Alabama Administration/Principal Certification


Learn how to become an Administrator or Principal in Alabama. There are two main avenues to certification: 1.) Through a state-approved program or 2.) Through reciprocity agreements (see Alabama Teacher Reciprocity).

The following are basic guidelines for the first approach, through a state-approved education program.


Education Requirements

There are 2 classes of Professional Leadership Certification in Alabama - Class A and Class AA. Each class is connected with differing pay structures (exact pay will depend on the county where you wish to become an administrator or principal - contact your desired county to learn the exact compensation).

Learn more about the graduate school process. Contact schools offering educational administration degree programs in Alabama.

The following are educational requirements for each certification Class:

Certification Area Grade Level Class A Class AA
Educational Administrator P-12 Master's Degree 6th year program
Principal P-6 Master's Degree 6th year program
Principal 7-12 Master's Degree 6th year program
Career & Tech Ed. Admin. 6-12 Master's Degree 6th year program
For more information about program specifics, contact schools offering Certification Programs in Alabama.  

** The certification officer from your school will help guide you through the certification application process as well as be the individual who recommends you for certification to the Alabama Department of Education.



Post completion of your approved educational program, you will need to complete the appropriate Alabama Prospective Teacher Testing Program or APTTP for Professional Leadership Certification. The APTTP is a statewide testing program to ensure new teachers and administrators are proficient in basic skills and subject knowledge required to perform the jobs associated with the Professional Leadership Certification.

To learn more about registering for the basic skills examinations and find answers to any questions you may have, contact the Alabama Department of Education Teacher Certification division at or telephone at (334) 353-8567


Experience Requirements

For the traditional approach to certification (through an Alabama teaching certification program), you will be completing a practicum that is required for the completion of your education program. In order to learn more about these requirements, contact schools offering certification programs in Alabama.


Criminal History Background Check

All applicants for professional leadership certification in Alabama will have to complete a Criminal History Background Check through the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The certification/licensure applicant will be fingerprinted and will need to authorize their criminal history information to be submitted for review by the Alabama Department of Education. Fees are associated with the fingerprinting service.

Locations for third party fingerprinting services will be at your local police department or through additional locations that will be disclosed through your education program's certification officer.



The deadline for sending in your application is 60 calendar months from the completion of your professional leadership education program.

In addition, if an incomplete application is mailed, you have 12 calendar months from the send date of the letter from the Office of Certification indicating the required materials missing from your application. If all required materials are not submitted within the 12 month period, you will need to reapply and repay the application processing fee.


Contact Information

Most information regarding principal certification and administrator certification requirements and procedures can be answered by a teaching education university's certification officer. Contact schools offering certification programs in Alabama.

If you have additional questions and concerns regarding earning your teaching certification, contact the Alabama Department of Education by phone: (334) 242-9977 or through their website.

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