How to Become a Teacher in North Carolina

John Dewey once said, "Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." Teaching is one of the most noble of all the career choices and those who choose to do it are indeed special people. By becoming a teacher, you truly have the power to change the world! The following steps will help guide your journey toward becoming a teacher in the state of North Carolina.

Choose What You Want to Teach

Before you begin your journey, you should consider in which setting you would like to teach. For example, do you want to teach in elementary, middle, or high school? Do you prefer working with children with special needs? Answering these questions will determine some of the steps you take.

Complete Your Education Requirements for Teaching in North Carolina

In North Carolina, the basic education requirements for becoming a teacher are obtaining a Bachelor's degree (from a NC approved teacher education program at a regionally accredited college or university) and passing the North Carolina licensing exams. For a list of regionally accredited institutions, refer to the NC State Board of Education's list of Regionally Accrediting Agencies/Institutions.

If you have not yet received a Bachelor's degree, you can choose a college major based on the grade level and subject(s) you want to teach. For example, you may pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English if you wish to become a high school English teacher. If you are not sure what to major in, a school counselor may help you in deciding on the one right for you.

Many colleges and universities offer joint degree and teacher education programs. Teacher education programs generally consist of a set curriculum that takes place at the college as well as some type of fieldwork. Curricula consists of classes on the theories of teaching and learning, methodology of teaching, and educational technology classes. Classes typically also cover developmental stages for students of varying ages. The fieldwork aspect will vary from college to college, but usually involves classroom observations. In addition to the observations, student teaching will be required of all teaching candidates. As a student teacher you will work with a master teacher to write lesson plans, teach those lessons, and reflect on them.

Alternative Teacher Certification in North Carolina

There are some other pathways to becoming a certified teacher in North Carolina.

Teaching Certificate in Another State

Another pathway to obtaining a license to teach in North Carolina is the completion of another state's approved route to licensure. Some additional courses or tests may be required, depending on your home state's certification requirements. If you have certification to teach from another state, contact North Carolina's Department of Education's Licensure Department to see what will be required of you.

Highly Qualified

There is yet another pathway for candidates who have a teaching credential in another state but want to teach in North Carolina. You can teach in North Carolina if you meet the federal requirements to be designated as "Highly Qualified". For this, you must have already earned a Bachelor's Degree from a regionally accredited college. In order to receive "Highly Qualified" status in North Carolina, you must be fully licensed and "Highly Qualified" a state. In addition, you will need to have three or more years of teaching experience in that state. You will also need to meet the North Carolina State Board of Education's approved licensure exam requirements.

Lateral Entry Teaching License

If you are a person who did not graduate from an approved teaching program, or someone who has decided to change your career to teaching from another field, you may qualify for a teaching position right away as you obtain your license through "lateral entry." This pathway is only offered on a provisional basis and still requires a Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university. For requirements of this pathway, you should refer to the NC State Board of Education's guide on "Qualifying for a Lateral Entry License."

NC TEACH

Yet another pathway is completion of an alternative teacher preparation program. In NC, this is called North Carolina Teachers of Excellence for All Children (NC TEACH). NC TEACH is offered at North Carolina State University (NC State) and is designed to recruit, train, support, and retain mid-career professionals as they become licensed teachers in the state.

Pass the Required Tests for North Carolina

After completing your education requirements, the next step to becoming a teacher in North Carolina is to pass the required state tests. These tests are offered by the NC Department of Public Instruction's Licensure Section. North Carolina does have have 100% reciprocity with other states, therefore there are no exemptions to taking the required state tests for licensure.

The following tests are required in North Carolina for those wishing to become teachers:

  • The Praxis (Core Academic Skills for Educators)
  • The Praxis II (Subject Area Tests) - if required for your licensure area

Note that some colleges or universities may ask that you pass some or all of these tests prior to entering or exiting a teacher preparation program. Check with a program advisor or counselor to find out more about your requirements.

K-12 Teachers

The following tests are required in North Carolina for those wishing to become K-12 teachers:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics

Or, you may take the:

  • Praxis I Reading
  • Praxis I Writing
  • Praxis I Mathematics

In addition to these required tests, you may also need to take a test for your specific licensure area if it is required (e.g., Middle School Social Studies).

Apply for your North Carolina Teaching License

Some candidates may be considered "Highly Qualified." This may apply if you are fully licensed and "Highly Qualified" in another state who have three or more years of teaching experience in another state and who meet NC State Board of Education approved licensure exam requirements or have National Board Certification and are issued the SP2 Professional Educator's license.

Application Requirements

North Carolina offers two types of licenses for teachers including:

  • Standard Professional I (SP1) Professional Educator's License - if you have 0-2 years of teaching experience; valid for 3 years
  • Standard Professional II (SP2) Professional Educator's License - if you have 3+ years of teaching experience; valid for 5 years

The following items are required to apply for a license:

  • Form A (Application for a North Carolina Professional Educator's License)
  • Your license from another state or Form V (Verification of Completion of an Approved Teacher Education Program)
  • Transcripts
  • Test scores or Form OS-HQ (Verification of "Highly Qualified" status)
  • Form E (Verification of K-12 Teaching Experience) and/or Form CE (Verification of Post-Secondary Educator Experience)
  • International verification (if degree was earned outside of the U.S.)
  • Payment

Contact Information

NC Department of Public Instruction
Licensure Section
6365 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27699-6365

Find a Teaching Job in North Carolina

After completion of the above steps, you will be prepared to find a job in North Carolina! You will be ready to make an impact on hundreds of children in this great state.

North Carolina Public Schools

Candidates hoping to teach in North Carolina can access the North Carolina Public Schools Application System portal through the Department of Education website. Applicants are advised that some school districts do not post all jobs through this site. The remainder of jobs throughout the state are viewable by using the school district map and accessing the school district site directly. Like most other regions of the USA, North Carolina is currently experiencing high need for teachers able to teach elementary subjects, languages including English, math, sciences, and special education. Other roles within the profession are experiencing a slower growth than the national average.

Teacher Labor Unions in NC

Once hired, teachers may join their state affiliate of the teacher's labor union. In North Carolina, options are the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) and the Classroom Teachers Association of NC. Professional unions support teachers during labor and legal struggles and advocate for professional development in and outside the classroom.

Retirement Benefits for NC Teachers

Upon retirement from the public school system, teachers are able to manage their income through accessing their pension funds on a monthly basis. Generally, teachers are permitted to contribute 6% of their income to the pension fund during their career.

North Carolina Private Schools

In addition to the state's public school system, teachers may apply to any of the state's 755 private schools. These schools have an average ratio of 10 teachers per student. The small class sizes are favorable to many teachers, as meeting the needs of all students becomes more feasible. In North Carolina, over 50% of the private schools have a religious affiliation. Teachers are reminded that salary and work expectations may differ from the public system.

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

The following list of teacher shortage areas in North Carolina 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

  • Mathematics (Grades 9 - 12)
  • Science (Grades 6 - 9 and Grades 9 - 12)
  • Special Education: Adapted Curriculum and General Curriculum

Number of Public School Teachers By Grade

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

Grade LevelNumber of Teachers
Pre-kindergarten & Preschool Teachers1,653
Kindergarten Teachers6,992
Elementary Teachers60,100
Middle & High School Teachers28,772
Ungraded Class Teachers1,073

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

Number of Private School Teachers By Grade

There are more than 580 private schools with an estimated 9,600 private school teachers in North Carolina. The table below details the number of teachers by grade level during the 2011-2012 school year.

Grade LevelNumber of Teachers
Elementary School Teachers2,439
Middle & High School Teachers525
Combined K-12 School Teachers6,601

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

Continue Your Education and Professional Development

North Carolina values on-going professional development in order for teachers to improve their practice boost student achievement.

Professional Development in North Carolina

The state of North Carolina has a support system in place for helping teachers, administrators, and support staff to achieve their professional development goals. In addition to the Department of Education's mandates for teacher licensure and re-qualification, the state has partnered with LearnNC to provide a database of offerings available for professional development opportunities. The North Carolina Professional Development Directory does not include information about specific courses and workshops, however contact information for providers is found within the database, and teachers are encouraged to make contact with providers. In addition to LearnNC, there are a variety of other organizations who provide insight and support to the educators of North Carolina. The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), the Professional Educators of NC (PENC), the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC): SEANC have a variety of resources and contacts to help teachers improve their practice.

Employment and Teacher Salary in North Carolina

The state of North Carolina employs 97,308 public school teachers, but is still experiencing teacher shortages in some subjects like middle school and high school math, sciences, and special education. Newly hired teachers can expect to make $30,778 annually. Due to the tightening job market in the states teaching outlook, teachers are encouraged to apply to districts with high enrolment in order to find work quickly. Districts like Wake County, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, and Guildford County are populous areas of the state.

Total Employed

40,430

Salary Range

$35,880 - $57,060

Elementary school teachers have a salary range between $35,880 to $57,060 a year in North Carolina. There are around forty thousand employed elementary school teachers. Read about what it takes to become an elementary school teacher.

Elementary School Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill7,510$46,050
Raleigh, Cary5,550$44,990
Greensboro, High Point2,700$44,900
Fayetteville2,300$39,870
Durham, Chapel Hill1,890$43,010
Winston, Salem1,710$42,660
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton1,300$41,120
Asheville1,280$43,930
Wilmington1,190$41,370
Greenville950$40,940

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

Total Employed

3,130

Salary Range

$44,200 - $87,410

English teachers have a salary range between $44,200 to $87,410 a year in North Carolina, with over 3,130 employed in the state. See details on how to become an english teacher.

English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Raleigh, Cary410$58,250
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill390$58,380
Greensboro, High Point370$59,670
Durham, Chapel Hill330$78,320
Winston, Salem170$63,490
Wilmington150$62,190
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton120$54,120
Greenville110$54,040
Asheville110$57,840
Rocky Mount60$60,420

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

24,190

Salary Range

$35,860 - $58,310

As a high school teacher in North Carolina you can expect to make between $35,860 - $58,310. There are around twenty four thousand employed high school teachers. Take the next step and learn to how to become a high school teacher.

High School Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill6,400$46,630
Raleigh, Cary2,720$45,810
Durham, Chapel Hill1,350$44,450
Greensboro, High Point1,290$45,290
Winston, Salem1,150$43,580
Wilmington1,100$41,360
Asheville940$43,410
Fayetteville840$39,710
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton630$41,290
Rocky Mount310$43,260

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

Total Employed

1,020

Salary Range

$48,550 - $103,730

In North Carolina, a history teacher's salary may range from $48,550 to $103,730. There are around a thousand employed history teachers. Get more information about becoming a history teacher.

History Teachers (College Professor)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Durham, Chapel Hill140$94,810
Raleigh, Cary140$61,270
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill130$69,570
Greensboro, High Point120$59,140
Wilmington40$65,130
Asheville30$54,670
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton30$56,350
Fayetteville-$63,740
Winston, Salem-$78,910

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

Total Employed

5,130

Salary Range

$35,040 - $55,130

Kindergarten teachers in North Carolina, can earn between $35,040 to $55,130 a year. There are around five thousand employed kindergarten teachers. Read about what it takes to become a kindergarten teacher.

Kindergarten Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill1,070$44,740
Raleigh, Cary950$43,790
Greensboro, High Point330$41,790
Durham, Chapel Hill330$42,540
Fayetteville330$37,680
Winston, Salem270$42,330
Asheville220$43,030
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton90$37,530
Rocky Mount90$38,330
Burlington-$38,090

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

Total Employed

89,240

Salary Range

$35,040 - $95,190

As a math teacher in North Carolina you can expect to make between $35,040 - $95,190. North Carolina is home to about eighty thousand math teachers. See our guide on how to become a math teacher.

Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill280$63,050
Durham, Chapel Hill270$107,400
Greensboro, High Point220$61,510
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton100$54,940
Winston, Salem90$57,690
Wilmington80$61,320
Asheville80$56,870
Fayetteville70$65,230
Greenville70$57,100
Rocky Mount50$61,580

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

Total Employed

6,240

Salary Range

$20,690 - $66,440

P.e. teachers have a salary range between $20,690 to $66,440 a year in North Carolina. North Carolina is home to about six thousand p.e. teachers. See our guide on how to become a p.e. teacher.

Coaches and Scouts
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill1,570$38,610
Raleigh, Cary1,060$33,910
Winston, Salem670$29,930
Durham, Chapel Hill450$69,550
Greensboro, High Point360$40,680
Asheville330$33,540
Wilmington260$33,040
Greenville170$41,470
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton140$32,180
Burlington120$42,190

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

Total Employed

11,300

Salary Range

$20,290 - $36,820

In North Carolina, a preschool teacher's salary may range from $20,290 to $36,820, with over 11,300 employed in the state. See details on how to become a preschool teacher.

Preschool Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill2,240$25,210
Raleigh, Cary2,070$26,600
Durham, Chapel Hill1,070$27,410
Greensboro, High Point600$22,960
Winston, Salem460$24,070
Asheville450$25,570
Fayetteville410$25,940
Wilmington380$27,190
Greenville290$23,370
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton220$24,480

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

Total Employed

9,390

Salary Range

$33,120 - $95,340

As a school administrator in North Carolina you can expect to make between $33,120 - $95,340. North Carolina is home to about nine 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
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill410$44,050
Greensboro, High Point240$49,590
Raleigh, Cary220$46,950
Durham, Chapel Hill150$44,480
Wilmington70$51,760
Asheville60$54,290
Winston, Salem60$38,760
Fayetteville50$44,630
Greenville40$38,440

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
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill1,320$71,150
Raleigh, Cary1,020$73,490
Greensboro, High Point640$73,550
Winston, Salem450$70,170
Durham, Chapel Hill410$77,430
Fayetteville320$57,910
Asheville300$67,710
Wilmington280$62,690
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton230$61,460
Greenville170$68,820

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

6,140

Salary Range

$39,110 - $61,110

School counselors in North Carolina, can earn between $39,110 to $61,110 a year, with over 6,140 employed in the state. See our guide on how to become a school counselor.

Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill1,320$49,290
Raleigh, Cary790$48,550
Greensboro, High Point570$45,990
Winston, Salem430$40,600
Durham, Chapel Hill340$43,030
Fayetteville280$44,230
Asheville220$46,410
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton210$44,790
Wilmington210$46,500
Greenville150$45,550

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

4,770

Salary Range

$41,530 - $69,580

School librarians have a salary range between $41,530 to $69,580 a year in North Carolina. North Carolina is home to about four thousand school librarians. Read about what it takes to become a school librarian.

Librarians
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill870$53,580
Raleigh, Cary670$55,930
Durham, Chapel Hill540$60,530
Greensboro, High Point390$48,670
Winston, Salem230$49,130
Fayetteville180$46,100
Asheville180$47,200
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton140$45,700
Wilmington100$50,040
Greenville90$54,740

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

Total Employed

17,520

Salary Range

$35,860 - $67,090

In North Carolina, a special education teacher's salary may range from $35,860 to $67,090. North Carolina is home to about seventeen thousand special education teachers. Interested in becoming a special education teacher?

Special Education Teachers (Preschool)
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill50$43,130
Winston, Salem-$46,710

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
Raleigh, Cary1,550$49,720
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill1,520$45,870
Greensboro, High Point1,160$43,850
Durham, Chapel Hill520$47,010
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton510$39,210
Winston, Salem470$44,300
Fayetteville420$40,620
Asheville240$45,580
Rocky Mount150$43,170
Wilmington120$41,540

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
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill660$47,720
Raleigh, Cary510$48,080
Greensboro, High Point340$42,910
Durham, Chapel Hill190$42,690
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton180$41,000
Asheville160$44,520
Wilmington120$41,020
Winston, Salem120$40,430
Fayetteville60$37,320
Rocky Mount40$41,110

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
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill1,200$45,210
Greensboro, High Point600$45,530
Raleigh, Cary510$49,830
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton310$45,210
Durham, Chapel Hill220$45,270
Asheville180$42,350
Wilmington110$42,940
Rocky Mount90$41,060
Fayetteville-$43,280
Winston, Salem-$47,490

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

Total Employed

17,450

Salary Range

$20,320 - $28,750

In North Carolina, a substitute teacher's salary may range from $20,320 to $28,750. North Carolina is home to about seventeen thousand substitute teachers. Read about what it takes to become a substitute teacher.

Substitute Teachers
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Durham, Chapel Hill1,980$23,470
Greensboro, High Point1,850$24,480
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill1,540$20,350
Asheville970$24,790
Winston, Salem960$24,040
Wilmington720$23,770
Rocky Mount520$22,940
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton390$23,880
Raleigh, Cary290$22,090

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

Total Employed

33,070

Salary Range

$20,290 - $28,400

In North Carolina, a teaching assistant's salary may range from $20,290 to $28,400. There are around thirty three thousand employed teaching assistants. Interested in becoming a teaching assistant?

Teacher Assistants
AreaTotal EmploymentSalary
Charlotte, Gastonia, Rock Hill5,190$23,220
Raleigh, Cary4,040$22,470
Greensboro, High Point2,100$22,650
Durham, Chapel Hill1,830$25,390
Winston, Salem1,730$21,700
Asheville1,490$24,290
Fayetteville1,440$20,860
Hickory, Lenoir, Morganton1,240$22,250
Wilmington1,060$24,070
Greenville740$22,210

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 North Carolina

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 North Carolina that excel in supporting teachers inside and outside of the classroom. 108 school districts in North Carolina were analyzed with the top 30 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: 92.82
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 100
% Proficiency Score: 100

Located in the city-suburb of Chapel Hill, southwest of Durham, North Carolina, Orange County's Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools District is a public K-12 district that serves more than 12,000 students through its 20 elementary, intermediate and secondary schools. Employing over 900 classroom teachers, the district boasts a 13:1 student-teacher ratio, which enables students to reach their full potential as learners. Learn more by visiting the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools website at chccs.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 500 FTE Teachers
  • 10,000-25,000 Students
  • > 750 Total Support Staff
  • 67.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 95.38
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 89.22
% Proficiency Score: 82.2

Located in Buncombe County, Asheville City Schools District employs more than 300 classroom teachers throughout its 9 public elementary, middle and secondary schools. Total enrollment is about 4,100 students, which creates a ratio of about 12 students per teacher. Asheville City Schools are committed to helping each child learn, discover and thrive. Learn more by visiting the Asheville City Schools website at ashevillecityschools.net.

District Details
  • > 300 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 55.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 100
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 70.74
% Proficiency Score: 83.74

Headquartered in Columbus, North Carolina, Polk County Schools is a public PK - 12 school district serving the city and surrounding rural areas. With schools in Mill Spring, Columbus, Saluda, and Tryon, Polk County Schools enroll more than 2,000 students at the elementary, middle and secondary levels. The district employs more than 150 classroom teachers to ensure that Polk County schools work in collaborative partnerships with communities for learning. Learn more by visiting the Polk County Schools District website at polkschools.org.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 2,000-3,000 Students
  • > 100 Total Support Staff
  • 56.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 87.68
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 81.95
% Proficiency Score: 73.35

Located on Burnsville's suburban edge, Yancey County School District is the academic home of more than 2,300 public school students from preschool to grade 12. The district employs more than 150 classroom teachers throughout its 9 schools, providing students with a classroom ratio of about 14:1. Yancey County Schools are proud to help students to reach their full potential every day. Learn more by visiting the Yancey County Schools District website at yanceync.net.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 2,000-3,000 Students
  • > 100 Total Support Staff
  • 49.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 82.78
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 81.17
% Proficiency Score: 78.57

Located to the southwest of Winston-Salem in Davie County, Davie County Schools is a public school district serving the county's over 6,500 public elementary, intermediate and high school students. The district employs more than 400 classroom teachers from the preschool to grade 12 levels, which creates a classroom ratio of about 15:1. Davie County Schools are committed to empowering all students to try their best. Learn more by visiting the Davie County Schools website at davie.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 400 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 53.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 98.42
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 80.35
% Proficiency Score: 59.23

Located on the Atlantic shore, Pamlico County Schools District serves the community of Bayboro and surrounding areas. The K-12 district enrolls more than 1,300 students across its 4 schools and employs more than 100 classroom teachers, creating a learning ratio of about 13:1. Pamlico County Schools are committed to high academic standards and a healthy lifestyle. Learn more by visiting the Pamlico County Schools District website at pamlico.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 1,000-2,000 Students
  • > 50 Total Support Staff
  • 40.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 94.5
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 64.18
% Proficiency Score: 77.64

With administrative offices in Nags Head, North Carolina, Dare County Schools District operates 11 elementary, middle and high schools throughout Buxton, Manteo, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head, as well as surrounding rural areas. The district employs more than 350 classroom teachers to educate its over 5,000 students, creating a ratio of about 13:1. Dare County Schools commitment is to educate every child. Learn more by visiting the Dare County Schools District website at darenc.com.

District Details
  • > 300 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 52.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 91.79
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 75.7
% Proficiency Score: 67.31

Headquartered in Brevard, North Carolina, the Transylvania County Schools District is home to over 3,500 public students ranging from pre-Kindergarten to grade 12. The district employs more than 250 classroom teachers across its 9 schools, located in the communities of Brevard, Roman, and Lake Toxaway. The district is dedicated to creating empowering and engaging classroom environments for all students. Learn more by visiting the Transylvania County Schools District website at tcsnc.org.

District Details
  • > 200 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 150 Total Support Staff
  • 45.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 97.88
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 54.75
% Proficiency Score: 80.71

With administrative offices in Boone, North Carolina, Watauga County Schools serve public students in Sugar Grove, Blowing Rock, Vilas, Boone, and Zionville, as well as surrounding rural areas. Employing more than 350 classroom teachers across its 9 public K - 12 schools, Watauga County schools have a total enrollment of about 4,500 students. The district is focused on ensuring students meet high performance standards with good ethics in place. Learn more by visiting the Watauga County Schools District website at wataugasd.schoolfusion.us.

District Details
  • > 300 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 150 Total Support Staff
  • 54.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 92.17
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 79.45
% Proficiency Score: 60.66

Located near the community of Tarheel, North Carolina, Gates County Public Schools is a K - 12 school district that is headquartered in Gatesville, North Carolina. The district employs more than 100 classroom teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels in order to educate the over 1,700 students throughout its 5 schools. With a student-teacher ratio of about 13:1, Gates County Schools are committed to finding fun alongside learning. Learn more by visiting the Gates County Schools District website at coserver.gates.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 1,000-2,000 Students
  • > 75 Total Support Staff
  • 41.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 77.84
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 80.13
% Proficiency Score: 74.07

Located around the city of Asheville, Buncombe County Schools District is a public PK - 12 district that serves the over 25,000 students of Candler, Leicester, Sandymush, Montreat, Black Mountain, and Fletcher with its more than 43 elementary, intermediate and secondary schools. Employing more than 1,600 students, the district has a ratio of about 16:1. Buncombe County teachers are committed to elevating young minds toward superior academics. Learn more by visiting the Buncombe County Schools System website at buncombe.schoolwires.com.

District Details
  • > 1,000 FTE Teachers
  • 25,000-50,000 Students
  • > 1,000 Total Support Staff
  • 50.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 92.86
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 73.5
% Proficiency Score: 63.57

With administrative offices in Newland, North Carolina, Avery County Schools District has a total enrollment of about 2,200 students from preschool to grade 12. Operating 11 schools in Newland, Banner Elk, and Elk Park, the district employs more than 150 classroom teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The district's teaching ratio of bout 13:1 ensures that teachers grow a bright future for each child. Learn more by visiting the Avery County Schools District website at averyschools.net.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 2,000-3,000 Students
  • > 75 Total Support Staff
  • 43.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 81.43
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 71.79
% Proficiency Score: 76.37

Centered in Wilmington, North Carolina, New Hanover County Schools District operates 41 public schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The district serves the communities of Wilmington, Carolina Beach, Castle Hayne and Wrightsville Beach. The district is home to more than 25,000 students, and employs more than 1,600 classroom teachers, creating a learning ratio of about 16:1. Learn more by visiting the New Hanover County Schools website at nhcs.net.

District Details
  • > 1,000 FTE Teachers
  • 25,000-50,000 Students
  • > 1,000 Total Support Staff
  • 51.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 78.03
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 79.12
% Proficiency Score: 71.98

Located at the northern part of North Carolina, Surry County Schools are home to about 8,500 elementary, middle and secondary school students throughout the communities of Lowgap, Dobson, Pilot Mountain, Mount Airy, and State Road, as well as surrounding rural areas. The district employs more than 550 classroom teachers across its 19 schools, which creates a learning ratio of about 15:1; Surry County teachers are committed to educating all students to be productive workers and responsible citizens. Learn more by visiting the Surry County Schools District website at co.surry.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 500 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 300 Total Support Staff
  • 48.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 92.29
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 70.05
% Proficiency Score: 66.54

Headquartered in Bakersville, North Carolina, Mitchell County Schools District is a public K - 12 district that serves the students in Bakersville and Spruce Pine, as well as surrounding rural areas. Spanning both Mitchell County and Avery County, the district enrols more than 2,000 students across its 9 schools and employs over 100 classroom teachers to meet student need. Mitchell County Schools have a student-teacher ratio of about 14:1. Learn more by visiting the Mitchell County Schools District website at mcsnc.org.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 1,000-2,000 Students
  • > 75 Total Support Staff
  • 45.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 84.71
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 68.53
% Proficiency Score: 74.89

Centered in Waynesville, North Carolina, Haywood County Schools District is a public K - 12 district that operates 16 schools across the communities of Canton, Waynesville, and Clyde, as well as neighboring rural areas. The district admits more than 7,600 students and employs more than 500 classroom teachers, creating a teaching ratio of about 15:1. Haywood School teachers believe that passionate and productive work create student success. Learn more by visiting the Haywood County Schools (North Carolina) website at haywood.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 500 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 50.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 87.98
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 67.99
% Proficiency Score: 71.21

Ashe County Schools District is administered from the central office in Jefferson, North Carolina. The district operates 5 public schools at the elementary, middle and secondary levels, and employs more than 200 classroom teachers to educate over 3,300 students from preschool to grade 12. Ashe County Schools are continually challenging young minds to soar. Learn more by visiting the Ashe County Schools District website at ashe.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 200 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 100 Total Support Staff
  • 48.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 100
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 63.49
% Proficiency Score: 63.46

Located north of Charlotte at the junction of Kentucky, West Virginia, and North Carolina, Alleghany County Schools District is an integral part of Alleghany County. Operating 4 schools, the district employs more than 100 classroom teachers to instruct over 1,400 students from preschool to grade 12. With a classroom ratio of about 12:1, Alleghany County staff members are committed to ensuring students become strong learners and stronger self-advocates. Learn more by visiting the Alleghany County Schools District website at alleghany.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 1,000-2,000 Students
  • > 50 Total Support Staff
  • 43.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 87.07
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 66.05
% Proficiency Score: 72.53

With offices in Hillsborough, North Carolina, Orange County Schools District is a public K - 12 school district serving over 7,500 students throughout its 13 elementary, middle and high schools. The district employs more than 500 teaching staff, which creates a ratio of about 14:1. Orange County Schools are committed to creating a learning community where all can excel. Learn more by visiting the Orange County Schools District website at orange.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 500 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 49.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 83.57
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 80.43
% Proficiency Score: 60.6

Caldwell County Schools are headquartered in Lenoir, North Carolina. The public K - 12 district is home to more than 12,000 students across its 26 elementary, middle and high schools. The district employs more than 800 classroom teachers, as well as an additional 850 staff members to meet student need. Caldwell County Schools are committed to excellence in the classroom. Learn more by visiting the Caldwell County Schools (North Carolina) website at sc.caldwellschools.com.

District Details
  • > 500 FTE Teachers
  • 10,000-25,000 Students
  • > 500 Total Support Staff
  • 41.0 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 79.39
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 72.07
% Proficiency Score: 73.02

Located on the Pasquotank River, the community of Camden is the seat of the Camden County Schools District - a public K - 12 school district serving the 1,900 students from the town and surrounding rural areas. The district employs more than 100 classroom teachers throughout its 5 schools and has a learning ratio of about 16:1. Camden County school teachers seek to motivate, inspire and challenge their students every day. Learn more by visiting the Camden County Schools District website at camden.schooldesk.net.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 1,000-2,000 Students
  • > 50 Total Support Staff
  • 49.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 89.24
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 70.21
% Proficiency Score: 64.45

With district offices in Shelby, North Carolina, Cleveland County Schools enrol more than 15,000 public K - 12 students from area communities like Kings Mountain, Shelby, Lawndale, Casar, and Fallston, as well as surrounding rural areas. The district employs more than 1,100 classroom teachers to meet student need. The district's mission is to provide an exceptional educational experience every day, for every student. Learn more by visiting the Cleveland County Schools website at sites.google.com.

District Details
  • > 1,000 FTE Teachers
  • 10,000-25,000 Students
  • > 500 Total Support Staff
  • 43.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 82.54
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 73.51
% Proficiency Score: 67.42

With district offices in Yadkinville, North Carolina, Yadkin County Schools District serves the town and surrounding communities of Boonville, East Bend, Jonesville, and Hamptonville through its 14 public elementary, middle and high schools. The district employs more than 350 classroom teachers to educate its more than 5,800 students, creating a student-teacher ratio of about 15:1. Yadkin County Schools are dedicated to success, nothing less. Learn more by visiting the Yadkin County Schools District website at yadkin.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 300 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 45.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 69.74
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 69.67
% Proficiency Score: 83.9

Located in central North Carolina in Irdell County, Mooresville Graded School District operates 8 public primary, middle and high schools throughout the community. The district employs more than 300 classroom teachers, and admits over 5,800 students, creating a classroom ratio of about 17:1. Mooresville teachers are inspired to influence every child, every day. Learn more by visiting the Mooresville City Schools District website at mgsd.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 300 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 150 Total Support Staff
  • 56.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 94.3
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 78.09
% Proficiency Score: 50.88

Serving the communities of Williamston, Robersonville, Hamilton, and Jamesville as well as surrounding areas of Martin County, north Carolina, the Martin County School District operates 11 elementary, intermediate and secondary schools. The district's total enrolment is about 3,300 students; teacher employment is over 250. The district reports a student-teacher ratio of about 13:1 which ensures that Martin staff and students work together to make a difference. Learn more by visiting the Martin County Schools District website at martin.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 200 FTE Teachers
  • 3,000-4,000 Students
  • > 150 Total Support Staff
  • 34.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 75.11
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 61.24
% Proficiency Score: 86.81

Union County Public Schools have administrative offices in Monroe, North Carolina, and operate 52 schools throughout the city as well as the communities of Matthews, Waxhaw, Indian Trail, and Marvin. The school employs more than 2,500 classroom teachers, and is home to more than 40,000 public school students at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The district's learning ratio of 16:1 allows teachers to focus on driving academic success and personal development for each student. Learn more by visiting the Union County Public Schools website at ucps.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 2,500 FTE Teachers
  • 25,000-50,000 Students
  • > 1,000 Total Support Staff
  • 58.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 84.99
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 74.68
% Proficiency Score: 62.97

With administrative offices in Pittsboro, North Carolina, the Chatham County Schools District serves about 8,500 PK - 12 public school students in Pittsboro, Bennett, Bear Creek, Siler City, Goldstone and Moncure as well as unincorporated areas of Chatham County. The district employs more than 550 classroom teachers who are committed to collectively creating success within their learning communities. Learn more by visiting the Chatham County Public School System website at chatham.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 500 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 300 Total Support Staff
  • 42.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 87.54
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 70.15
% Proficiency Score: 64.45

Located north of the Winston-Salem metropolitan area, Stokes County Schools are headquartered in Danbury, North Carolina. The district operates 20 schools in total and employs more than 450 classroom teachers to educate its student population of more than 6,400 students. From preschool to grade 12, the district reports a classroom ratio of about 14:1, ensuring that Stokes County teachers and administrators continue to put students first. Learn more by visiting the Stokes County Schools District website at stokes.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 400 FTE Teachers
  • 5000-10,000 Students
  • > 200 Total Support Staff
  • 43.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 80.89
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 64.54
% Proficiency Score: 76.32

Headquartered in Hendersonville, North Carolina, Henderson County Schools District is a public K - 12 district that serves the students of Hendersonville, East Flat Rock, Etowah, and Fletcher, as well as surrounding rural areas. Henderson County employs more than 900 classroom teachers across its 23 schools in order to educate more than 13,000 students, creating a ratio of about 15 students per teacher. Learn more by visiting the Henderson County Public Schools website at hendersoncountypublicschoolsnc.org.

District Details
  • > 500 FTE Teachers
  • 10,000-25,000 Students
  • > 400 Total Support Staff
  • 51.5 Avg % Proficiency
Student/Teacher Ratio Score: 82.11
Teacher/Support Ratio Score: 81.64
% Proficiency Score: 57.8

Located in Bryson City, north Carolina, Swain County Schools District operates 5 elementary, intermediate and secondary schools throughout the area. The district employs more than 130 classroom teachers who educate over 2,000 students. Swain County schools report a classroom ratio of about 15:1, which ensures that each member of the learning community can commit to giving their best, and then some. Learn more by visiting the Swain County Schools District website at swain.k12.nc.us.

District Details
  • > 100 FTE Teachers
  • 2,000-3,000 Students
  • > 75 Total Support Staff
  • 39.0 Avg % Proficiency

Continued List of School Districts in North Carolina

RankingSchool DistrictSchoolsTeachersOverall Score
#31 Carteret County Public Schools1765373.84
#32 Alexander County Schools1034073.83
#33 Mcdowell County Schools District1244073.4
#34 Wake County Public School System1729,86973.35
#35 Burke County Public Schools2786473.3
#36 Moore County Schools District2380073.15
#37 Edenton-chowan Schools District416673.11
#38 Mount Airy City Schools District411773.09
#39 Macon County Schools1132172.97
#40 Newton Conover City Schools District720372.86
#41 Cherokee County Schools District1424772.67
#42 Jackson County Schools District924772.3
#43 Guilford County Schools1264,97772
#44 Rutherford County Schools1855571.95
#45 Wilkes County Schools (North Carolina)2263871.36
#46 Washington County Schools District511671.21
#47 Currituck County Schools District1025270.95
#48 Perquimans County Schools District412270.9
#49 Scotland County Schools District1443770.77
#50 Davidson County Schools351,19970.72
#51 Sampson County Schools1856770.65
#52 Randolph County School System311,18370.61
#53 Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools813,71470.57
#54 Asheboro City Schools836470.53
#55 Craven County Schools2594970.32
#56 Whiteville City Schools District516370.3
#57 Lincoln County Schools District2478270.04
#58 Bladen County Schools1333269.86
#59 Lexington City Schools District721969.8
#60 Clinton City Schools District520669.69
#61 Stanly County Schools2160969.6
#62 Iredell-Statesville Schools361,29169.5
#63 Alamance-Burlington School System361,50369.46
#64 Northampton County Schools District815669.35
#65 Lee County Schools1662469.21
#66 Thomasville City Schools District416769.17
#67 Hertford County Schools District721769.12
#68 Warren County Schools District816668.9
#69 Brunswick County Schools1980168.83
#70 Onslow County Schools351,61668.76
#71 Durham District School Board562,29168.47
#72 Catawba County Schools281,05468.41
#73 Rockingham County Schools2687868.35
#74 Montgomery County Schools District1127868.25
#75 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools1658,66268.24
#76 Beaufort County Schools (North Carolina)1450068.21
#77 Madison County Schools District718468.02
#78 Bertie County Schools District918267.88
#79 Pitt County Schools361,61967.61
#80 Cumberland County Schools883,58067.56
#81 Cabarrus County Schools381,90567.51
#82 Wayne County Public Schools311,23367.45
#83 Richmond County Schools District1749367.41
#84 Johnston County School District442,25967.29
#85 Kannapolis City Schools838767.24
#86 Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools1238567.06
#87 Caswell County Schools District619566.8
#88 Rowan-Salisbury School System351,30966.54
#89 Pender County Schools1653466.33
#90 Hickory City Schools District929366.24
#91 Franklin County Schools1659966.17
#92 Person County Schools1032166.04
#93 Halifax County Schools District1123166.04
#94 Greene County Schools District623165.82
#95 Duplin County Schools1662265.75
#96 Harnett County Schools281,36265.57
#97 Vance County Schools District1749365.56
#98 Gaston County Schools561,91165.02
#99 Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools2993964.58
#100 Columbus County Schools1939764.28
#101 Granville County Schools2149664.2
#102 Roanoke Rapids City Schools District419463.81
#103 Lenoir County Public Schools1758463.43
#104 Hoke County Schools District1455563.16
#105 Wilson County School District2573862.94
#106 Public Schools of Robeson County421,53161.84
#107 Edgecombe County Public Schools1439261.69
#108 Anson County Schools District1124160.27

Data obtained from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey