Nebraska teachers from across the state work with children of all ages and backgrounds. They teach fundamental skills like reading, writing, and mathematics, and many professionals also specialize in advanced content areas, special education, or bilingual education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nebraska teachers earn just under $50,000 a year.
Teaching is a dynamic profession with opportunities for career growth and specialization. Nebraska, like other states, sets licensure requirements to ensure that teachers meet high standards. By researching the state's licensing requirements, prospective Nebraska teachers can determine whether their education and experience qualifies them for a teaching certificate in the state.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nebraska teachers earn just under $50,000 a year.
To become a teacher in Nebraska, candidates must complete the state's educational and testing requirements. The Nebraska Department of Education issues teaching licenses to graduates of approved teacher training programs, as well as provisional permits to teachers licensed in other states or teachers completing their training requirements.
Prospective teachers interested in a career in education can opt to earn an online teaching degree. Graduates with online teaching degrees complete the same requirements as traditional programs, including a student-teaching experience, and Nebraska issues teaching licenses to qualified candidates with an online degree. Many students prefer the flexibility and accessibility of online programs, particularly working teachers looking to earn a master's degree to advance their careers and increase their earning power.
How to Become a Teacher in Nebraska
Each state sets its own requirements for teacher licensure, and licenses do not automatically transfer between states. Nebraska teaching requirements include earning a bachelor's degree, completing a teacher preparation program, receiving passing scores on required Praxis exams, and submitting to a background check. Graduates from an in-state approved teacher preparation program automatically meet the educational requirements, while out-of-state graduates must submit a transcript, which is reviewed by the Nebraska Department of Education. All teachers must have earned their bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
Teachers with a valid out-of-state license do not automatically receive a Nebraska teaching certificate. However, they can apply for a provisional permit and then work toward addressing any deficiencies, such as taking the human relations and education classes required in Nebraska. Licensed Nebraska teachers seeking to relocate out of state should check the licensure processes in their new state.
Nebraska teachers at the elementary and secondary level must earn a bachelor's degree by completing a teacher preparation program. In addition, the institution must hold regional accreditation. A bachelor's in teaching, which typically requires four years of full-time study, incorporates coursework on educational methods, best practices in teaching, and knowledge related to a teacher's specific content area. Curriculums may also include specialized classes that cover using technology in the classroom, educating gifted learners, and multicultural education. Graduates with a bachelor's in teaching can earn a teaching certificate in Nebraska by completing additional licensure requirements.
Nebraska requires a bachelor's degree for K-12 teaching jobs.
Although Nebraska does not require that individuals hold a master's degree to earn an initial or standard teaching license, individuals with a master's qualify for the professional license and tend to earn a higher salary. Most master's in teaching programs take approximately two additional years of study. Nebraska's initial, standard, and professional licenses also require individuals to complete student-teaching experiences or have recent experience as a teacher.
Nebraska allows professionals with a bachelor's degree in a field other than teaching to earn certification. The transitional teaching permit allows non-teaching majors with a bachelor's degree to work as educators while completing teacher training requirements.
Like most other states, Nebraska requires a bachelor's degree for K-12 teaching jobs. However, graduates with an associate degree can work as preschool teachers, daycare or child care workers, or paraprofessionals/teacher's aides. An associate degree in teaching also prepares graduates to enter a bachelor's program, and coursework from accredited associate programs often transfer to four-year institutions. Earning an online associate degree in teaching also helps prospective teachers determine whether education is the right career path.
Common Courses for Teaching Degrees in Nebraska
Associate Degree in Teaching
|Introduction to Teaching||Introductory courses present an overview of the teaching profession, including major issues facing American education, employment challenges and opportunities, and trends in education.|
|Growth and Learning||These classes examine development and learning for children from the preschool level to 12th grade. They focus on instruction practices, theories of development, and teaching methods.|
|Early Childhood Education||Early childhood education classes focus on children under the age of eight. Coursework covers methods of instruction, learning techniques, and developmental milestones.|
Bachelor's Degree in Teaching
|Introduction to Education||Students explore the education profession by assessing classroom practices, the educational system, and teaching ethics and professionalism. Many courses incorporate field experience and observation.|
|Teaching English as a Second Language||Teaching candidates study the linguistic, social, political, and cultural factors regarding teaching English language learners. Coursework covers best practices in mainstream classrooms.|
|Educational Foundations||Foundations courses address the philosophical, ethical, historical, and social foundations of the U.S. education system, including the role of teachers as educators and scholars.|
Master's Degree in Teaching
|Digital Environments||With technology playing an increasing role in the classroom, teachers must understand teaching and learning in digital environments. Coursework covers technical literacy, methods of teaching with technology, and instructional design.|
|Language and Literacy||Teachers at all levels support language and literacy learning. This course emphasizes instruction and assessment practices for learners of different ages and backgrounds, including theories of literacy and best practices in language learning.|
|Trends in Education||Classes on trends in education examine the impact of issues and trends in the field, including current research, key topics in education, and the broader social and political contexts for education.|
How to Get a Teaching Certificate in Nebraska
The Nebraska Department of Education issues teaching certificates for elementary and secondary teaching positions in the state. Prospective teachers can apply for an initial teaching certificate after earning a bachelor's degree by completing a teacher education program at an approved college or university and passing the necessary Praxis exams. Individuals must also meet certain coursework requirements and successfully complete a background check.
The state Department of Education approves in-state teacher education programs, ensuring that these degrees meet the educational requirements for Nebraska teaching credentials. Graduates from out-of-state institutions must submit a transcript for review and hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Once prospective teachers from out of state meet these educational requirements, they must also take exams and finish any remaining Nebraska coursework requirements.
The cost of a Nebraska teaching certificate varies, but the standard teaching license plus a fingerprint card costs $105.
In order to receive a teaching license, candidates must pass the Praxis exams. Applicants for all K-12 Nebraska teaching jobs must take the Praxis basic skills test. Additionally, in order to earn an endorsement for a teaching area, candidates must pass a Praxis content assessment exam. Teaching candidates in Nebraska also need to complete two training courses in human relations and special education. Approved college coursework can fulfill this requirement.
After earning an initial or standard license, experienced Nebraska teachers can apply for the professional certificate, which requires a master's degree and at least two years of teaching experience. The Nebraska Department of Education also offers a transitional teaching permit for candidates with a bachelor's in a non-teaching field who are completing a teacher training program, as well as a career education teaching permit that allows qualified professionals to teach at the high school-level in specialized fields.
The cost of a Nebraska teaching certificate varies, but the standard teaching license plus a fingerprint card costs $105. An initial or standard Nebraska teaching license is valid for five years, while the professional certificate must be renewed every 10 years. In order to complete the renewal process, teachers must show either recent teaching experience or have recently completed related college coursework. A Nebraska teaching license does not automatically transfer to another state, but many provide partial reciprocity.
Choosing a Degree Program in Nebraska
The first step toward obtaining a fulfilling career in education is choosing the right teaching program. With so many options, prospective students should be able to find a program that matches their interests and career goals. By evaluating schools based on cost, location, time to graduation, and offered specializations, future teachers can narrow their choices to find a program that fits their needs.
College education is notoriously expensive, but costs vary widely between schools and programs. To keep prices relatively low, prospective students should research a program's full-time tuition rates, per-credit costs, and any available discounts for in-state residents or online students. In addition, scholarships, grants, and other financial aid sources can significantly lower a student's out-of-pocket cost.
In-state programs typically charge less. Additionally, a school's location can also influence placements for student teaching and the licensure process. Because Nebraska approves in-state teacher programs, future Nebraska teachers may prefer enrolling at one of these institutions. However, many out-of-state programs also meet the these requirements, and online students can complete the state's student-teaching requirements locally.
Prospective students should also consider a teaching program's specific requirements and the time it takes to earn a degree. Adding specializations may lengthen a program, while using transfer credits or completing accelerated courses can shorten the time to graduation.
Can You Earn a Teaching Degree Online in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, teachers must earn a bachelor's degree from a teacher education program at a state-approved college or university. Graduates from out-of-state programs must submit their transcripts for review to ensure they meet the state's guidelines. Online teaching programs fulfill the state's requirements as long as they are earned through an approved Nebraska teaching program or from an out-of-state college or university with regional accreditation.
Online teaching programs provide increased flexibility and accessibility compared to traditional programs, which may be beneficial to students attempting to balance work and/or family obligations with school. Nebraska's Department of Education treats qualifying online degrees just like other degrees earned at brick-and-mortar institutions. Because Nebraska approves in-state teaching programs, graduates from online programs offered by schools in the state automatically fulfill educational requirements.
Like other states, Nebraska only accepts degrees from regionally accredited institutions, whether completed in Nebraska or out of state. Nebraska does not accept diplomas issued by an unaccredited or nationally accredited college or university. Prospective teachers should carefully look into an online program's accreditation before enrolling.
Directory of Teaching Schools in Nebraska
Paying for Your Teaching Degree in Nebraska
Many students worry about the financial cost of earning a teaching degree. Fortunately, prospective teachers have several options when it comes to paying for college. Using a mix of scholarships, grants, loans, and other options can significantly mitigate the cost of an education.
Teaching students qualify for several specialized scholarships and loans offered at the state, federal, and local level. The federal TEACH Grant program provides up to $4,000 a year toward a teaching degree. Many colleges and universities also offer scholarships and grants to prospective teachers.
Students can also take out loans to help pay for college. The first step in securing loans is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA qualifies applicants for federal direct loans, Stafford loans, Perkins loans, and other options, including grants and work-study opportunities. Teachers might also be able to access loan forgiveness programs after graduation. Additionally, currently employed teachers and other professionals may qualify for tuition reimbursement programs.
Loan Forgiveness for Nebraska Teachers
Loan forgiveness programs partially or fully discharge student loans for loan-holders who meet certain requirements. Teachers, particularly those working at low-income schools or in high-need fields, may qualify for loan forgiveness programs at the federal and state level.
The federal Financial Aid Office operates two loan forgiveness programs for teachers: the Teacher Loan Forgiveness and Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation programs. The former program provides up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness for direct loans and Stafford loans; in order to qualify, teachers must work for five consecutive years at a low-income school. Alternatively, the Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation program discharges up to 100% of a Perkins loan for teachers who work in low-income schools or in high-need fields, such as special education.
Nebraska also offers loan forgiveness opportunities at the state level through the Excellence in Teaching Act Forgivable Loans program. Eligible students pursuing their initial teaching certificate at a Nebraska institution, as well as current teachers working on a graduate degree, can receive loans that automatically discharge if recipients teach at a Nebraska school for a set number of years.
Scholarships for Nebraska Teaching Students
Nebraska teaching students benefit from several targeted scholarship opportunities at the state and federal level. Some of these awards carry teaching obligations, such as committing to work for a minimum number of years at a low-income school in Nebraska.
Attracting Excellence to Teaching Program $3,000
TEACH Grants $4,000
Northern National Gas Scholars in Education Varies
T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Nebraska Scholarship 80% of Costs
Job Outlook and Salary for Teachers in Nebraska
|Location||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, on average, teachers in Nebraska earn just under $50,000 a year; this value is slightly below the mean national teacher salary of $54,520. Teacher salaries vary depending on several factors, including a professionals' job title, their degree, and their school district.
Nebraska's preschool teachers earn the lowest average salary, at just under $42,000. However, Nebraska does not require preschool teachers to apply for a teaching license or earn a bachelor's degree. Kindergarten through secondary school licensed teachers earn higher average wages, making around $55,000 annually.
Nebraska teachers who hold a master's degree also earn more than teachers with only a bachelor's degree. A worker's location also affects salary, with teachers in metropolitan areas, such as Omaha and Lincoln, earning more than rural teachers. Because each school district typically creates its own salary schedule, factoring in education level and experience, prospective teachers should research their potential salary in different districts.
|Elementary School Teachers||$54,740|
|Middle School Teachers||$56,630|
|Secondary School Teachers||$54,710|
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching in Nebraska
How do I get certified to teach in Nebraska?
What is the average salary for a teacher in Nebraska?
How long does it take to get a teaching certificate in Nebraska?
How do I renew my teaching certificate in Nebraska?
Resources for Teachers in Nebraska
- Nebraska Department of Education In addition to certifying teachers and managing the license renewal process, the Nebraska Department of Education issues career readiness standards, promotes educator preparation, and provides standards for statewide education and assessment tests. The Department of Education also offers programs related to school safety and special education.
- Nebraska State Education Association The Nebraska State Education Association advocates for public education and educators. It represents 28,000 school teachers and educational professionals across the state. The organization is the state's affiliate of the National Education Association. Members receive benefits that include travel and retail discounts, insurance, and money management programs.
- Nebraska PTA The Nebraska Parent-Teacher Association connects teachers with parents and community members to promote quality education for all students. Nebraska's PTA offers scholarships, awards, and grants, as well as several programs and events geared toward promoting educational excellence.
- Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science A division of the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Science has promoted science education in the state since 1961. The organization hosts conferences and events, providing educator resources for science teachers at a variety of levels.
- National Education Association The National Education Association advocates for public education at the national level as well as through state-affiliated organizations and more than 14,000 local affiliates. Dating back to 1857, NEA currently has more than three million members working with students from preschool to graduate school.