The New Mexico Teaching and Certification Resource
How to Become a Teacher in New Mexico
Prospective candidates for becoming a teacher have multiple paths to New Mexico teacher certification. An early childhood certificate would allow a candidate to educate children from birth through grade 3, and an elementary certificate would allow a prospective teacher to teach any grade from kindergarten through eighth. Middle level certification covers students in grades 5 through 9, and secondary certification covers grades 7 through 12. Other certificate areas are the Pre K-12 specialty (such as art or music) and special education. New Mexico also offers a variety of endorsements that may be added on to an initial certificate, such as gifted, information technology coordinator, and library/media.
- I want to be a teacher in New Mexico, but don’t have a degree: Earn an Education Degree
- I want to be a teacher and have a degree, but not in education: Learn about New Mexico’s Alternative Certification Process and Programs
- I have a teaching degree and am interested in more education: Learn about Master’s Degree Education Programs or Doctorate Education Programs and Information.
- Global Training and Development - EdS
- E-Learning - EdS
- General Education - Doctor of Education
- Curriculum and Teaching - EdS
- And more...
New Mexico Teacher Education Requirements
The most direct way to fulfill the education requirements for becoming a teacher is to earn a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university, and have completed an approved teacher education program. Common teacher education programs include early childhood education, elementary education, middle grades education, and secondary education (with a content area focus).
In January 2012, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported New Mexico’s unemployment rate at 7.3%, slightly below the national average of 8.5%. The Occupational Supply and Demand System projects 1,480 annual job openings in library and education related fields in New Mexico through 2018. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 22,825 public school and 2,170 private school teachers were employed in New Mexico in fall 2008 and 2007 respectively. The average beginning teaching salary in New Mexico is $36,003 and the average overall teaching salary is $46,888, the 10th lowest average among US states according to the National Educational Association. The NEA also notes high demand for math, science, physical education and special education teachers throughout the state. The National Education Association – New Mexico, a large advocate organization for educators at public institutions in New Mexico, suggests subject specialization particularly for teachers looking for employment in urban areas. For more information on certification please contact local teaching and education schools.
New Mexico Teacher Testing Requirements
The NMTA (New Mexico Teacher Assessments) are required of all new applicants for a teaching license. The NMTA is comprised of the New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Basic Skills and the New Mexico Assessment of Teacher Competency (Elementary, Secondary or Early Childhood). Individuals applying for initial New Mexico teaching certification or adding certain endorsements must also take the Content Knowledge Assessment(s) in the certification/endorsement area.
New Mexico Teacher Salary and Jobs
|Type||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Elementary School Teachers||9,910||$51,990|
|Middle School Teachers||4,210||$51,450|
|Secondary School Teachers||6,100||$52,370|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2011.
Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in New Mexico
Question: What are the requirements to become a high school teacher in New Mexico?
Answer: To become a high school teacher in New Mexico requires that you hold a license from the state. The requirements for the license include a bachelor’s degree with education courses and student teaching. You must also have at least 24 credit hours in the subject you hope to teach and you must pass the New Mexico educator tests for basic skills, secondary teacher competency, and content knowledge.
Page edited by Charles Sipe.