North Carolina Teaching Certification Overview: Be a Certified Teacher

Those considering a full-time or part-time career as a certified teacher in North Carolina should know how to qualify for a state license. You will need to complete several steps, and there are a variety of ways to achieve your North Carolina teaching certification. It is vital that you be armed with comprehensive information in order to achieve success.

Requirements for Certified Teachers in North Carolina

To become a certified teacher in North Carolina, you need to fulfill three accomplishments:

  • Complete a state-approved teacher education program
  • Pass the PPST I (PRAXIS Pre-Professional Skills Test)
  • Pass any PRAXIS II Subject Tests for subjects you plan to teach

These exams will test your basic knowledge as well as specialized knowledge for your field of study such as chemistry, mathematics or history, if applicable.

You may be able to waive the PPST requirement if your SAT score is at least 1100 or if you have received GRE scores of at least 380 in the analytical and verbal sections and at least 410 in the quantitative section.

Common state-approved teacher education programs include bachelor’s degrees or certification programs from accredited universities in the state. If you have a degree or certificate from out of state, it needs to be from one of the states with which North Carolina has a reciprocity agreement. Additionally, programs must be accredited by the NCATE or NASDTEC national teacher accreditation bodies.

Once you have completed the necessary requirements, you need to contact the North Carolina Department of Education to apply for teacher certification. You can download all necessary forms here. You will need to include official transcripts of the certifications, degrees and college credits as well as your test scores and any out-of-state teaching licenses. You must also submit your fingerprints and pass a criminal background check.

Once you’ve finished the application, send everything to the Department of Public Instruction, located in the capital Raleigh, NC. You will need to include a processing fee that may range from $75-100, payable by check or money order. Consult the application form for a more exact price.

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North Carolina Jobs for Licensed Teachers

When it comes to getting your teaching certification in North Carolina, there are three general paths depending on your education and work experience.

  1. You can get the SP1 license if you have 0-2 years of experience in the teaching field but a certification/degree in education
  2. You qualify for the SP2 license if you have three or more years of experience
  3. You can apply for a Lateral Entry license if you have experience in a related field or college course credits with an emphasis in education

The SP1 and Lateral Entry licenses last for three years, while the SP2 license lasts for five years before needing to be renewed.

You can leverage your teaching degree and license credentials to seek a wide variety of jobs in North Carolina. Some of these include:

  • Elementary education
  • Middle/High School education
  • Adult education
  • Special education
  • Teaching assistant/aide
  • Substitute teaching
  • Career/Technical education
  • Youth counseling

The outlook for teaching jobs in North Carolina is very good, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Due to an aging teaching population and a growing school network, positions for teachers are expected to open up over the next decade. Visit the North Carolina Association of Educators for more information regarding teaching jobs and education policy.

Teaching License Reciprocity in North Carolina

The concept of teaching license reciprocity refers to the policy of some states of honoring an out-of-state teaching license without requiring an entirely new application. The reciprocity process varies for each state. For more information, see Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.

Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.

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