How to Become a Teacher in Nebraska

Becoming a teacher in the great state of Nebraska will prove to be one of the most rewarding things you can do. Here are some of the steps you will need to take in order to become an educator in Nebraska.

Choose What You Want to Teach

You will first need to choose what type of teacher you want to become. What do you want to teach? Do you have a passion for a specific subject? If so, you should consider teaching middle school or high school. If you prefer to teach multiple subjects, you should consider becoming an elementary school teacher. To learn more about students and teachers in Nebraska, visit the Nebraska Department of Education site.

Complete Your Education Requirements for Teaching in Nebraska

In Nebraska, the basic education requirements for becoming a certified teacher are obtaining a Bachelor's Degree and completing a teacher education program. In order to get proper endorsement, the teacher education program should focus on the area you would like to teach. This means that teachers must be professionally trained through an approved educator preparation program to teach in one specialty subject or a certain range of grade levels. Each endorsement requires specific coursework. In addition to the coursework, teaching candidates in Nebraska are required to take a course on human relations.

Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

In order to get an endorsement in Elementary Education, you will need to complete specified coursework. Some of the classes you will take may include: elementary curriculum, instructional strategies, child development, cross-cultural communication skills, classroom management, and education history. In addition, you will take methods courses in English language arts, mathematics, history/social studies, and science. Lastly, you will have the option to take elective courses such as fine arts, humanities, and health and wellness.

To get an endorsement to teach the Middle Grades (4th - 9th) in Nebraska, you will need to complete semester hours/units dedicated to middle level education courses. In addition, you will need to take courses dedicated to two or more Content Areas of Specialization. Each Content Area of Specialization will require a certain amount of units.

If you would like an endorsement in Music ( K-12th), you will need to complete courses in composition, conducting, theory, music history and literature, performance, and techniques.

In order to get an endorsement in Secondary Language Arts (7th-12th), you will need to complete courses in the following: writing, reading, speech, journalism and mass communications.

To become endorsed as a Secondary History teacher (7th-12th), you must complete a specified amount of semester units. You will take several history courses and some in one or more of the following areas: geography, psychology, economics, or political science.

An endorsement in Secondary Mathematics (7th-12th) will require that you take related mathematics courses.

To get an endorsement to teach Secondary Natural Science (7th-12th) you will complete several laboratory based courses in the natural sciences including biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics.

Alternative Teacher Certification in Nebraska

There are alternative routes to teacher certification in Nebraska designed for individuals who have not completed a traditional educator training program.

Teaching Certificate From Another State

If you hold valid teaching certification from another state, you may be able to transfer your certificate to Nebraska. The Nebraska Department of Education may request additional state requirements.

Provisional Commitment Teaching Certificate

If you have a Bachelor's Degree from an accredited institution, but have not yet completed all of the traditional education program requirements, a school may request a Provisional Commitment Teaching Certificate. This is a provisional certificate as it is only valid for one year and only applies to the school that requested the issuance. However, if you show progress toward full certification, this provisional certificate can be renewed.

Pass the Required Tests for Nebraska

The next step to becoming a teacher in Nebraska is to pass certain tests. You will have to pass a basic skills test that will assess your knowledge on fundamental areas of teaching. You will also need to pass a subject area competence test.

Basic Skills

In Nebraska, the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests are the approved Basic Skills test for teacher credentialing. Passing scores must be achieved in Reading, Writing and Mathematics.

Subject Tests

Starting September 2015, candidates applying for any initial endorsement(s) in Nebraska will need to pass the Praxis II subject matter competence test as well. This test should be taken in the area you want to become certified in as it will be used to verify your content knowledge. The test includes three portions: subject assessment, principles of learning and teaching, as well as a teaching foundations test.

Apply for your Nebraska Teacher Certification

Application Requirements

The Nebraska Department of Education requires certain documents to be submitted and approved before teaching in the state:

  • Completed application form
  • Documentation to support the application, including official college transcript(s) from every college or university you have attended
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Endorsement by completion of teacher education program
  • Proof of passing status on all required exams
  • Copies of any teaching certificates you have, if applicable
  • Clear status of fingerprints and background check

Contact Information

Nebraska Department of Education
301 Centennial Mall South
P.O. Box 94987
Lincoln,NE 68509-4987
Phone: 402-471-2295

Find a Teaching Job in Nebraska

The last and final step for you now is to simply find a great job! Once you have met all the requirements to becoming a certified teacher, you will be ready to begin your career as a teacher. There are so many great schools in Nebraska, therefore the sky's the limit for you and your career!

Public Schools

The state of Nebraska has mounted an active campaign to ensure that it continues to have a pool of qualified teachers to hire from. In this vein, the state Department of Education has created an auxiliary website at nebraskaeducationjobs.com in order to help match potential candidates with employers. The site also contains information about teacher certification, job fairs in the state, and relevant online resources.

Teacher Unions

In the public sector, after a teacher has been hired, he or she may join the local teacher's union. In Nebraska, teachers join the National Education Association (NEA) or the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA). Both organizations are advocates for teacher rights from labor and legal perspectives.

Retirement Benefits

Upon retirement, teachers are eligible to draw a pension from the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement Systems (NPERS). In addition to offering a monthly allowance based on individual factors, NPERS offers survivor benefits, planning seminars, and disability benefits.

Private Schools

Employment in the public sector is not for everyone. Some teachers may prefer and benefit from working in a private school environment. Nebraska's has over 230 private schools. Keep in mind that salary, benefits, and career advancement may be different than schools in the public sector.

Teacher Shortage in Nebraska by Subjects or Discipline (2014-2015)

The following list of teacher shortage areas in Nebraska has been obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) list for the 2014-2015 school year

  • Business, Marketing, and Information Technology
  • Early Childhood
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Music/Instrumental/Voice
  • School Counselor
  • School Librarian
  • School Psychologist
  • Science
  • Social Science
  • Special Education- All Disciplines
  • Speech-Language Pathology
  • World Language

Number of Public School Teachers By Grade

The table below lists the number of public school teachers in Nebraska by grade level during the 2012-2013 school year.

Grade LevelNumber of Teachers
Pre-kindergarten & Preschool Teachers519
Kindergarten Teachers1,418
Elementary Teachers11,868
Middle & High School Teachers8,298

Data obtained from the State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data 2013

Number of Private School Teachers By Grade

There are more than 210 private schools with an estimated 2,600 private school teachers in Nebraska. The table below details the number of teachers by grade level during the 2011-2012 school year.

Grade LevelNumber of Teachers
Elementary School Teachers1,553
Middle & High School Teachers482
Combined K-12 School Teachers546

Data obtained from the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2012

Continue Your Education and Professional Development

Professional development with the goals of student achievement and collaborative leadership ensures that teachers continue to improve their practice on an ongoing basis. There are a number of platforms and venues for effective professional development including conferences, in-services, webinars, and courses.

When researching professional development options, teachers should ensure that they clearly understand their district's goals for educators, and that offerings are relevant to the needs of the classroom and school.

Professional Development in Nebraska

The State Department of Education in Nebraska is committed to ensuring that teachers have learning opportunities that meet the above mentioned needs. Through a variety of organizations and agencies, both in the state and online, Nebraska teachers can find offerings that suit their needs. Some universities in the state, like the University of Nebraska, have partnered with the Department of Education to create professional development offerings. Finally, organizations like Nebraska's Lied Center offers opportunities to participate in professional development throughout the year. Teachers are encouraged to use these and other resources to find high-quality professional development that suits their needs.

Employment and Teacher Salary in Nebraska

New teachers in Nebraska can expect to make $30,844, while experienced teachers make approximately $20,000 more annually due to tenure and additional certifications. Nebraska has launched an intensive recruitment campaign, hoping to encourage teachers for subject area shortages like arts, languages, science and technology, math, and special education. Roles are available at the preschool, elementary and secondary levels. Teachers may have better opportunities if they apply to larger districts in the state such as Omaha, Lincoln, and Millard.

Total Employed

8,770

Salary Range

$40,760 - $61,690

Elementary school teachers have a salary range between $40,760 to $61,690 a year in Nebraska. There are around eight thousand employed elementary school teachers. Read about what it takes to become an elementary school teacher.

Elementary School Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs4,020$46,580
Lincoln1,190$52,260

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Elementary School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2021)

Total Employed

420

Salary Range

$43,920 - $90,030

English teachers have a salary range between $43,920 to $90,030 a year in Nebraska, with over 420 employed in the state. See details on how to become an english teacher.

English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs170$56,290
Lincoln110$71,480

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1123)

Total Employed

6,950

Salary Range

$41,840 - $66,190

As a high school teacher in Nebraska you can expect to make between $41,840 - $66,190. There are around six thousand employed high school teachers. Take the next step and learn to how to become a high school teacher.

High School Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs2,850$48,750
Lincoln850$52,190

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for High School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2031)

Total Employed

140

Salary Range

$44,820 - $88,130

In Nebraska, a history teacher's salary may range from $44,820 to $88,130. There are around 140 employed history teachers. Get more information about becoming a history teacher.

History Teachers (College Professor)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs50$51,170
Lincoln40$71,520

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for History Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1125)

Total Employed

1,240

Salary Range

$40,110 - $59,610

Kindergarten teachers in Nebraska, can earn between $40,110 to $59,610 a year. There are around a thousand employed kindergarten teachers. Read about what it takes to become a kindergarten teacher.

Kindergarten Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs530$46,090
Lincoln220$43,860

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Kindergarten Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2012)

Total Employed

20,470

Salary Range

$40,110 - $92,710

As a math teacher in Nebraska you can expect to make between $40,110 - $92,710. Nebraska is home to about twenty thousand math teachers. See our guide on how to become a math teacher.

Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs120$59,420
Lincoln90$79,050

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1022)

Total Employed

1,370

Salary Range

$17,500 - $57,310

P.e. teachers have a salary range between $17,500 to $57,310 a year in Nebraska. Nebraska is home to about a thousand p.e. teachers. See our guide on how to become a p.e. teacher.

Coaches and Scouts
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs780$28,200
Lincoln260$49,600

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Coaches and Scouts (SOC Code: 27-2022)

Total Employed

1,760

Salary Range

$18,740 - $50,470

In Nebraska, a preschool teacher's salary may range from $18,740 to $50,470, with over 1,760 employed in the state. See details on how to become a preschool teacher.

Preschool Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs920$33,750
Lincoln420$24,260

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Preschool Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2011)

Total Employed

1,640

Salary Range

$33,660 - $118,000

As a school administrator in Nebraska you can expect to make between $33,660 - $118,000. Nebraska is home to about a thousand school administrators. Take the next step and learn to how to become a school administrator.

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs80$44,450

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program (SOC Code: 11-9031)

Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs670$87,400
Lincoln200$92,270

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School (SOC Code: 11-9032)

Total Employed

1,390

Salary Range

$40,000 - $69,480

School counselors in Nebraska, can earn between $40,000 to $69,480 a year, with over 1,390 employed in the state. See our guide on how to become a school counselor.

Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs680$48,380
Lincoln210$51,010

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors (SOC Code: 21-1012)

Total Employed

1,210

Salary Range

$31,790 - $67,700

School librarians have a salary range between $31,790 to $67,700 a year in Nebraska. Nebraska is home to about a thousand school librarians. Read about what it takes to become a school librarian.

Librarians
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs480$49,340
Lincoln130$53,750

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Librarians (SOC Code: 25-4021)

Total Employed

2,900

Salary Range

$40,390 - $69,680

In Nebraska, a special education teacher's salary may range from $40,390 to $69,680. Nebraska is home to about two thousand special education teachers. Interested in becoming a special education teacher?

Special Education Teachers (Preschool)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs40$50,020

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Preschool) (SOC Code: 25-2051)

Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs630$45,100
Lincoln170$49,320

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School) (SOC Code: 25-2052)

Special Education Teachers (Middle School)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs240$47,810
Lincoln130$51,300

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Middle School) (SOC Code: 25-2053)

Special Education Teachers (High School)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs470$49,610
Lincoln170$52,710

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (High School) (SOC Code: 25-2054)

Total Employed

4,880

Salary Range

$26,650 - $43,610

In Nebraska, a substitute teacher's salary may range from $26,650 to $43,610. Nebraska is home to about four thousand substitute teachers. Read about what it takes to become a substitute teacher.

Substitute Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs1,930$33,470
Lincoln900$41,630

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Substitute Teachers (SOC Code: 25-3098)

Total Employed

10,210

Salary Range

$18,420 - $28,840

In Nebraska, a teaching assistant's salary may range from $18,420 to $28,840. There are around ten thousand employed teaching assistants. Interested in becoming a teaching assistant?

Teacher Assistants
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Omaha, Council Bluffs5,030$21,110
Lincoln1,310$24,620

Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Teacher Assistants (SOC Code: 25-9041)

Top School Districts Supporting Teachers in Nebraska

homepage_badge_topTeachers work hard every day and the more support they have the better they can succeed at inspiring our future. This is why Teacher.org has ranked school districts in Nebraska that excel in supporting teachers inside and outside of the classroom. 31 school districts in Nebraska were analyzed with the top 10 school districts being featured below. The school districts were scored on several factors which represent how well a school district supports their teachers.

For more information on school district rankings, see our methodology page: http://www.teacher.org/school-district-ranking-methodology.

Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 98.07
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 91.6
% Proficiency Score: 77.56

Located in the heart of Cass County, Plattsmouth Community Schools District operate 4 elementary, middle and secondary schools throughout the area. With an enrolment of more than 1,800 students, the district employs more than 130 classroom teachers, which allows the district to maintain a ratio of about 14 students per teacher. Plattsmouth schools are committed to working in partnership to ensure academic achievement. Learn more by visiting the Plattsmouth Community Schools District website at pcsd.schoolfusion.us.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 1,000-2,000 Students
  • > 100 Total Support Staff
  • 71.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 82.07
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 98.02
% Proficiency Score: 81.91

Located in Platte County west of Omaha, Nebraska, Columbus Public Schools enroll more than 3,600 public school pre-K - 12 students throughout the 7 district schools. The district employs more than 200 classroom teachers as well as more than 300 additional non-teaching staff members in order to meet the needs of the students and carry for the district ideals of an empowering and challenging education for all. Learn more by visiting the Columbus Public Schools District website at columbuspublicschools.org.

District Details
  • > 200 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 150 Total Support Staff
  • 75.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 86.38
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 74.08
% Proficiency Score: 100

Located in the heart of Douglas County, Elkhorn Public Schools District is a public K - 12 school district that operates 14 schools and admits over 6,400 students. The district employs over 400 classroom teachers as well as 350 additional staff members to meet student need. Elkhorn schools are committed to a challenging and enriching academic environment through community partnership. Learn more by visiting the Elkhorn Public Schools District website at elkhornweb.org.

District Details
  • > 400 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 91.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 89.71
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 100
% Proficiency Score: 67.07

Located in the northwestern part of Nebraska, Alliance Public Schools District is located in Box Butte County. The K - 12 district has a total enrollment of 1,600 students across its 5 elementary, middle and high schools, and employs more than 100 classroom teachers as well as 150 additional staff members to support student need. Alliance teachers work for success for all students. Learn more by visiting the Alliance Public Schools District website at apschools.schoolfusion.us.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 1,000-2,000 Students
  • > 75 Total Support Staff
  • 61.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 91.02
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 87.48
% Proficiency Score: 78.1

Located in Lincoln County, North Platte public Schools are an important part of community life in the city of North Platte. Operating 13 elementary, middle and high schools throughout the community, the district has a student population of more than 4,100 students and employs over 250 classroom teacher. These figures create a ratio of about 15 students per teacher from preschool to grade 12, ensuring that North Platte teachers focus on student learning, achievement and success. Learn more by visiting the North Platte Public Schools District website at nppsd.org.

District Details
  • > 200 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 71.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 90.23
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 88.8
% Proficiency Score: 76.38

Located in the suburban area to the south of Omaha, Nebraska, Ralston Public Schools District is a K - 12 district that serves more than 3,100 students across its 8 schools. With more than 200 classroom teachers, Ralston schools have a student-teacher ratio of about 14:1, ensuring that they can commit to developing achievement and character in a safe and supportive academic environment. Learn more by visiting the Ralston Public Schools District website at ralstonschools.org.

District Details
  • > 200 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 150 Total Support Staff
  • 70.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 92.49
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 80.04
% Proficiency Score: 80.31

Located in the city of Hastings, in Adams County, Nebraska, Hastings Public Schools is a PK - 12 district that operates 8 schools in the city. With more than 3,700 students enrolled at the elementary, intermediate and high school levels, the district employs more than 250 classroom teachers to meet student needs. The district's ratio of about 15:1 ensures that Hastings staff can assure the essential academics while expanding the possible. Learn more by visiting the Hastings Public Schools District website at hastingspublicschools.org.

District Details
  • > 200 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 150 Total Support Staff
  • 73.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 95.88
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 61.25
% Proficiency Score: 90.13

Serving portions of Omaha, Nebraska, Westside Community School is a public school district offering instruction from preschool to grade 12. The district employs more than 400 classroom teachers across its 14 schools, and enrols more than 6,000 students across all grade levels. The student-teacher ratio of about 14:1 enables all of Westside's teachers and staff to pursue innovative educational ideals and personalized learning for each student. Learn more by visiting the Westside Community Schools website at westside66.org.

District Details
  • > 400 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 82.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 85.48
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 83.03
% Proficiency Score: 77.59

Located in Madison County, Nebraska, Norfolk Public Schools District is comprised of 11 elementary, intermediate and secondary schools throughout the area. The total district population is over 4,000 students; more than 250 classroom teachers are employed to meet student need. With a classroom ratio of about 16:1, Norfolk teachers are committed to providing outstanding educational opportunities for every student. Learn more by visiting the Norfolk Public Schools District website at norfolkpublicschools.org.

District Details
  • > 200 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 150 Total Support Staff
  • 71.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 87.39
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 72.52
% Proficiency Score: 85.72

Located in Lancaster County between Omaha and Lincoln, Waverly School District 145 serves the communities of Waverly, Walton, Prairie Home, Eagle, and Alvo through its 5 schools. The district employs more than 120 classroom teachers to instruct its student body of over 1,800 pre-K - 12 students. The district's learning ratio of about 15:1 allows for a strong commitment to academic excellence. Learn more by visiting the Waverly School District 145 website at district145.org.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 1,000-2,000 Students
  • > 75 Total Support Staff
  • 78.5 Avg % Proficiency

Continued List of School Districts in Nebraska

RankingSchool DistrictSchoolsTeachersOverall Score
#11 Blair Community Schools District715381.56
#12 Scottsbluff Public Schools District820780.66
#13 Beatrice Public Schools District714080.41
#14 So Sioux City Community Schools District1128780.3
#15 Papillion-La Vista Public Schools2072479.64
#16 Crete Public Schools District312479.64
#17 Bellevue Public Schools2268679.18
#18 Nebraska City Public Schools District410279.05
#19 Gretna Public Schools District723178.97
#20 Schuyler Communtiy Schools813178.81
#21 Grand Island Public Schools2164078.79
#22 Lexington Public Schools District820477.6
#23 Lincoln Public Schools712,74877.54
#24 Bennington Public Schools District411277.23
#25 Northwest Georgia Regional Education Service Agency School District611276.8
#26 Gering Public Schools District713976.53
#27 Fremont Public1330876.29
#28 Kearney Public Schools1435175.69
#29 Millard Public Schools371,49974.64
#30 Norris School District 160412774.05
#31 Omaha Public Schools1053,14767.8

Data obtained from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey