How to Become a Teacher in North Carolina

As of 2012, North Carolina had a population of 1.4 million students in 2,512 public schools. About 99,290 fully-licensed teachers are currently employed within the state to education this student population. This article will explain the steps required in becoming a teacher in North Carolina.

Teacher’s Salary in North Carolina

The average salary for a North Carolina certified teacher is $43,922, which is around $5,000 higher than the national average. However, this figure does not accurately reflect all the average salaries for all counties, which can range between $30,430 and $67,280. Salary increases are dictated by the state’s mandated minimum salary schedule based on an educator’s experience.

Education Requirements

North Carolina has several resources for teacher licensure, the best one of which is through the Public Schools of North Carolina‘s website. The standard teacher certification in North Carolina requires a bachelor’s degree and completion of a state-approved, accredited teacher education program, usually involving student teaching experience. Additionally, teachers applying from out of state may also apply. Additional testing requirements may apply for those applying for reciprocal licensure. Start here for more specific requirements and appropriate applications. You can find a step-by-step guide here.

North Carolina Teaching Certification

In North Carolina, teachers can be certified in two common ways: (1) by completing a state approved teacher education program from an approved, accredited college or university (generally, a bachelor’s degree with a student teaching program); or (2) by completing another state’s approved route to teacher certification, meeting certain federal standards for “Highly Qualified” teachers, and possessing a bachelor’s degree. Applications can take up to six weeks for processing. Other provisional licenses are issued through the office, and licenses are valid for five years. Beginning teachers should click here for more information. To access steps to obtaining a North Carolina teacher certification, click here. For relevant forms and other information, please click here.

Required Tests

North Carolina does not require examinations for all teachers, but may require the Praxis I and/or Praxis II. A bachelor’s degree, coupled with a completed teacher education program, is the most typical route to North Carolina teacher certification, and does not typically require extra testing. Reciprocal teachers and specific subject area educators may require testing, as might examinations for National Board Certification.

State Certification Reciprocity

In North Carolina, you can obtain teacher certification if you are already certified in another state. North Carolina must approve your license, and you must meet the federal standards for “Highly Qualified” teachers. Additionally, you must possess a bachelor’s degree. Granting reciprocity is common in North Carolina, especially to those who have worked as teachers for some time in other states. North Carolina Public Schools has more information here.

Helpful Resources