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Become a Teacher in North Carolina 

North Carolina Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $43,200
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $44,520
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

 

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 10/20/2016

This page is sponsored by our partner Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in North Carolina.

To become a certified teacher in North Carolina, you will need to fulfill these requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor's degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a North Carolina teaching credential application.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating CertificationMap.com with new information on a regular basis.

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Step One: North Carolina Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. North Carolina does not have credit hour requirements for an initial teaching license.

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Click to learn more about getting your MAT online with our partner USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: North Carolina Teacher Preparation

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction requires teachers to either complete a state-approved teacher education program from a regionally accredited college or university or follow the lateral entry route in order to obtain a Professional Educator’s Initial License.

Typically, teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study.

The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship. While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more teacher scholarships specific to the State of North Carolina, visit our North Carolina Teacher Scholarships page.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Visit our North Carolina Alternative Certification Programs page for more information.

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Step Three: North Carolina Required Tests

In order to obtain a North Carolina state teacher certification, all applicants must complete and pass the appropriate Praxis exams required for initial licensure. All applicants, regardless of area of certification, must pass all three Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) tests as well as all content tests required for their certification area(s).

Praxis™ CORE 

Candidates are required to pass the Praxis CORE tests prior to admission to an approved teacher education program in North Carolina.

Praxis CORE
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification

156
162
150

CORE: Reading
CORE: Writing
CORE: Mathematics

Required for all K-12 areas of certification


Pearson for North Carolina Tests

All candidates applying for licensure in the areas of Elementary Education (K–6) and Exceptional Children: General Curriculum (K–12) must pass a North Carolina Foundations of Reading test and General Curriculum test, in addition to required Praxis tests.

Pearson for North Carolina Test
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification
229
227
227
Foundations of Reading
General Curriculum Multi-Subjects Subtest
General Curriculum Mathematics Subtest

Elementary (K-6)


229
227
227
Foundations of Reading
General Curriculum Multi-Subjects Subtest
General Curriculum Mathematics Subtest
Special Education: General Curriculum (K–12)

Praxis II® Content Area Assessment 

Praxis II Content Area Assessment
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification
 

No Test Required

Birth-Kindergarten

164
165
150
149
Middle School English Language Arts
Middle School Mathematics
Middle School Science
Middle School Social Studies
Middle Grades (6–9):
Language Arts
Mathematics
Science
Social Studies

Secondary Education

All applicants pursuing their Secondary Education certification are required to take  Praxis Subject Assessments in their field of certification. Most certifications also require passing the Principles of Learning & Teaching (PLT) 7–12 test.

Secondary Education
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification

158
157

Social Studies: Content Knowledge
PLT: Grades 7-12

Anthropology
Economics
Geography
History
Political Science
Social Studies
Sociology

150
157

Biology: Content Knowledge
PLT: Grades 7-12

Biology

152
157

Chemistry: Content Knowledge
PLT: Grades 7-12

Chemistry

136

Earth & Space Sciences: Content Knowledge

Earth Science

167
157

English Language Arts: Content Knowledge
PLT: Grades 7-12

English

160
157

Mathematics: Content Knowledge
PLT: Grades 7-12

Mathematics

133

Physics: Content Knowledge

Physics

151
157

General Science: Content Knowledge
PLT: Grades 7-12

Science (Comprehensive)


Special Education

Special Education
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification

158
148

Special Ed.: Core Knowledge & Severe to Profound Applications
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge

Special Education: Adapted Curriculum

154
148

Special Ed.: Teaching Students with Behavioral
Disorders/Emotional Disturbances
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge

Special Education: Behaviorally/Emotionally Disabled

151
148

Special Ed.: Core Knowledge and Applications
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge

Special Education: Cross Categorical

158 Special Ed.: Core Knowledge and Mild to Moderate Applications

Special Education: General Curriculum

151
148

Special Ed.: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge

Special Education: Mentally Disabled

156
148
Special Ed.: Teaching Students with Intellectual Disabilities
Fundamental Subjects: Content Knowledge

Special Education: Severely Profoundly Mentally Disabled

163

Special Ed.: Teaching Students with Visual Impairments

Special Education: Visually Impaired 


All Grades (K-12)

Special Education
Qualifying Score Required Test(s) Certification

155

English to Speakers of Other Languages English as a Second Language
162 French: World Language French

163

German: World Language German

146

Latin Latin (9-12)

168

Spanish: World Language Spanish

161

Art: Content and Analysis Art

160

Health and Physical Education: Content Knowledge Health and Physical Education

156

Health Education Health Specialist

162

Music: Content and Instruction Music

152

Physical Education: Content Knowledge Physical Education

159

Teaching Reading Reading (Bachelor’s Level, K–12)

164

Reading Specialist Reading (Graduate Level, K–12)

143

Speech Communication: Content Knowledge Speech Communication

Visit North Carolina’s Praxis Requirements for a complete list of available assessments.

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Step Four: North Carolina Application Requirements

The following steps prepare you to apply for your North Carolina Professional Educator’s License, per the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:

  1. Application: Register on the NCDPI Online Licensure System and fill out application.
  2. Education Verification: Provide license from another state or proof of completion of approved teacher education program.
  3. Transcripts: Submit any and all original degree-dated transcripts and coursework information from each of your degrees from an accredited institution.
  4. Test Scores: Submit Praxis test scores and/or Verification of “Highly Qualified” Status.
  5. Teaching Experience: Verification of K-12 Teaching Experience for applicants with prior teaching experience or Verification of Postsecondary Educator Experience.
  6. International Experience: Applicants who have earned a degree from outside the United States must submit an evaluation from an international education evaluation service.

Background Check

NCDPI does not require applicants to submit a fingerprint clearance to obtain their teaching license. However, individual school districts may require a state and federal background check as part of their hiring process. Contact your local school district for additional information.

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North Carolina Certification Reciprocity

Individuals with out-of-state credentials can apply for a North Carolina Professional license. Out-of-state teaching experience may also be credited to a North Carolina license.  Contact the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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North Carolina Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: North Carolina provides differential pay support for teachers teaching in high-needs schools.
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: North Carolina has strong induction policies in place.
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $43,200
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $44,520
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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North Carolina Certification Resources & Links

6365 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699
919-807-3310

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