University offers a graduate degree program in Elementary Eduation (M.Ed.) offers several education related degree programs which include:
- Early Childhood Education (including Single Teaching and Educational Specialist (ED.S.) programs)
- Educational Leadership
- Elementary Education
- School Psychology
You can see that from the various programs being available at different schools combined with the some of the uniquenss around each program will provide you with a lot of choices. You may also see that some schools like to focus more on hands on experiences in their teaching while others focus on traditional textbook education.
Alabama Master’s Degree Curriculum and Course Work
Trying to decide on what kind of education masters program you should enroll can be based off of the type of institution you hope to gain employment with, the types and ages of students you work with, and what you’re willing to take on from a course perspective. We looked at several masters in education programs in Alabama and pulled some of the more common courses out that we saw:
- Elementary School Curriculum: This program will look at how to develop school and classroom curriculum. You will likely be exposed to several different approaches to curriculum development theory to try and apply to a classroom setting.
- Trends and Practices in Classroom Teaching: You can likely expect to learn about some of the newest teaching trends and developing classroom culture. There will also likely be some subject matter about collaboration with families and some of the experimental new ways people are testing.
- Instructional Planning: This course typically focuses around how to plan out a course schedule to avoid making it too time consuming (a common challenge in teaching). It will have you consider student and classroom needs and formulate your courses around that.
While these are some of the typical required courses we saw for various Alabama Masters in Education programs, it is not a guarantee. A lot of the programs will list out their entire curriculum on the website so make sure you use that as part of your decision making research. Evaluating your ability to be successful in these courses can be a big driver for program selection.
Alabama is a unique state with a lot of options to earn your a Masters in Education degree. Utilizing our research should help make that decision easier to evaluate. Congratulations on taking the next step in your level of education and being a part of educating future generations!