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Become a Teacher in North Carolina
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Teaching in North Carolina Snapshot
All career and salary information pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics pupil expenditure information was provided by Governing
NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION301 N. Wilmington St.
Raleigh, NC 27601
Explore Featured Degree Options in Education
|University Name||Type of Program||Learn More||Program Description|
|University of Southern California||Master of Arts in Teaching||Learn more about USC Rossier||The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.|
|Fordham University||Master of Science in Teaching||Learn more from Fordham University||Fordham University’s online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.|
|Vanderbilt University||Master of Education in School Counseling||Learn more about Vanderbilt Peabody||Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.|
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in North Carolina
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.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 update: 02/17/2019)
Prerequisite Coursework in North Carolina
Regardless of what state certified teachers reside in, they will need to have a bachelor’s degree at the minimum. Additionally, some states require undergraduate students to take a specified number of credit hours in predetermined areas. Contact the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) for information on coursework requirements for licensure.
North Carolina Teacher Certification Programs
Teacher certification programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides a directory of approved teacher preparation programs in North Carolina.
Required Tests for North Carolina
To become a certified teacher in North Carolina, you must complete and pass the required basic skill tests and subject area competence assessments for all desired areas of instruction.
Basic Skills Test:
- Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE)
- Passing the CORE tests is required for admission to an approved teacher education program in North Carolina.
Subject Area Competence:
- Pearson for North Carolina Foundations of Reading test and General Curriculum test
- Required for all candidates applying for licensure in the areas of Elementary Education (K–6) and Exceptional Children: General Curriculum (K–12)
- Praxis Subject Assessment in your specialty area
You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting Teach.coms' Ultimate Guide to the Praxis Exams and read more about teacher certification tests on Teach.com.
Initial Teaching Certifications
To earn your North Carolina teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. If you have a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be eligible to earn your North Carolina teaching credential through interstate reciprocity. To learn more about earning your North Carolina teaching credential, visit the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Licensure Section homepage. North Carolina issues a Professional Educator’s Initial License to those with 0–2 years of experience. The Professional Educator’s Continuing License is for teachers with at least three years of experience.
Learn more about getting your teaching credential on Teach.com.
Discover an 8-week Online Teaching Short Course from Harvard's Bok Center
Earn recognition of your ability to develop and deliver a memorable teaching experience when you receive a premier certificate from Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX, upon successful course completion.
Alternative Certification in North Carolina
Graduates from accredited colleges or universities who obtained bachelor’s degrees in an area other than education and have not earned a teaching certificate can still become teachers in the State of North Carolina by fulfilling alternative requirements. North Carolina refers to the process as “lateral entry.”
The candidate must take appropriate Praxis and Pearson tests and then teach while completing required coursework at a college or university. One of the state’s Regional Alternative Licensing Centers (RALC) can help determine what coursework is needed and perform evaluations geared to the needs of lateral entry teachers.
Alternative licensure is also available through the North Carolina Troops to Teachers program.
North Carolina Teacher Certification Information & Links
Transferring Your Certification
Certification Reciprocity in North Carolina
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. Reciprocity can vary from person to person, so the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction should be contacted in regards to specific, individual cases. To find out more about interstate reciprocity, visit the Teach.com reciprocity page.
To find out what other state teaching licenses can be used in North Carolina, check out our Teacher Certification Reciprocity page on Teach.com.
Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in North Carolina
North Carolina Teaching Jobs
North Carolina teaching jobs can be located on the online application system, which is maintained by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. The system enables prospective teachers to search for teaching jobs based on specialty and location and provides direct links to websites for school districts, which often list available teaching positions. To learn more about resources for North Carolina teaching jobs, visit the NCDPI Educator Effectiveness web page.
Learn more about finding a teaching job on Teach.com.
North Carolina Teacher Salary and Incentives
The average salary for a school teacher in North Carolina is $49,837, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. All public schools in North Carolina follow a salary schedule to determine the pay rate for teachers. The 2017-18 salary schedule increases teachers’ salaries based on experience and degree level.
Pay increases with each year of experience, and those who hold advanced degrees, such as a master’s degree, are also paid higher salaries. Mentoring new teachers and becoming National Board Certified Teachers can also result in a higher salary in North Carolina.
Learn more about teacher salaries on Teach.com.
North Carolina Teacher Benefits and Retirement
After a period of service, teachers who have taught in the North Carolina public school system become vested in the state retirement system. Teacher retirement benefits in North Carolina are handled through the state’s Retirement Systems Division. North Carolina teachers can retire with full benefits at age 65 after 5 years of service, at age 60 after 25 years of service, or at any age after 30 years of service.
Other benefits offered to North Carolina teachers include family medical leave, state health plan coverage, extended sick leave, longevity pay, disability income, personal leave, and one to two vacation days per month, which can be accumulated if they are not used during the month they are earned. View the North Carolina public school teachers’ benefits manual for more information.
Learn more about benefits for teachers on Teach.com.
North Carolina Teacher Shortage Areas
Teacher Shortage information was provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listings for 2017-2018, and was determined by examining the most recent data about unfilled teaching positions; positions filled by teachers certified by irregular, provisional, temporary, or emergency certification; and teachers teaching in subject areas other than their area of preparation.
- Mathematics (Grades 6–8 and 9–12)
- Special Education
- Science (Grades 6-7 and 9–12)
Financial Aid in North Carolina
- North Carolina National Board Certification Loan and Federal Subsidy Funding
- North Carolina residents are eligible for the Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant that gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need field in a low-income area.
Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree on Teach.com.
Professional Development for North Carolina Teachers
The NCDPI provides access to a number of professional development opportunities for North Carolina public school teachers. To assist NC educators to choose the most effective learning experiences, the State Board of Education adopted the Learning Forward Standards for Professional Learning. These standards make explicit that the purpose of professional learning is for educators to develop the knowledge, skills, practices, and dispositions they need to help students perform at higher levels
Benefits of a Master’s Degree in North Carolina
Higher Pay: Annual salaries are roughly $3,000 to $5,000 higher for North Carolina teachers who possess a Master’s degree, depending on years of experience. Annual salaries are also higher for those who also obtain a National Board for Professional Teacher Standards Certification.
Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on Teach.com.
Explore Featured Program Options in Education
|University Name||Type of Program||Program Description|
|University of Southern California||Master of Arts in Teaching||The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.|
|Fordham University||Master of Science in Teaching||The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.|
|Harvard University's Bok Center||Advanced Certification in Teaching||The 8-week Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.|
|Vanderbilt University||Master of Education in School Counseling||Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.|