Become a Teacher in North Carolina


North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

301 N. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC 27601


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    Become a teacher in North Carolina

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            Earn Your North Carolina Teaching Credential

            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

            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, click here. North Carolina issues a Standard Professional 1 (SP1) license to teachers with 0-2 years of experience.  The Standard Professional 2 (SP2) license is for teachers with 3 or more years of experience. Learn more about getting your teaching credential. Return to the top

            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 also require undergraduate students to take a specified number of credit hours in predetermined areas. Contact the Department of Public Instruction for information on coursework requirements for licensure. Return to the top

            Required Tests for North Carolina

            To become a certified teacher in North Carolina, you must complete and pass the Basic Skill Test and Subject Area Competence assessments for all areas of desired instruction. Basic Skills Test: Subject Area Competence: 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. Return to the top

            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. A list of approved teacher preparation programs in North Carolina can be found here. Return to the top

            Alternate Teacher 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 the Praxis Series tests and then teach while completing required coursework at a college or university. One of the state’s Regional Alternative Licensing Center (RALC) can help determine what coursework is needed and perform evaluations geared to the needs of lateral entry teachers. North Carolina Troops to Teachers program Return to the top

            Certification Reciprocity in North Carolina

            Teachers who are certified to teach in states other than North Carolina can also teach in North Carolina if the teacher obtained teaching credentials from one of the following states. 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 what other state licenses can be used in Montana, visit the reciprocity page # Return to the top

            Benefits of a Master’s in Education 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's in Education. Return to the top

            Master’s in Education Financial Aid

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

            North Carolina Teacher Salary and Incentives

            In 2007, North Carolina ranked 27th in the nation for the highest salary for teachers, averaging $46,137. All public schools in North Carolina follow a salary schedule to determine the pay rate for teachers. The 2010-2011 salary schedule increases teachers’ salaries based on experience and degree level. Teacher pay increases each year, 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 additional salary in North Carolina. Learn more about teacher salaries. Return to the top

            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. 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 each month, which can be accumulated if they are not used during the month they are earned. Visit the North Carolina public school teachers’ benefits manual for more information. 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 20 years of service, or at any age after 30 years of service. Learn more about benefits for teachers. Return to the top

            Professional Development for North Carolina Teachers

            NCDPI provides access to a number of professional development opportunities for North Carolina public school teachers, many of them through the Professional Development Repository. Calendars and directories posted on the NCDPI website also enable teachers to navigate through various events, which can vary by district or even school within the same district. Return to the top

            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 (NCDPI). 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 Recruitment and Development webpage. Learn more about finding a teaching job. Return to the top

            North Carolina Teacher Certification Information and Links

            North Carolina Public Schools North Carolina Public Schools – Educator’s Licensure page North Carolina Teacher Tenure