How to Become a Teacher in New Jersey
Great job! You have decided to become a teacher. Teaching is a career that is meant for an exceptional set of individuals who have the calling to change lives. The following steps will help you become a teacher in New Jersey.
Choose What You Want to Teach
Special education? Elementary, middle, or high school? Before you actually start studying to become a teacher in New Jersey, you need to consider which grade level or subject(s) are right for you. Depending on the area you choose, New Jersey has specific prerequisites for becoming a teacher.
Complete Your Education Requirements for Teaching in New Jersey
New Jersey, as all states, requires a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in order to become a teacher. Teachers must also complete a teacher preparation program. The degree must be from an accredited college or university. Most colleges and universities offer what is known as a blended or joint program. This means that upon completion of all required classes, fieldwork, and passing test scores, you will receive both a Bachelor's Degree and a teaching license. This is wonderful for those who know from the beginning that they wish to be a teacher.
Complete a Teacher Preparation Program
Public school teachers must have a teaching license in order to teach. To gain licensure, a teacher preparation program from an accredited college or university must be completed. In order for a college to be accredited, it must be certified through CAEP, formerly NCATE and TEAC. If you choose this traditional route, you will likely graduate with a certification and a Bachelor's Degree.
While all states require a Bachelor's Degree to become certified, New Jersey has specific requirements depending on the area in which you want to teach. All teachers must complete a coherent sequence of coursework in the educational field. In addition, keep in mind that the following fields have specific requirements:
Elementary Education (Kindergarten - fifth grade)
A teaching candidate must complete at least 60 liberal arts credits, be a liberal arts major, or a science major. In addition, an endorsement in a specific subject area is required if grades 5-8 are the desirable teaching areas.
English (Kindergarten - twelfth grade)
A minimum of 30 credit areas in an English program, including a minimum of 12 advanced class hours are required for this certification.
Mathematics (Kindergarten - twelfth grade)
A minimum of 30 credit areas in an Mathematics program, including a minimum of 12 advanced class hours are required for this certification.
Science (Kindergarten through twelfth grade)
In order to become a certified teacher of Science in New Jersey you must complete a minimum of 30 credit areas in the field of Chemistry or Physics with 12 of those hours being at the advanced level. In addition, 15 full hours of credits must be gained in physics, mechanics, electrical engineering, thermodynamics, mechanical design, chemistry or biochemistry.
Alternative Teaching Certification in New Jersey
An alternative route to certification is available in New Jersey.
Teacher Certification Program
This option is for people who already have a four year Bachelor's Degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program. You will not earn a new degree with this program, just certification. To apply, one must meet all the requirements of the Office of licensure and Academic Credentials (OLC). Recent changes also require that potential candidate complete 24 hours of formal instruction prior to gaining a certificate. Completing all the steps will lead to a provisional license with a mentor and formal instruction while on the job.
Pass the Required Tests for New Jersey
The next step to becoming a teacher in New Jersey is passing the necessary tests.
Basic Skills Test
A basic skills test that is approved by the Commissioner must be taken in order to receive certification in New Jersey. The Praxis CORE Academic Skills for Educators Test can be taken to fulfill the Basic Skills Test requirement. However, a score of 1660 or higher on the SAT, 23 or higher on the ACT, or at least a 4 on the analytical writing section and a combined score of 310 on the GRE can also be used.
All New Jersey teachers will need to pass the subject specific/specialty area PRAXIS II exam for the grade and/or subjects you wish to teach. There are study guides and practice tests available for each version of the test. To make sure you have signed up for the correct test(s), you can talk with your school counselor or advisor. The test is comprised of multiple choice questions along with constructed response essay questions.
Apply for your New Jersey Teacher Certification
You can apply online or you can submit transcripts for evaluation. In order to submit the application for new certification, you must do the following:
- Submit a $70 payment by credit card online
- Gain verification of program completion
- Provide copies of out-of-state certificates (if applicable)
- If applicable, a letter detailing any years of full-time teaching or administrative experience. This should include specifics of the job and be on school district letterhead, signed by the appropriate officials.
- Official college transcripts with a degree conferral and GPA listed. A 3.00 or in some cases a 2.75 or above with high PRAXIS scores is required.
- Credentials evaluation if certification was received from another country
- Signed and notarized Oath of Allegiance for US citizens
- Signed and notarized Non-citizen Oath of Allegiance (if applicable)
- Provide scores for required PRAXIS II area tests
- Applicants must take and pass an examination on physiology and hygiene or show proof of basic military training in the study of biology, health, or nutrition.
- 24 hour requirements (CE certificates only)
NJ Department of Education
PO box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500
For licensure (609)292-2070
Find a Teaching Job in New Jersey
If you have completed certification and received licensure, then you are ready to begin your career as an empowering educator in New Jersey!
Teaching Job in a Public School
Like other areas of the country, New Jersey is experiencing shortages in language, math, and sciences teachers, as well as those qualified to teach special education. In order to combat this trend, the state of New Jersey makes an active recruitment attempt for certified and passionate candidates through the Department of Education website and an auxiliary website, www.njschooljobs.com.
New Jersey Teacher Unions
When hired, public school teachers can join a union such as the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) or the American Federation of Teachers New Jersey (AFL-CIO), both of which offer support and advocacy to their members.
New Jersey Teacher Benefits
Teachers in New Jersey have comprehensive benefits while working. Upon retirement, they or their surviving family members are able to draw from the Teacher's Pension and Annuity Fund - State of New Jersey.
Teaching Job in a Private School
In addition to pursuing a career in a public school, teachers may wish to apply to any of the state's 1,536 private schools. With ratios that average 11 students per teacher, teachers may find private schools to be a comfortable transition to full-time teaching. Applying for a private school usually requires the candidate to apply directly with the school.
Teacher Shortage in New Jersey by Subjects or Discipline (2014-2015)
The following list of teacher shortage areas in New Jersey 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
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Special Education
- World Languages
Number of Public School Teachers By Grade
The table below lists the number of public school teachers in New Jersey by grade level during the 2012-2013 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Pre-kindergarten & Preschool Teachers||2,956|
|Middle & High School Teachers||37,481|
|Ungraded Class Teachers||14,879|
Data obtained from the State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data 2013
Number of Private School Teachers By Grade
There are more than 1,130 private schools with an estimated 15,200 private school teachers in New Jersey. The table below details the number of teachers by grade level during the 2011-2012 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Elementary School Teachers||7,875|
|Middle & High School Teachers||3,367|
|Combined K-12 School Teachers||3,930|
Data obtained from the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2012
Continue Your Education and Professional Development
In the field of education, professional development opportunities occur throughout the system, including but not limited to support staff, teachers, paraprofessionals, and administrators. Professional development initiatives are driven from the top down - first nationally, then state-wide, then district, then school, and finally classroom focused.
Professional Development in New Jersey
New Jersey teachers utilize a variety of platforms and formats to ensure that their professional development needs are met. Among their options are online courses/ webinars, peer-led conferences/in-services, and administrator/facilitator presentations. The state Department of Education in New Jersey has issued an updated set of guidelines to help teachers meet the state's needs for highly qualified teaching professionals.
Teachers must achieve 20 hours of professional development each year, according to New Jersey's Standards for Professional Learning. The PD offerings must be of high-quality and lead to effective teaching practices and build leadership capacity. Teachers with questions meeting New Jersey's stringent guidelines are encouraged to review their school district's copy of the New Jersey collaborative professional learning toolkit.
Employment and Teacher Salary in New Jersey
Teaching is a rewarding career at the preschool, elementary or secondary level for people who wish to share their knowledge and passion about the world with students. In New Jersey, teachers earn a starting salary of $48,631 - higher than the mean annual salary of the state. Regardless, the Department of Education still has a shortage of teachers in languages, STEM subjects, arts, and special education. Applicants are encouraged to apply with these subjects in mind, and also to apply to urban centers like Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, and Elizabeth.
Salary Range$53,580 - $93,900
Elementary school teachers have a salary range between $53,580 to $93,900 a year in New Jersey. There are around forty thousand employed elementary school teachers. Read about what it takes to become an elementary school teacher.
Elementary School Teachers
|Edison, New Brunswick||11,040||$64,140|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||1,630||$68,160|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||760||$61,820|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Elementary School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2021)
Salary Range$52,480 - $139,100
English teachers have a salary range between $52,480 to $139,100 a year in New Jersey, with over 2,020 employed in the state. See details on how to become an english teacher.
English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor)
|Edison, New Brunswick||380||$88,490|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1123)
Salary Range$55,800 - $99,720
As a high school teacher in New Jersey you can expect to make between $55,800 - $99,720. There are around thirty three thousand employed high school teachers. Take the next step and learn to how to become a high school teacher.
High School Teachers
|Edison, New Brunswick||9,980||$69,880|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||1,130||$68,240|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||550||$64,820|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for High School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2031)
Salary Range$63,360 - $168,920
In New Jersey, a history teacher's salary may range from $63,360 to $168,920. There are around 610 employed history teachers. Get more information about becoming a history teacher.
History Teachers (College Professor)
|Edison, New Brunswick||120||$105,960|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for History Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1125)
Salary Range$48,860 - $89,730
Kindergarten teachers in New Jersey, can earn between $48,860 to $89,730 a year. There are around five thousand employed kindergarten teachers. Read about what it takes to become a kindergarten teacher.
|Edison, New Brunswick||1,340||$58,190|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||120||$66,930|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||110||$60,010|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Kindergarten Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2012)
Salary Range$48,860 - $155,310
As a math teacher in New Jersey you can expect to make between $48,860 - $155,310. New Jersey is home to about ninety thousand math teachers. See our guide on how to become a math teacher.
Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor)
|Edison, New Brunswick||340||$93,150|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1022)
Salary Range$26,170 - $71,270
P.e. teachers have a salary range between $26,170 to $71,270 a year in New Jersey. New Jersey is home to about five thousand p.e. teachers. See our guide on how to become a p.e. teacher.
Coaches and Scouts
|Edison, New Brunswick||1,480||$45,180|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||120||$61,660|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||60||$43,320|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Coaches and Scouts (SOC Code: 27-2022)
Salary Range$24,960 - $59,400
In New Jersey, a preschool teacher's salary may range from $24,960 to $59,400, with over 12,890 employed in the state. See details on how to become a preschool teacher.
|Edison, New Brunswick||3,780||$36,740|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||250||$45,200|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||230||$37,290|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Preschool Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2011)
Salary Range$39,100 - $168,940
As a school administrator in New Jersey you can expect to make between $39,100 - $168,940. New Jersey is home to about ten thousand school administrators. Take the next step and learn to how to become a school administrator.
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program
|Edison, New Brunswick||480||$61,500|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||30||$53,880|
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
|Edison, New Brunswick||2,110||$121,240|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||280||$117,990|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||190||$110,920|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School (SOC Code: 11-9032)
Salary Range$54,010 - $100,450
School counselors in New Jersey, can earn between $54,010 to $100,450 a year, with over 5,930 employed in the state. See our guide on how to become a school counselor.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
|Edison, New Brunswick||1,360||$70,080|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||180||$73,600|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||160||$66,600|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors (SOC Code: 21-1012)
Salary Range$52,310 - $94,810
School librarians have a salary range between $52,310 to $94,810 a year in New Jersey. New Jersey is home to about four thousand school librarians. Read about what it takes to become a school librarian.
|Edison, New Brunswick||1,370||$65,560|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||110||$57,590|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||40||$65,290|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Librarians (SOC Code: 25-4021)
Salary Range$52,720 - $95,840
In New Jersey, a special education teacher's salary may range from $52,720 to $95,840. New Jersey is home to about twenty three thousand special education teachers. Interested in becoming a special education teacher?
Special Education Teachers (Preschool)
|Edison, New Brunswick||170||$70,000|
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)
|Edison, New Brunswick||2,850||$62,580|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||360||$66,220|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||310||$55,240|
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)
|Edison, New Brunswick||1,470||$66,360|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||190||$63,190|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||110||$63,010|
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)
|Edison, New Brunswick||1,550||$69,810|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||250||$70,420|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||170||$66,030|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (High School) (SOC Code: 25-2054)
Salary Range$23,980 - $38,550
In New Jersey, a substitute teacher's salary may range from $23,980 to $38,550. New Jersey is home to about twenty three thousand substitute teachers. Read about what it takes to become a substitute teacher.
|Edison, New Brunswick||4,420||$26,800|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||650||$29,640|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||290||$29,580|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Substitute Teachers (SOC Code: 25-3098)
Salary Range$20,370 - $37,870
In New Jersey, a teaching assistant's salary may range from $20,370 to $37,870. There are around fifty thousand employed teaching assistants. Interested in becoming a teaching assistant?
|Edison, New Brunswick||11,850||$26,870|
|Atlantic City, Hammonton||1,480||$26,940|
|Vineland, Millville, Bridgeton||1,200||$24,960|
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 New Jersey
Teachers 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 New Jersey that excel in supporting teachers inside and outside of the classroom. 281 school districts in New Jersey were analyzed with the top 50 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.
Continued List of School Districts in New Jersey
Data obtained from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey