Become a Teacher in North Dakota


North Dakota Department of Public Instruction

600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 201 Bismarck, North Dakota 58505-0440


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    Become a teacher in North Dakota

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            Earn Your North Dakota 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

            Teacher education programs generally combine both curricula and fieldwork. The curricula typically includes instruction on pedagogy (the art of teaching), preparing students to research, foundational skills and knowledge and design and implement learning experiences in specific fields of study. Fieldwork can include student teaching, internships and field observations.

            To earn your North Dakota teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program.

            North Dakota issues a two-year Initial license to first-time applicants and the five-year Regular license to applicants who have taught successfully for at least 18 months. Various other licenses exist for special situations.

            If you already have a valid teaching credential from another state, you may be eligible to earn your North Dakota credential through the interstate reciprocity.

            Learn more here about earning your North Dakota teaching credential.

            Learn more about getting your teaching credential.

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            Prerequisite Coursework in North Dakota

            Certified teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree to teach in any state. Additionally, some states require specific undergraduate credit hours for certification in the areas of specialty. North Dakota’s undergraduate prerequisites are as follows:

            Required for all levels and subjects: A minimum of 22 semester hours of professional education coursework, including coursework in educational foundations, educational psychology, child development, teaching and learning theory, educational diagnosis and assessment, inclusive education, educational technology, classroom and behavioral management, and human relations specific to teaching.  Also: 10 weeks of full-time supervised student teaching, and some classroom experience before student teaching.

            The major (in elementary education, middle level education or content-specific education at all grade levels) requires a minimum of thirty-two semester hours of coursework specific to the major beyond the introductory level.

            Elementary Education:  At least 12 semester hours in the teaching of elementary school mathematics, science, social studies, reading, and language arts.

            Middle Level Education: Must include study of middle level foundations, adolescent development, reading in the content areas at the middle level, and special methods of teaching at the middle level.

            Secondary English/Language Arts: 26 semester or 40 quarter hours of professional education coursework

            Secondary Mathematics: 26 semester or 40 quarter hours of professional education coursework

            Secondary History/Social Science: 26 semester or 40 quarter hours of professional education coursework

            Secondary Science: 26 semester or 40 quarter hours of professional education coursework

            North Dakota also requires ten weeks of full-time supervised student teaching plus some additional previous classroom experience.

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            Required Tests for North Dakota

            To become a certified teacher in North Dakota, you must complete and pass the Basic Skill Test as well as any Subject Area Competence assessments for the desired subject matter of instruction.

            Basic Skills Test: PPST (Pre Professional Skills Test) Reading, Writing and Math sections 

            Subject Area Competence: Praxis II: Subject Tests in your specialty area

            Principles of Teaching and Learning (PLT) (for Elementary or Secondary education -- in addition to your subject specialty Praxis II)

            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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            North Dakota 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 North Dakota colleges and universities with approved teacher preparation programs can be found here.

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            Alternative Certification in North Dakota

            Aspiring teachers who received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in an area other than education and have not earned a traditional teaching certificate can still become teachers by earning an alternative teaching certificate and satisfying specific requirements. A one-year Alternative license is issued to the teacher, who then meets coursework requirements while teaching in the classroom.

            A one-year Interim/Substitute license may be issued to individuals with a Bachelor’s degree who fill in temporarily during a teacher shortage in a particular area.

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            Certification Reciprocity in North Dakota

            Certification Reciprocity is a system which allows teachers certified in one state to work in another To inquire about your specific situation, contact the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board. For more information, see the reciprocity page.

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            Benefits of a Master in Education in North Dakota

            In the Bismarck public schools, for 2011-12, beginning teachers who start out with a Master’s degree earn $5,400 more annually than teachers who start out with a Bachelor’s degree.

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

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            Master’s in Education Financial Aid

            Montana residents are eligible for North Dakota National Board Certification Funding, 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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            North Dakota Teacher Salary and Incentives

            In 2007, North Dakota ranked 48th in the nation for teacher salary, with an average of $35,586. Teachers who did not possess a college degree earned an average of $37,930; teachers with bachelor’s degrees earned $36,491 on average; teachers with master’s degrees earned an average of $49,487; and teachers who had earned doctorate degrees earned an average of $77,777.

            Learn more about teacher salaries.

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            North Dakota Teacher Benefits and Retirement

            The North Dakota Retirement and Investment Office oversees the Teachers’ Fund for Retirement (TFFR), which all North Dakota public school teachers automatically become members of. North Dakota teachers receive benefits from TFFR, which provides benefits based on a tier system. Tier 1 benefits are awarded to teachers whose years of service and age equal 85 (for example 55 years old and 30 years of service). Tier 2 benefits are awarded to teachers whose ages and years of service equal 90. North Dakota teachers are eligible for early retirement at 55 years of age. Tier 1 and Tier 2 benefits are quite similar. For more benefits information, see the TFFR Member Handbook.

            Learn more about benefits for teachers.

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            Professional Development for North Dakota Teachers

            All schools in North Dakota are required by the Department of Public Instruction to engage in continuous professional development activities; however, the professional development activities or events are left up to the discretion of schools or schools districts, so these activities can vary. Many North Dakota schools participate in group discussion and data charts professional development, in accordance to the national No Child Left Behind Act.

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            North Dakota Teaching Jobs

            Job Service North Dakota is an extensive online portal containing teaching jobs in North Dakota. Maintained by the North Dakota state government, Job Service North Dakota, also publishes news about North Dakota jobs, and provides and interactive map, which links to job resources that are specific to various North Dakota counties. The ND Workforce Connection is also offered on the website, which is an online database of North Dakota job vacancies. Before searching the system, users must register, which is free. After registration is complete, users can browse for teaching jobs by locations, salary, school and specialty.

            Learn more about finding a teaching job.

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            North Dakota Teacher Certification Information and Links

            North Dakota Department of Public Instruction

            North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board

            North Dakota Teacher Tenure