Become a Teacher in New York


New York New York State Education Department

89 Washington Avenue Albany, New York 12234

(518) 474-3852

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            Become a Teacher in New York: The New York State Teacher Certification Guide (pdf)

            Important Note: Education licensure requirements and salary statistics (for teachers and administrators) are subject to change. 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: 1/06/2015

            You can learn about the requirements to become a teacher in New York state by reading the information below. For your convenience, has also compiled the New York State Teacher Certification Guide: an excellent resource that compiles the information and expands upon it to provide you with a thorough, step-by-step road map for teaching in New York schools. Click here to view or download the guide. Remember that teacher certification requirements are updated periodically, and that certain criteria may vary depending on your particular circumstance. For specific inquiries, please contact the New York State Department of Education.

            Earn Your New York Teaching Credential

            When earning a New York teacher credential you must finish the required undergrad coursework, testing, and complete an accredited teacher certification program.

            New York offers two types of teacher certificate. The Initial Certificate is valid for first five years, and the Professional Certificate is renewable every five years. Initial and Professional certificates specify the grade level and subject you are able to teach. A number of additional supplementary and transitional certificates are available for alternative teacher certification candidates (those who are not certified via the traditional teacher certification route), teachers being certified in additional subjects, and teachers in areas of shortage. Click here for a full description of all different certificates available.

            Learn more about earning a teaching credential in New York state.

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            Prerequisite Coursework in New York

            All states require, at the minimum, a Bachelor’s degree to become a teacher. New York additionally requires 30 semester hours of subject-specific coursework (in the subject you want to teach), in addition to General and Pedagogical requirements. To search for specific requirements to become a teach, click here.

            Elementary School Teachers (Grades 1-6):  9 semester hours of pedagogical core courses; 6 semester hours in Scientific science; 6 semester hours in mathematics; 6 hours in history and/or social science; and workshops in child abuse intervention and school violence.

            Middle and Secondary School Teachers (Grades 5-9 or 7-12): 30 semester hours in general liberal arts and sciences; 30 semester hours of subject-specific content; 21 semester hours of  pedagogical core courses;  and workshops in child abuse intervention and school violence. Also requires 40 days of student teaching.

            New York also requires 40 days of supervised student teaching to become certified to teach middle school or secondary school.

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            Required Tests for New York

            Most states require tests to show competency in Basic Skills as well as in the desired Subject Area. The Basic Skills component is fulfilled by the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations' LAST (Liberal Arts and Science Test ), pedagogical knowledge is assessed via the ATS-W (Assessment of Teaching Skills -Written) and the Subject Area component is fulfilled by the appropriate CST (Content Specialty Test(s)).

            You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

            Read more about teacher certification tests.

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            New York Teacher Certification Programs

            Teacher certification programs are available both online and on-site. They usually involve an educational theory and classroom skills seminar along with a fieldwork component with student teaching. The New York Board of education allows you to search for approved teacher preparation and certification programs in New York State. Return to the top

            Alternate Teacher Certification in New York

            New York has an Alternative Teacher Preparation Program targeted at mid-career and career changing professionals. This program consists of introductory section which is followed by mentored, paid employment as a teacher. New York City also offers the New York City Teaching Fellows program, which is a subsidized Master’s degree fellowship targeted at increasing the number of highly trained teachers in the NYC public school system.

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            Teacher Certification Reciprocity in New York

            Interstate teacher certification reciprocity is a program that allows teachers who are certified in one state to teach in another state without having to go through all the steps required to earn a teacher certification in that state. To find out the other state teaching licenses that can be used in New York, visit the reciprocity page . If you have more specific questions about your teaching situation, please contact the New York State Education Department. Return to the top

            The Benefits of a Master's in Education in New York

            Experience isn't the only important aspect of measuring the ability to teach. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures have been put in place, the careers of teachers increasingly depend on results in the classroom. A Master's in Teaching can give teachers more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience along side a mentor. After completing a Master's program, teachers are often able to achieve better results in the classroom and may have more job security and receive higher pay.

            For teachers in New York City with the same number of years of experience, a Master’s degree leads to an average salary increase of around $8,800 per year.

            Learn more about the Benefits of a Master's in Education.

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            Master's in Education Financial Aid

            New York residents are eligible for the  Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

            Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree.

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            New York Teacher Salary and Incentives

            The average teacher in New York makes about $69,170 per year, which is 133% of the state average income. New York is one of the highest paying states in which to teach, and also offers differential pay for teachers working in high needs schools or shortage subjects. For more salary information, take a look at the New York City salary schedule.

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            New York Teacher Benefits and Retirement

            Benefits attached to education and teaching jobs can vary in New York State. New York City currently provides full-time teachers with health insurance coverage. Retirement in New York State is handled by the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System. Retirement in New York City is handled by the New York City Teachers’ Retirement System and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System.

            Learn more about benefits for teachers.

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            Professional Development for Teachers in New York

            New York State professional development programs include teacher mentorship programs, as well as the NYS Teacher Resource and Computer Training Centers. New York City offers in-service courses for teachers through the NYC After School Professional Development Program. Credits earned through this program can be counted towards both salary differentials and professional development requirements. These programs are also available to paraprofessional educators, including the Summer Stipend Program, through which paraprofessionals can receive a financial incentive for college credits earned over the summer.

            Teachers holding a Professional Certificate in New York State must complete at least 175 hours of professional development activities during each 5 year licensing period.

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            New York Teaching Jobs

            Jobs for all of New York State can be found at the New York On-Line Application System for Educators. The New York City Department of Education also provides a step-by-step guide to getting a teaching job  in New York City on their website.

            Learn more about finding a teaching job.

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            New York Teacher Certification Information & Links

            The New York State Teacher Certification Guide

            New York State Education Department

            New York State Education Department – Certification page

            New York City Department of Education

            Teachers’ Retirement System and New York City Board of Education Retirement System

            New York State Jobs

            NYC Teaching Jobs