The New Jersey Teaching and Certification Resource

Anyone looking to teach in New Jersey will have to fulfill the requirements stipulated by the state’s Department of Education. The various pathways to teacher certification depend on experience and education, but are very similar to most US states. The traditional pathway to obtaining a New Jersey teacher certification is detailed on this page.

How to Become a Teacher in New Jersey

Like all US States, to be eligible for a New Jersey teacher certification, applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree, complete a New Jersey teachers certification program and pass the required examinations.

There are several types of New Jersey teacher certification available for those that fulfill the state requirement. Becoming a certified teacher in New Jersey means that there are plenty of choices for new teachers. A Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) may be issued to someone who has completed an approved teacher education program and has met all requirements for certification. A Certificate of Eligibility may be issued to someone who has not yet completed a teacher education program, but who has met all other requirements for certification. A Provisional certificate may be requested by school system administrators for a prospective teacher that they have hired. This allows the teacher to accept the job, under provisions of mentoring, supervision, and evaluation. Finally, a Standard Certificate may be issued to someone who has met all certification requirements.

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For those teachers who have out-of-state certifications, reciprocity in New Jersey is possible providing that applicants meet the remaining requirements. For more information on reciprocity and New Jersey teacher certification renewal policies, contact the state’s Department of Education.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in New Jersey

Perhaps the most important step on the road to New Jersey teacher certification is attending a teacher preparatory program at an accredited school. There are six regional accreditation agencies that are overseen by the US Department of Education. New Jersey schools are accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). If teaching applicants attend schools that are not accredited by the MSA, the NJ Department of Education will not issue a teacher certificate. Therefore, it is incredibly important to confirm your chosen school is officially accredited. For those applicants considering an online teaching certification program, online schools should also be accredited by the corresponding regional accreditation body, even when headquartered out of state.

Additionally, the majority of New Jersey schools will most likely apply for an accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness (CAEP). This newly-formed organization is a result of the recent merger between NCATE and TEAC. Previously, these two accreditation organizations were highly respected for their high standards of evaluations and were recognized by the US Department of Education. Today, CAEP continues its highly- esteemed accreditation policies set by both NCATE and TEAC. Although a CAEP accreditation may not be mandatory for state approval, it is a strong symbol of quality in terms of teacher preparatory curriculum and process.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in New Jersey.

Quick Guide

New Jersey Teacher Education Requirements

For anyone wanting to obtain a teaching certification in New Jersey, requirements are similar to those of other states. For example, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university is the minimum educational requirement. In addition, the state of New Jersey requires that potential teachers have a GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale). There is some flexibility with this requirement through a high Praxis test score.

Candidates for New Jersey teaching licensing must demonstrate significant liberal arts credits on their college transcript. This shows that the prospective teacher has a strong general knowledge background as well as reasoning, problem solving, and evaluation skills.

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New Jersey Teacher Outlook as of 2014
On an annual basis for the 2012-2022 period, the Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 1,300 new job openings for elementary school teachers, 730 average new job openings for middle school teachers, and 1,020 average new job openings for secondary school teachers in New Jersey. There are about 101,430 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in the state according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013). Excluding special education, elementary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $66,600, middle school teachers earn an average annual salary of $67,220, and secondary school teachers earn an average annual salary of $70,870 (BLS 2013). For more information on policy and education employment trends in New Jersey please visit the New Jersey Education Association.

New Jersey Teacher Testing Requirements

New Jersey State SealCandidates for becoming a teacher in New Jersey must pass the Praxis II Subject Assessment/Specialty Area test for their desired certification area. The score that is required is not absolute, however. There is some flexibility in the passing test score, and that is completely dependent upon the candidate’s college grade point average. The higher the GPA, the lower the required test score. Also, the higher the Praxis II score, the lower the required GPA. Consult documents on the New Jersey teacher certification website for the exact numbers required for the Praxis II and GPA.

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Additional New Jersey Teacher Certification Requirements

Like most US states, in order to obtain a teacher certification in New Jersey, applicants must submit fingerprints to be cleared in a federal and state criminal history background check. All applicants should send in their Authorization and Certification forms to the Criminal History Review Unit before sending in their completed teacher application.

New Jersey Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once all the requirements for New Jersey educator certification have been completed, applicants must send in all of the information. The New Jersey Department of Licensure and Credentials receives a lot of applications during the summer months, so it’s recommended to send in all information three to four months in advance of desired employment date. The required steps to become a teacher in New Jersey are as follows:

  1. Proof of clearance from criminal history background check
  2. Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree
  3. Proof of teacher program completion at an accredited teacher preparation school
  4. Completed application for teaching certification
  5. Passing score on the required examinations
  6. Payment of non-refundable certification processing fees

NJ Department of Education
PO Box 500
Trenton, NJ 08625-0500

Visit the state’s Department of Education for further details on how to become a teacher in New Jersey.

New Jersey Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 13,050 $36,820
Kindergarten Teachers 5,110 $60,130
Elementary School Teachers 42,310 $66,240
Middle School Teachers 23,820 $66,530
Secondary School Teachers 34,780 $69,640

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2012.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in New Jersey

Question: How do I become a substitute teacher in New Jersey?

Answer: To become a substitute teacher in New Jersey, you must get a county substitute credential for the county in which you want to work. The requirements for the credential vary by county, but the fee for each one is $125. Once you have the credential, you can apply to districts. http://www.state.nj.us/education/educators/license/guide.pdf

Teaching and Education Programs

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1. New Jersey State Department of Education: http://www.state.nj.us/education/
2. US Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg6.html
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ak.htm#25-0000

Page edited by Charles Sipe.