How to Become a Teacher in New Jersey

How To Become a Teacher in New Jersey

For individuals wondering how to become a teacher in the state of New Jersey, there are a number of requirements that must be met before becoming eligible to be licensed. All applicants for teaching licensure must hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution.

The state requires that prospective educators who do not yet have any teaching experience undergo the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP). To begin the PTP, applicants must first obtain a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) or a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) in order to begin their job search.

Once hired, candidates will receive a provisional certificate to teach while completing the PTP under the supervision and mentorship of their school. Once the applicant has completed the PTP, a standard certificate is issued. During this process, future educators must also take and pass the Praxis II Content Knowledge required by the state Board of Education in order to become certified.

Education Requirements for New Jersey Teachers

All applicants for teaching licensure in the state of New Jersey must hold at least a bachelor's degree from a higher education institution that has been accredited by one of the six regional accreditation organizations represented in the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Prospective teachers in New Jersey must also maintain at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Some individuals with a GPA between 2.75 and 3.0 may still be eligible under the GPA Flexibility Rules, in which Praxis scores on the Praxis exam may be used to supplement the GPA.

Course work, field work, and capstone project requirements vary based on the license being sought, so applicants should be sure to verify this information. Typically, a minimum of 13 semester-hour credits must be completed for each type of teaching license.

Teacher Certification Programs in New Jersey

In order to obtain a CEAS certification in New Jersey, prospective teachers must complete an Educator Preparation Program (EPP) through an approved college or university. The institution must be accredited by one of the following six regional accreditation agencies:

  • Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission

For individuals who wish to complete their EPP in New Jersey, there are more than two dozen state-approved colleges and universities to choose from, including Bloomfield College, Kean University, Princeton University, and multiple offshoots of Rutgers University. Prospective educators who are considering an out-of-state institution should confirm that it is accredited by one of the agencies listed above to ensure adherence to New Jersey certification requirements.

New Jersey Teacher Certification Exams

In New Jersey, prospective teachers must take and pass three exams in order to become a fully licensed educator:

  1. Praxis NJ Core Academic Skills for Educators for admittance into Educator Preparation Programs (EPPs)
  2. Praxis Subject Assessment or Praxis II exam in accordance with the intended area of specialty
  3. edTPA cumulative capstone performance evaluation

Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators

The Core Academic Skills for Educators assessment is a computer-based test that consists of three subject subtests in Reading, Praxis Core Writing, and Praxis Core Math, which may be taken together or separately. These subtests serve as an admission tool for EPPs to ensure that applicants have the necessary skills in each subject area to successfully participate in the program.

The Praxis Core lasts two hours each when taken on separate Praxis test dates, or five hours when taken together at once, with some time allotted to exam tutorials and demographic questions. The Reading and Mathematics subtests each contain a total of 56 questions, while the Writing subtest contains 40 questions and 2 essay responses. The following table outlines the passing scores required.

Praxis Core Academic
Skills Subtest
Passing Score
Reading 156
Writing 162
Mathematics 150

Performance Assessment (edTPA)

The edTPA performance assessment uses a cumulative portfolio of exhibits prepared by the candidate during the course of their participation in one of the approved EPPs to be evaluated by a team of experienced educators. This assessment is specific to the subject area the applicant intends to teach and generally follows a three-part structure in Planning, Instruction, and Assessment.

edTPA passing scores vary based on the initial teaching certificate for which the candidate is applying. These scores are subject to change, so applicants should confirm passing score information before submitting their documentation. The latest passing scores on the edTPA NJ webpage are as follows:

NJ Initial Teaching Certificate Code Passing Score
1001, 1005 44
1013, 1102, 1103, 1104, 1106, 1200, 1300, 1301,
1302, 1303, 1304, 1305, 1410, 1430, 1440,
1451, 1475, 1605, 1620, 1630, 1635, 1705,
1706, 1707, 1708, 1810, 1900, 2100, 2210,
2220, 2240, 2260, 2270, 2300, 2350, 2475,
2501, 2560
37
1105, 1110, 1125, 1130, 1145, 1150, 1165, 1170,
1172, 1173, 1174, 1176, 1178, 1179, 1181, 1191,
1505, 1510, 1520, 1530, 1540, 1550, 1560, 1570,
1572, 1573, 1574, 1578, 1579, 1580, 1590,
32

Additional New Jersey Teacher Certification Requirements

Before an individual can be licensed to work in a New Jersey school, they must undergo a criminal history background check conducted by the Office of Student Protection, which involves a fingerprinting process. These background checks play a vital role in keeping students safe.

Candidates can start the process to complete their background check on the Office of Student Protection website. Applicants who indicate on their license application that they have a criminal conviction must fill out the Criminal Offense Information Form. Other individuals may need to complete an Additional Information for the Oath of Allegiance form, depending on their answer to certain questions on the online teaching license application.

How To Apply for the New Jersey Teacher Certification

The New Jersey Department of Education provides a checklist for teaching licensure applicants who are following the traditional route to certification. To become a fully licensed teacher in New Jersey, candidates must take the following steps:

  • Obtain at least a bachelor's degree while completing the coursework and field work requirements specific to the intended area of specialty
  • Take and pass the required NJ Praxis and edTPA exams
  • Apply for a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) to establish employment eligibility
  • Gain employment at a New Jersey school and become enrolled in the Provisional teacher Process (PTP)
  • Complete the required evaluation and 30 weeks of mentoring with a fully certified educator
  • Apply for a permanent Standard Teaching Certificate and become a fully certified teacher

The actual application process for teaching licensure in New Jersey is conducted online. Applicants create an account in the Teacher Certification Information System (TCIS), if they do not have one already. Candidates can then complete the application and pay their fees with a credit card. Documentation, such as transcripts and test scores, should be sent to the Office of Certification and Induction at certapplication@doe.nj.gov.

The fees for New Jersey teaching certifications are as follows:

CE and CEAS certification $170
Emergency certification $95
Substitute teacher certification $125

The standard teaching license that applicants receive once they have completed their PTP is permanent and does not require renewal.

Alternative New Jersey Teacher Certification

Individuals who have not participated in an EPP may wonder whether they are still able to become a teacher in New Jersey and whether the process differs from the traditional path. The alternative path to teacher certification in New Jersey is in fact relatively similar to the traditional path. Rather than apply for a CEAS, the individual would apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE).

To receive a CE, the applicant must achieve the Praxis passing scores on the Praxis NJ exam corresponding to their intended area of specialty and document that they have met the educational requirements. These requirements vary slightly depending on subject area and grade level, so applicants should verify this information before applying. Applicants must also meet the same GPA requirements as candidates on the traditional route.

After obtaining their CE and completing at least 50 hours of experience at a CE EPP, candidates can begin teaching and start the Provisional Teacher Process (PTP). The PTP will last a minimum of 30 weeks, during which the candidate will undergo mentoring and complete the edTPA. After a candidate has completed the PTP and their EPP, they can apply for a Standard Certificate.

Certification in New Jersey for Out-of-State Teachers

For applicants who are already fully certified to teach in another state, New Jersey offers teacher certification reciprocity depending on which certification the individual is seeking.

Educators who are fully certified to teach in their previous state may be eligible to receive a Standard Certificate if they already have a valid standard certificate from that state. These individuals can fill out a Record of Professional Experience form documenting at least two years of effective instruction within the last four calendar years. Some out of state educators may also be eligible to receive a Standard Certificate if they have a certification through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

To get a CEAS, candidates must:

  • complete equivalent coursework and field work in an educator preparation program
  • pass either the Praxis Subject Assessment for their out-of-state license or the NJ Praxis exam
  • pass a performance assessment either in their previous state or pass the edTPA.

What Is the Average Teacher Salary in New Jersey?

In the state of New Jersey, there are close to 130,000 full-time classroom teachers employed at the K-12 grade levels. This is fitting, given the 1.28 million students who were enrolled in New Jersey public schools for the 2020-2021 school year, and the near 57,500 students enrolled in charter schools around the state for the same school year. The average student-teacher ratio for public schools in New Jersey falls at an average of 12:1, which is lower than the US national average of 16:1.

The average teacher salary in New Jersey varies depending on grade level. The table below outlines this information:

Grade Level Average
Annual Salary
Projected Growth
2018-2028
Kindergarten $68,790 4%
Elementary $70,920 3%
Middle $73,160 3%
Secondary $77,790 3%

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a NJ Certificate of Eligibility?

    A NJ Certificate of Eligibility (CE) is a type of teaching license offered in New Jersey to individuals who wish to become certified teachers but who have not completed an Educator Preparation Program (EPP). Individuals applying for a CE must meet certain educational and testing requirements in order to be considered for this credential. An individual who holds a CE is eligible to seek employment in a New Jersey school to begin the Provisional Teaching Process to become a fully certified teacher.

  • Which states have teacher certification reciprocity with New Jersey?

    Out-of-state educators who intend to teach in New Jersey may be eligible for teacher certification reciprocity depending on the license already held and the license being sought. There is no reciprocity for the NJ Certificate of Eligibility. Reciprocity for a NJ Certification of Eligibility with Advanced Standing may occur if the individual has completed an Educator Preparation Program (EPP), passed the NJ Praxis or equivalent test in their previous state, and passed the NJ edTPA or equivalent state-approved assessment. Reciprocity may also be possible for a NJ Standard Certificate if the individual has held a valid and equivalent standard license in another state for at least two of the last four years, or if they have a certificate through the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

  • How much does a new teacher make in NJ?

    How much a new teacher makes in New Jersey may vary depending on the grade level and specialty in which they are certified. The average salary for teachers at the K-12 levels ranges from roughly $68,000 to about $77,000/year annually. It is important to note, however, that salaries for private or charter school teachers may differ slightly.

  • How much does a public school teacher make in NJ?

    The average annual salary for teachers in NJ who teach kindergarten is $68,790; elementary school teachers earn $70,920 on average, and middle school teachers averaging slightly more at $73,160 annually. Secondary education teachers earn the highest average annual salary at $77,790.

  • How much does a teacher with a master's degree make in NJ?

    Educators in New Jersey can typically expect to earn slightly more than the US National average salary for teachers. The annual average salary for K-12 level teachers ranges from $68,790 to $73,160, but educators who go on to earn a master's degree in addition to the required bachelor's degree have the potential to earn more, as salaries rise commensurate with experience.

  • How long does it take to get a NJ teaching certification?

    After completing the four years of education typically required to obtain a bachelor's degree, the length of time required to obtain a NJ teaching certification may vary depending on what type of degree was earned, and whether the individual is taking the traditional or alternative route to certification. Candidates on the alternative route may need more time to get certified in order to complete the required Educator Preparation Program. Candidates on either path must complete a 30 week Provisional Teaching Process.

All Teacher Certification Exams