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The North Dakota Teaching and Certification Resource

For aspiring teachers, becoming a certified teacher in North Dakota is a great way to start working in education. There are various pathways to North Dakota teacher certification, most of which depend on experience and education. The state’s Education Standards and Practices Board oversees the certification process, which is outlined in detail below.

How to Become a Teacher in North Dakota

To become a teacher in the state of North Dakota, a candidate must obtain a North Dakota teacher certification. Like most US states, North Dakota requires all teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree, complete a New Dakota teaches certification program as well as pass the appropriate content and subject examinations. In some cases, these requirements may be waived and applicants can follow an alternative route to certification.

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There are a number of different types of North Dakota teacher certification for candidates interested in becoming a teacher in North Dakota. The most common is the initial license. This is a two-year license that is given to candidates who have met all the requirements for teacher certification in North Dakota. The regular teaching license is given to candidates who have met all certification requirements and who have eighteen months of successful teaching experience in schools in North Dakota. These certificates are valid for five years. Other certificates include the alternate license (which is issued if the candidate is going to teach in a documented shortage area) and the out-of-state reciprocal license (for those who have a valid teaching certificate in another state, but have yet to meet the requirements in North Dakota. There are also several endorsement areas, such as for middle school and kindergarten teachers.

For those teachers with an out-of-state certification, North Dakota educator certification may be possible through reciprocity provided applicants meet the remaining requirements. For more information on reciprocity or the process to North Dakota teacher certification renewal, applicants should contact the Education Standards and Practices Board directly.

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in North Dakota

Perhaps the most important step to teacher certification in North Dakota is completing a quality teacher education program at an accredited school. When evaluating potential schools, it’s imperative to confirm that the school is accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies, which are overseen by the US Department of Education.

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) is responsible for accrediting North Dakota schools. For anyone considering online teaching certification programs, schools offering distance programs should also be accredited by the accreditation agency that corresponds with the school’s headquartered state.

Additionally, there is a distinguished national accreditation agency that has served as a highly-respected marker of quality. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparedness (CAEP) is a newly named organization that was formed out of the recent merger of TEAC and NCATE, two long standing accreditation agencies. Although a CAEP accreditation may not be mandatory for state approval, most schools will apply for it due to its highly respected reputation in the education sector.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in North Dakota.

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North Dakota Teacher Education Requirements

The most common track that leads to teacher certification in North Dakota is to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. These programs include a general studies component, professional studies in education, and content-specific coursework. The most common teacher preparation majors are elementary education, middle school education, secondary education, and K-12 education (in fields such as art, music, foreign language, and physical education). For certification, the state of North Dakota requires a 2.50 overall grade point average on all college coursework attempted. In addition to appropriate academic preparation, a candidate must provide three letters of recommendation before applying for teacher application.

North Dakota Teacher Outlook as of 2012
The Occupational Supply & Demand System projects 388 annual job openings in education and library fields in North Dakota through 2018. According to the National Center of Education Statistics, 8,181 public school and 560 private school teachers were employed in North Dakota in fall 2008 and 2007 respectively. The average starting teaching salary in North Dakota is $25,793 and the average overall teaching salary is $44,807, the 4th lowest average among US states according to the National Education Association. The NEA also notes teacher shortages in special education, math and science, particularly in rural areas. The relatively small school system in North Dakota yields fewer overall teaching opportunities, but the competition for these positions are is much less intense than in more populated states. The NEA encourages newly certified teachers to seek positions and pursue subject specialization. Though North Dakota ranks poorly among other US states in terms of average teaching salary, these rankings are not reflective of the cost of living in each state. Please visit the North Dakota Education Association for regular updates on policy changes, legislation and job opportunities for educators in North Dakota. For more information on state certification, please contact local education and teaching schools.

North Dakota Teacher Testing Requirements

North Dakota State SealNorth Dakota is one of the many states that uses the Praxis series of tests for teaching certification in North Dakota. All applicants must pass the PPST (Pre-Professional Skills Test)/Praxis I exam. This is a basic skills test that assesses a candidate’s reading, writing, and mathematics skills. Candidates must also obtain a passing score on the Praxis II, which is the subject-area test for their desired area of certification.

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Additional North Dakota Teacher Certification Requirements

In addition to the licensure application steps outlined in this section, applicants applying for North Dakota educator certification for the first time must submit to a fingerprint screening for state and federal criminal background checks. Fingerprinting cards can be requested from the state’s Department of Education and official fingerprinting can be done at any authorized law enforcement agency.

North Dakota Teachers Licensing Application Process

Once the steps to North Dakota teacher certification have been completed, applicants should mail their applications to the state’s Education Standards and Practices Board. Once applications are received, the certification process can take up to six weeks, so applicants should send in their application with sufficient time before the school semester/year begins.

  1. Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree
  2. Verification of teacher program completion at an accredited teacher preparation school
  3. Passing score on the required content exams
  4. Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee
  5. Completed application for teaching certification in North Dakota

North Dakota Education and Standards Board
2718 Gateway Avenue
Suite 303
Bismarck, ND 58503-0585
(701) 328-9641 – Phone
(701) 328-9647 – Fax

Visit the state’s Department of Education for further details on teaching certification in North Dakota.

North Dakota Teacher Salary and Jobs

Type Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers 420 $23,290
Kindergarten Teachers 630 $42,100
Elementary School Teachers 5,390 $46,000
Secondary School Teachers 2,850 $44,780

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

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Frequently Asked Questions about Becoming a Teacher in North Dakota

Question: What are the requirements to become a high school teacher in North Dakota?

Answer: The requirements for becoming a high school teacher in North Dakota include earning an initial license. To qualify for the license, you must have a bachelor’s degree with a teachable major and have completed a teacher preparation program. You must also have participated in at least 10 weeks of student teaching in a secondary classroom and pass a background check.

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1. North Dakota State Department of Education: http://www.nd.gov/espb/
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.