Become a Teacher in New York

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Teaching in New York Snapshot

$85,300Secondary School Teacher Salary
$82,830Elementary School Teacher Salary
$23,091Public School Spending Per Student

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


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Steps to Becoming a Teacher in New York

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: 04/22/2020)


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. Enrollment in and completion of an approved New York State Teacher Preparation Program will satisfy all credit requirements. To search for specific requirements to become a teacher, visit the Department of Education's search page.


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 that includes student teaching. The New York Education Department allows you to search for approved teacher preparation and certification programs in New York State.


Required Tests for New York

Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. In New York, the pedagogical knowledge is assessed through the Educating All Students (EAS) test and edTPA, and the subject area component is fulfilled by the appropriate Content Specialty Test (CST). More information can be found on Testing Requirements by Certificate.

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting Teach.coms' Guide to the Praxis Exams and read more about teacher certification tests on

Initial Teaching Certifications

To earn a New York teaching credential you must complete the required undergraduate coursework and testing, as well as an accredited teacher certification program.

New York offers two types of teacher certificates. The Initial Certificate is valid for the first five years of teaching, 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. Visit the Education Department's Types of Certificates page for a full description of all available certificates.

Learn more about earning a teaching credential.

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Alternative Certification in New York

New York has an Alternative Teacher Preparation Program targeted at mid-career and career-changing professionals. This program consists of an introductory section followed by certification tests and then 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.

New York Teacher Certification Information & Links

Transferring Your Certification

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. Find out more about the New York Completion of a College Teacher Education Program in Another U.S. State pathway. If you have more specific questions about your teaching situation, please contact the New York State Education Department.

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

Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in New York

New York Teaching Jobs

Jobs for all of New York State can be found at the New York Online 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.

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New York Teacher Salary and Incentives

The average school teacher in New York makes around $83,000 - $85,000 per year depending on grade level, according to 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics data. 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.

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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.

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New York Teacher Shortage Areas

A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.

The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in New York for the 2020-21 school year as reported by the U.S. Department of Education. (see page 130)

  • Bilingual Education (General): All Grades
  • Health Science: All Grades
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Special Education (Not Bilingual)-Middle/Secondary Grades
  • Special Education (Bilingual)-All Grades
  • English as a Second Language: All Grades
  • Science: 7th Grade and up
  • Social Studies: 7th Grade and up
  • Language Arts: All Grades

Financial Aid in New York

New York 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.

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Career Advancement

Professional Development for New York Teachers

New York State professional development programs include teacher mentorship programs and 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. 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.

According to the New York State Department of Education, teachers holding a Professional Certificate in New York must complete at least 175 hours of professional development activities during each 5-year licensing period.

Benefits of a Master's Degree 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 degree in the field of education can give teachers more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience alongside a mentor. After completing a Master's program, teachers may have more job security and receive higher pay.

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

Explore Sponsored Program Options in Education


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.

Discover USC Rossier


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.

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Last Updated May 2020