Become a Teacher in Nebraska

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Teaching in Nebraska Snapshot

$60,500Secondary School Teacher Salary
$60,390Elementary School Teacher Salary
$12,579Public School Spending Per Student

All career and salary information pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 pupil expenditure information was provided by Governing


301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2295

Explore Sponsored Degree Options in Education

Featured Online programs
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.


Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Nebraska

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information 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 update: 04/28/2020)


Prerequisite Coursework in Nebraska

All states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. Nebraska also requires that you meet the qualifications for at least one endorsement to teach a particular subject and/or at a particular grade level. Each endorsement has specific coursework requirements. Nebraska also requires you to complete training in human relations and special education. Endorsement requirements include:

  • Elementary Education:
    • A minimum of 40 semester hours of professional education coursework, including courses in child development, elementary curriculum, instructional strategies, classroom management, cross-cultural communication skills, education history, and the social and cultural factors that impact education
    • 30 semester hours of academic coursework distributed across the four curriculum areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies/history, including at least 6 hours in each of the four areas
    • Courses in fine arts and humanities, and health and wellness
  • Middle Level Education (Grades 5–-9):
    • 36 semester hours, of which 12 semester hours shall be in professional education courses, not including clinical experience, related to middle level education, and a minimum of 24 semester hours in one core academic area
  • Music (Grades K–12):
    • A minimum of 54 semester hours in theory, composition, arranging, improvisation, music history, applied music, ensemble performance, conducting, pedagogy, and technology
  • Secondary English (Grades 7–12):
    • A minimum of 36 semester hours of content and pedagogical content coursework in reading/literacy skills and strategies, writing, language, and literature
  • Secondary History (Grades 7–12):
    • A minimum of 36 semester hours including 30 semester hours in history and a minimum of 6 semester hours in one or more of the other social sciences areas (Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, and/or either Anthropology or Sociology)
  • Secondary Mathematics (Grades 6–12):
    • A minimum of 36 semester hours of mathematics
  • Secondary Biology (Grades 7–12):
    • A minimum of 36 semester hours of laboratory based courses in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, Earth and space science, and physics), of which 24 semester hours must be in biology and a minimum of 12 semester hours of laboratory based courses among the remaining three natural sciences areas.

More information can be found in The Regulations for Certificate Endorsements.



Nebraska 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 accredited teacher preparation programs in Nebraska can be found on the Nebraska Department of Education website.



Required Tests for Nebraska

Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. Nebraska uses the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) for basic skills and the Praxis II Content Area exams for subject area endorsement.

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

Initial Teaching Certifications

To earn your Nebraska teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Nebraska issues an Initial Certificate, valid for five years, to new graduates of teacher preparation programs; a Standard Certificate, also valid for five years, which can be attained once a teacher has completed two consecutive years of full- or half-time teaching; and a Professional Certificate, valid for ten years, for teachers who have completed a master’s degree.

Visit the Nebraska Department of Education website to learn more about earning your Nebraska teaching credential or learn more about getting your teaching credential on

Discover an 8-week Online Teaching Short Course from Harvard's Bok Center

Learn more about an 8-week 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 Nebraska

Nebraska has a number of temporary and provisional teaching certificate options. One such option is the Transitional Teaching Permit available to mid-career professionals and non-education graduates through the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree that meets at least 75% of the requirements for certification in a field or subject area, and a particular school district must be prepared to employ and mentor you.

Candidates who want to teach while completing the teacher education coursework can do so under a Nebraska Transitional Teaching Permit. Additional alternative certification routes may be available. The Nebraska Troops to Teachers program offers another alternative pathway to certification.

Nebraska Teacher Certification Information & Links

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Transferring Your Certification

Certification Reciprocity in Nebraska

Nebraska does not have reciprocity with other states; all candidates must meet Nebraska requirements for certification, but out-of-state certificates and documents may be used to judge what documents will be required for a Nebraska certificate.

To find out what other state teaching licenses can be used in Nebraska, check out our Teacher Certification Reciprocity page on

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Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Nebraska

Nebraska Teaching Jobs

Nebraska Department of Education maintains Nebraska Education Jobs, a free online service that provides individuals in search of teaching jobs in Nebraska with the ability to search an up-to-date online job bank.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on

Nebraska Teacher Salary and Incentives

The average salary for an elementary school teacher in Nebraska is around $58,000 to $60,000 depending on grade level, according to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nebraska also provides loan forgiveness to teachers in high-needs schools and shortage subject areas. More detailed data can be found through the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA).

Learn more about teacher salaries on

Nebraska Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Nebraska public school teachers are covered by the Nebraska School Pension Plan administered by the Nebraska Public Employees’ Retirement System. Under the plan, teachers are eligible for full retirement benefits at age 65, or at age 60 with at least 5 years of service for reduced benefits. Retirement funds are determined by the average of a teacher’s three highest 12-month periods of compensation and by years of service.

Learn more about benefits for teachers on

Nebraska Teacher Shortage Areas

Teacher Shortage information was provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listings for 2020-21 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.

  • Agriculture Education
  • Gifted Education
  • Art
  • Bilingual
  • Business, Marketing, and Information Technology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • English as a Second Language
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Health and/or Physical Education
  • Industrial Technology
  • Language Arts
  • Special Education
  • World Language
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Science
  • Speech Language Pathology
  • School Counselor
  • School Psychologist
  • School Library

Financial Aid in Nebraska

Nebraska 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

Career Advancement

Professional Development for Nebraska Teachers

The Nebraska Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) leads efforts to increase the capacity of educators to better serve students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers in inclusive K-12 settings. Specific activities and programs are offered to school teams and generally consist of 1-2 day workshops, mentoring programs for new teachers, and summer training. Nebraska requires teachers to complete at least 6 semester hours of coursework from a teacher education program every five years.

Benefits of a Master's Degree in Nebraska

It is no longer enough to just have years of experience for teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, the careers of teachers increasingly depend on their results in the classroom. A master’s degree in the field of education can give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor.

After a master’s program, you may be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay. According to the state salary schedule, those holding a master’s earn over $6,000 more than those without one.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

Explore Sponsored Program Options in Education

Featured Online programs
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.
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.


Last Updated May 2020