New Jersey Teacher Certification | Bachelor's and Master's in Education | (2023)

New Jersey Teacher Certification | Bachelor's and Master's in Education | (1)

Great job! You have decided to become a teacher. Teaching is a career that is meant for an exceptional set of individuals who have the calling to change lives through education.

The following steps will help you become a teacher in New Jersey.

Choose What You Want to Teach

Special education? Elementary, middle, or high school? Before you actually start studying to become a teacher in New Jersey, you need to consider which grade level or subject(s) are right for you. Depending on the area you choose, New Jersey has specific prerequisites for becoming a teacher.

Earn a Bachelor's in Education to Meet the Requirements for a Teaching Certificate in New Jersey

New Jersey, as all states, requires a minimum of a bachelor's in education in order to become a teacher. Teachers must also complete a teacher preparation program. The degree must be from an accredited college or university. Most colleges and universities offer what is known as a blended or joint program. This means that upon completion of all required classes, fieldwork, and passing test scores, you will receive both a bachelor's degree and a teaching license. This is wonderful for those who know from the beginning that they wish to be a teacher.

Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

Public school teachers must have a teaching license in order to teach. To gain licensure, a teacher preparation program from an accredited college or university must be completed. In order for a college to be accredited, it must be certified through CAEP, formerly NCATE and TEAC. If you choose this traditional route, you will likely graduate with a certification and a bachelor's degree.

While all states require a bachelor's degree to become certified, New Jersey has specific requirements depending on the area in which you want to teach. All teachers must complete a coherent sequence of coursework in the educational field. In addition, keep in mind that the following fields have specific requirements:

Elementary Education (Kindergarten - fifth grade)

A teaching candidate must complete at least 60 liberal arts credits, be a liberal arts major, or a science major. In addition, an endorsement in a specific subject area is required if grades 5-8 are the desirable teaching areas.

English (Kindergarten - twelfth grade)

A minimum of 30 credit areas in an English program, including a minimum of 12 advanced class hours are required for this certification.

Mathematics (Kindergarten - twelfth grade)

A minimum of 30 credit areas in an Mathematics program, including a minimum of 12 advanced class hours are required for this certification.

Science (Kindergarten through twelfth grade)

In order to become a certified teacher of Science in New Jersey you must complete a minimum of 30 credit areas in the field of Chemistry or Physics with 12 of those hours being at the advanced level. In addition, 15 full hours of credits must be gained in physics, mechanics, electrical engineering, thermodynamics, mechanical design, chemistry, or biochemistry.

Alternative Teaching Certification in New Jersey

An alternative route to certification is available in New Jersey.

Teacher Certification Program

This option is for people who already have a four year Bachelor's Degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program. You will not earn a new degree with this program, just certification. To apply, one must meet all the requirements of the Office of licensure and Academic Credentials (OLC). Recent changes also require that potential candidate complete 24 hours of formal instruction prior to gaining a certificate. Completing all the steps will lead to a provisional license with a mentor and formal instruction while on the job.

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Pass the Exams Required for Teacher Certification in New Jersey

The next step to becoming a teacher in New Jersey is passing the necessary tests.

Basic Skills Test

A basic skills test that is approved by the Commissioner must be taken in order to receive certification in New Jersey. The Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators Test can be taken to fulfill the Basic Skills Test requirement. However, a score of 1660 or higher on the SAT, 23 or higher on the ACT, or at least a 4 on the analytical writing section and a combined score of 310 on the GRE can also be used.

Subject Tests

All New Jersey teachers will need to pass the subject specific/specialty area PRAXIS II exam for the grade and/or subjects you wish to teach. There are study guides and practice tests available for each version of the test. To make sure you have signed up for the correct test(s), you can talk with your school counselor or advisor. The test is comprised of multiple choice questions along with constructed response essay questions.

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Apply for your New Jersey Teacher Certification

Application Requirements

You can apply online or you can submit transcripts for evaluation. In order to submit the application for new certification, you must do the following:

  • Submit a $70 payment by credit card online
  • Gain verification of program completion
  • Provide copies of out-of-state certificates (if applicable)
  • If applicable, a letter detailing any years of full-time teaching or administrative experience. This should include specifics of the job and be on school district letterhead, signed by the appropriate officials.
  • Official college transcripts with a degree conferral and GPA listed. A 3.00 or in some cases a 2.75 or above with high PRAXIS scores is required.
  • Credentials evaluation if certification was received from another country
  • Signed and notarized Oath of Allegiance for US citizens
  • Signed and notarized Non-citizen Oath of Allegiance (if applicable)
  • Provide scores for required PRAXIS II area tests
  • Applicants must take and pass an examination on physiology and hygiene or show proof of basic military training in the study of biology, health, or nutrition.
  • 24 hour requirements (CE certificates only)

Contact Information

NJ Department of Education
PO box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500
Phone: (877)900-6960

Find a Teaching Job in New Jersey

If you have completed certification and received licensure, then you are ready to begin your career as an empowering educator in New Jersey!

Teaching Job in a Public School

Like other areas of the country, New Jersey is experiencing shortages in language, math, and sciences teachers, as well as those qualified to teach special education. In order to combat this trend, the state of New Jersey makes an active recruitment attempt for certified and passionate candidates through the Department of Education website and an auxiliary website:

New Jersey Teacher Unions

When hired, public school teachers can join a union such as the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) or the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey (AFL-CIO), both of which offer support and advocacy to their members.

New Jersey Teacher Benefits

Teachers in New Jersey have comprehensive benefits while working. Upon retirement, they or their surviving family members are able to draw from the Teacher's Pension and Annuity Fund - State of New Jersey.

Teaching Job in a Private School

In addition to pursuing a career in a public school, teachers may wish to apply to any of the state's 1,536 private schools. With ratios that average 11 students per teacher, teachers may find private schools to be a comfortable transition to full-time teaching. Applying for a private school usually requires the candidate to apply directly with the school.

Teacher Shortage in New Jersey by Subjects or Discipline (2021-2022)

The following list of teacher shortage areas in New Jersey has been obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) report for the 2021-2022 school year:

  • ESOL, Bilingual Education PreK-12
  • World Languages PreK-12
  • Mathematics PreK-12
  • Science PreK-12
  • Special Education PreK-12
  • Career and Technical Education PreK-12

Number of Public and Private School Teachers By Grade

The following Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) table highlights the number of teachers in New Jersey in both private and public schools, by grade level, as of May 2020:

Grade LevelNumber of Teachers
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education13,430
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education37,870
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education25,670
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education29,860
Special Education Teachers, Preschool790
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School11,420
Special Education Teachers, Middle School6,970
Special Education Teachers, Secondary School5,750

Continue Your Education and Professional Development

In the field of education, professional development opportunities occur throughout the system, including but not limited to support staff, teachers, paraprofessionals, and administrators. Professional development initiatives are driven from the top down - first nationally, then state-wide, then district, then school, and finally classroom focused.

Professional Development in New Jersey

New Jersey teachers utilize a variety of platforms and formats to ensure that their professional development needs are met. Among their options are online courses/ webinars, peer-led conferences/in-services, and administrator/facilitator presentations. The state Department of Education in New Jersey has issued an updated set of guidelines to help teachers meet the state's needs for highly qualified teaching professionals.

Teachers must achieve 20 hours of professional development each year, according to New Jersey's Standards for Professional Learning. The PD offerings must be of high-quality and lead to effective teaching practices and build leadership capacity. Teachers with questions meeting New Jersey's stringent guidelines are encouraged to review their school district's copy of the New Jersey collaborative professional learning toolkit.

Consider the Benefits of a Master's in Education or Teaching: Reduced Professional Development Requirements and Increased Pay

While a master's in education or teaching is not required to teach in New Jersey, earn a master's in either instruction or a specific subject, and you'll broaden your professional opportunities, improve student outcomes, and position yourself for job stability and a higher salary. Plus, completing courses toward your master's degree may also help you satisfy the requirements of your annual Professional Development Plan.

As a new teacher, you'll apply for a two-year Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS). Then, once employed, your employer will request a two-year Provisional Certificate from the Department of Education. During this time, you'll complete the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP), which involves evaluation, support, mentoring, and supervision through your district.

Then, after two years of teaching and the successful completion of the PTP, your district will recommend you for a Standard Certificate. The Standard Certificate is considered permanent and does not need to be renewed. You'll still need to meet the requirements of your individual Professional Development Plan (PDP), which must involve at least 20 hours of annual learning.

While there are a variety of ways to earn the 20 PDP hours, pursue a master's degree and you may be able to satisfy some or all of these requirements.

(Video) Becoming a Teacher Through Alternative Certification | No Education Degree

Earning a Master's in Teaching or Education Can Come with a Pay Bump

You may also enjoy a higher salary with a master's degree on your resume. For example, teachers in the Newark Unified School District earned a minimum salary of $63,841 as of the 2020-2021 school year, while teachers with a master's degree earned $67,098.

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May 2020 Bureau of Labor Statistics job market trends for elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, secondary school teachers, preschool teachers, teaching assistants, special education preschool teachers, special education elementary school teachers, special education middle school teachers, and special education secondary teachers. Figures represent national data, not school specific information. Conditions in your area may vary.

Data accessed June 2021.
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Do you need a master's degree to be a teacher in New Jersey? ›

Aspiring New Jersey teachers must earn a bachelor's degree, meet professional experience requirements, and pass certification exams in their teaching subject and grade level.

Can you teach in NJ without a teaching certificate? ›

Prospective teachers in New Jersey must complete an approved teacher preparation program. The following school-based teacher preparation programs typically lead to a certificate or master's degree and have been approved by the New Jersey Department of Education (DOE): Bloomfield College (Certificate, Master's)

Is my NJ teaching certificate still valid? ›

When you receive your Standard Certificate, it is considered to be permanent and does not have to be renewed. You must, however, continue to meet expected professional standards. A guide to these standards may be found here.

Can I be a teacher in NJ with a bachelor's degree? ›

How to Become a Teacher in New Jersey. To be eligible for New Jersey teacher certification, applicants must hold a bachelor's degree, complete a New Jersey teacher preparation program, and pass the required examinations.

How much do teachers get paid in NJ? ›

Teachers with this certification earn +34.02% more than the average base salary, which is $20.78 per hour.

Do teachers in US need a masters degree? ›

All states require a minimum of a bachelor's degree in Education to become a certified teacher. Additionally, some states may require teachers to obtain a Master of Arts in Teaching or Masters in Education degree within five (5) years of completion of their initial degree.

Is NJ getting rid of Praxis? ›

Phil Murphy signed a bill Friday doing away with a state-mandated test for people who want to teach in New Jersey.

Is a NJ teaching certificate valid in other states? ›

Instructional Certificates

There is no reciprocity.

How long is the alternate route program NJ? ›

Program overview

The 2-year NJ Alternate Route process is for individuals who have earned an Instructional Certificate of Eligibility (CE) and have been provisionally hired by a NJ public school district to teach in their intended area of certification and need to complete a formal teacher preparation program.

How long does NJ teacher certification last? ›

Provisional Certificate

Provisional certificates are valid for up to two years expiring July 31 of the second year and may be renewed one time. Novice teachers with a provisional certificate participate in the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP).

Does and NJ substitute teacher certification expire? ›

NJ Substitute Teacher Certification Information

Substitute credentials are valid for 5 years. You are able to renew your substitute teacher certification anytime within 6 months prior to the expiration date indicated on your certification. The Department of Education will not accept any paperwork before this date.

What are the requirements to be a substitute teacher in NJ? ›

Completion of 30 semester-hour credits at a nationally accredited college or university. Educator must be enrolled in a nationally accredited college or university at the time of application. Verification of enrollment is required. Educator must be at least 20 years of age.

How long does it take to get a CE in NJ? ›

To earn a provisional certificate, limited CE and limited CEAS holders must: Accept an offer of employment; Be enrolled in the provisional teacher process; and. (Limited CE only) Be enrolled in a CE educator preparation program and complete 50 hours of preservice.

How do I become a second career teacher in NJ? ›

Steps in the Alternate Route Program
  1. Apply to the NJDOE for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE). ...
  2. Complete a 50-hour Introduction to Teaching Course. ...
  3. Begin teaching in the Provisional Teacher Program.
  4. Begin taking the remaining 350 hours of coursework through New Pathways.

How do I get additional teaching certifications in NJ? ›

Within STEM, if a teacher already has a certification in one content area, in most cases, adding another entails:
  1. Completing 30-credits in that content area. ...
  2. Obtaining a passing score on the Praxis Subject Area.
  3. Submitting an application through the Teachers Certification Information System - Online.

What is the highest paying school district in NJ? ›

Here are the districts that finished highest, along with their average teacher salaries:
  • Millburn Township School District, $87,061.
  • Livingston Board of Education School District, $86,615.
  • West Essex Regional School District, $83,593.
  • North Valley Regional High School District, $91,517.
Oct 6, 2022

What is the lowest teacher salary in NJ? ›

How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in New Jersey? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in New Jersey is $46,928 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $39,189 and $57,230.

How much does a teacher with a masters degree make in NJ? ›

How much does a Master Teacher make in New Jersey? As of May 17, 2023, the average annual pay for a Master Teacher in New Jersey is $31,488 a year.

What state is best for teachers? ›

Here's how much teachers earn in the five highest-paying states.
  1. New York. Average salary: $80,286.
  2. Illinois. Average salary: $70,696.
  3. Michigan. Average salary: $70,137.
  4. Pennsylvania. Average salary: $69,949.
  5. Washington. Average salary: $69,005.
Mar 16, 2023

Is a Masters in education the same as a Masters in teaching? ›

The primary distinction is that the master's in teaching focuses more directly on teaching and classroom management. In contrast, the master's in education is a broader degree, applicable to a classroom career but also to jobs in administration, curriculum development, and education policy.

What percentage of US teachers have a masters degree? ›

Comparing Some of the Top Teacher Master's Degree Options Teachers love to learn. In fact, an estimated 52% of the nation's 3.3 million public school teachers have a masters' degree or higher. The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 57% of public school teachers hold a postbaccalaureate degree (i.e.,…

Is there still a teacher shortage in NJ? ›

The size of the state's shortage remains unclear despite a recent law requiring the Department of Education and a state data system to issue annual reports on teacher staffing.

Why is there a teacher shortage in NJ? ›

The current teacher shortage exists for varied reasons. Among these are the COVID-19 pandemic, a spate of teacher retirements, a restrictive residency requirement, a tight labor market and fewer graduating education majors.

Is it common to fail the Praxis? ›

According to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), the first-time pass rate for the Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects test is 46% across all subtests. Those odds are not great.

Can a NJ teacher teach in Florida? ›

The state of Florida offers professional educators from other states to earn their professional educator certification in Florida through reciprocity. There are two routes to certification: 1.) You must hold a current teaching certification issued by another state, OR 2.)

Is New Jersey a good state to teach in? ›

NUTLEY, NJ -- New Jersey ranked 6th on the list of Best & Worst States for Teachers for the year 2022, according to a new study from WalletHub that analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key metrics. New Jersey and three neighboring states were ranked in the top ten.

Can I teach in NJ with any major? ›

This license requires a bachelor's degree in a liberal arts or sciences major, or completion of a minimum of 60 liberal arts credits. You also must fulfill the requirements for a minimum GPA, proof of basic skills and physiology/hygiene knowledge.

What is the first step in alternate route teaching NJ? ›

Pathways for CTE Teachers: Alternate Route Program
  • Step 1: Obtain a CTE Certificate of Eligibility. Three ways to obtain a CE: ...
  • Step 2: Complete Additional Requirements. ...
  • Step 3: Enroll and Matriculate in a CTE Teacher Preparation Program During the Provisional Period. ...
  • Step 4: Obtain a Standard Certificate.

How much does the alternate route program cost in NJ? ›

The online application includes an oath of allegiance and requires a payment of $100 (alternate route administrative fee). Complete NJDOE survey generated upon submitting your online application.

What are the longest routes in NJ? ›

US 9 is the longest U.S. Highway in the state. From North Cape May north to Toms River in Ocean County, US 9 is mostly a two-lane undivided road that closely parallels the Garden State Parkway and runs near the Jersey Shore.

Can NJ teachers retire after 25 years? ›

Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

The age requirements for calculat- ing a Veteran Retirement are the same for all mem- bership tiers. A qualified veteran may retire with: 20 years of service credit at age 60 or older; • 25 years of service credit at age 55 or older; or • 35 years of service credit at age 55 or older.

Do you have to live in NJ to teach in NJ? ›

Per the Department of Education, effective September 1, 2011 in accordance with the “New Jersey First Act,” all employees of State and local government, including school districts must reside in the State of New Jersey unless exempted under the law.

Do you need a masters to teach in NY? ›

What education do I need to become a teacher? In New York State, teachers can get initially certified with a bachelor's degree in education. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you can become a teacher by earning a master's degree in education.

How much does a substitute teacher get paid NJ? ›

$23,451 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $34,689 is the 75th percentile.

How much are substitute teachers paid in NJ? ›

The salary range for a Certified Substitute Teacher job is from $36,577 to $49,162 per year in New Jersey.

How much does a long term substitute teacher get paid in NJ? ›

How much does a Long Term Substitute Teacher make in New Jersey? As of May 15, 2023, the average annual pay for a Long Term Substitute Teacher in New Jersey is $32,724 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $15.73 an hour.

Can I be a substitute teacher with an associate's degree in New Jersey? ›

One great way to get more classroom experience and make some extra money is to become a substitute teacher. Here are the steps to become a New Jersey Certified Substitute: Finish 60 credits or your Associate Degree: Once your grades have been posted, request an official transcript.

Where do I send my transcripts for NJ teacher certification? ›

Official transcripts are emailed to by the college or clearinghouse. The college or clearinghouse can send official unopened paper transcripts to the county office of education if they cannot be sent electronically. 6. Is the checklist only available to the educator?

What do you need to be a paraprofessional in NJ? ›

A high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma. 2. A minimum of forty-eight (48) college credits from an accredited college or university. For Prekindergarten paraprofessionals, a Child Development Associate (CDA) Certificate is preferred and/or passed the state paraprofessional exam.

What GPA do you need for alternate route teaching in NJ? ›

In order to qualify for alternate route certification in New Jersey, candidates must typically have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and complete pre-service coursework.

What is the test for education certification in New Jersey? ›

In New Jersey, prospective teachers must take and pass three exams in order to become a fully licensed educator: Praxis NJ Core Academic Skills for Educators for admittance into Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs) Praxis Subject Assessment or Praxis II exam in accordance with the intended area of specialty.

Can I teach with a CE in NJ? ›

Provisional Teacher Program

In order to begin participation in the PTP a candidate must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) or Certificate of Eligibility (CE). These certificates allow the candidate to seek and accept offers of employment as teachers in public schools.

How much do 2nd grade teachers make in New Jersey? ›

How much does a 2nd Grade Teacher make in New Jersey? The average 2nd Grade Teacher salary in New Jersey is $69,756 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $57,239 and $84,242.

What is a highly qualified teacher in New Jersey? ›

These teachers provide instruction in the specific content areas to more than one class of students. They must satisfy the federal definition of a “highly qualified teacher” for the content areas that they teach. In New Jersey , these teachers hold K-12 content area certificates in each of the subject areas they teach.

How do I get a teaching certificate if I already have a bachelor's degree in New York? ›

Complete a New York State-Approved Teacher Preparation Program. After you complete your bachelor's degree and determine who and where you would like to teach, it's time to complete an approved New York state teacher preparation program.

Do you need a masters to be a teacher in New York? ›

What education do I need to become a teacher? In New York State, teachers can get initially certified with a bachelor's degree in education. If you already have a bachelor's degree, you can become a teacher by earning a master's degree in education.

How do I become a private school teacher in NJ? ›

Education and Training Requirements

At a minimum, you will need a bachelor's degree to teach in a private school in New Jersey. You can find your major in one of several areas: a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, or Secondary Education.

Can I teach in NY without certification? ›

New York State requires that all teachers, school leaders (administrators), and pupil personnel service providers who are employed or wish to become employed in the State's public schools hold a New York State certificate.

Do you need a masters to teach kindergarten in NY? ›

You will need to possess a Bachelor's degree, have completed some early childhood education coursework OR have significant experience working in early childhood education (with children under 6), and commit to obtain a NY State early childhood teacher certification within three years of employment.

What GPA do you need to be a teaching in NJ? ›

In New Jersey, you must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 GPA scale in a bachelor's degree program, higher degree program or a State-approved post-baccalaureate certification program with a minimum of 13 semester-hour credits.

How much is tuition for NJ private schools? ›

From elementary to high school, private school tuition in New Jersey averages $14,711 and $19,972, respectively, providing a solid investment in one's future. Searching for the right private school in New Jersey can be overwhelming for parents.

How much does a starting public school teacher earn in New Jersey? ›

How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in New Jersey? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in New Jersey is $46,928 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $39,189 and $57,230.

How much do New Jersey teachers get paid with a master's degree? ›

Master Teacher Salary in New Jersey:$31,488 - ZipRecruiter.

How old do teachers have to be to retire in NJ? ›

Available to members who have at least 10 years of pension membership service credit (but less than 25 years) and who are not yet 60 years of age for Tier 1 or Tier 2 members; or 62 years of age for Tier 3 or Tier 4 members; or 65 years of age for Tier 5 mem- bers, when they terminate employment.


1. Aspiring teachers discuss the difficulties with the certification process
(WMAR-2 News)
2. Season 2: Ep. 3 - Teacher Certification & Resumes
3. Panel - P–12 Teacher Education Programs | NJ Educator Summit 2022
(Center for Future Educators)
4. M.A. in Reading Education Program at the College of Education, Rowan University
5. Get a Master's of Education at RMU
6. NJEXCEL - New Jersey Expedited Certification for Educational Leadership


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