How to Become a Teacher in New York City
Teaching in New York City can be a challenging and rewarding career path. Choosing this region means you will be working for the New York City Department of Education – the largest public school district in the country with over one million students and 70,000 teachers in 1,800 schools.1 Although the application process for teaching jobs in NYC is generally competitive, there are many opportunities available, especially if you teach a high-demand subject, such as science, math, or languages, or are interested in teaching in a high-needs area of the city.
You will need teaching certification to work in the public school system, although this certification is not necessarily required in private and charter schools in New York City.
New York City School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher
To work as a teacher or substitute teacher in New York City, you will need to have a teaching certificate issued by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) or have a bachelor’s degree and complete an alternative program that allows you to earn the certificate while you work, such as the New York City Teaching Fellows program. There are several programs offered to earn this certificate depending on your prior education and experience. You can learn more about these statewide requirements in the New York certification section below.
Once you have obtained the NYSED teaching certificate, follow the steps below to look for New York City teaching jobs.
Step 1: Complete your application.
You must first complete the New York City Department of Education Online Teacher Application. The application includes employment and educational history, professional references, and essay questions. Your application must be approved before you can search for and apply to teaching jobs in New York City.
Step 2: Contact schools directly to apply for open jobs.
If your application is accepted, you will be eligible to apply for open jobs using the New Teacher Finder tool on the application website, applying to schools directly, or attending recruitment events. Schools in New York City make hiring decisions directly; therefore, you will need to contact each school independently to apply for open jobs. Schools may also contact you and invite you to attend job fairs or interviews using the online portal system.
Step 3: Attend an interview.
Depending on the school, you will likely be asked to attend at least one in-person interview to determine your suitability for the position. Often, prospective teachers will be asked to conduct a classroom experience in front of a panel of peers based on a prepared lesson plan. Participants will evaluate the lesson plan and the delivery of the lesson to determine whether a candidate is a good fit for that school. Further details regarding the interview process will be provided by each individual school if they choose to proceed with your application.
Step 4: Complete the hiring process.
If you receive a job offer, you will likely need to complete administrative requirements, such as setting up your state email address and payroll deposits. Any other specific details will be communicated to you by the school.
How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the New York City School District
To become a substitute teacher, the principal of the school where you wish to work must nominate you to the New York City Department of Education via an online application; therefore, you will need to contact the school directly to express your interest. To become a substitute teacher in NYC, you need to have a bachelor’s degree, English proficiency, and the legal ability to work in the US and will be asked to fill out an online application form. If you already have a regular teaching certificate, you may be issued an additional Per Diem Teaching Certificate that allows you to work as a substitute teacher in any school in the state.
If you do not have teacher certification, you will need to successfully complete the required Combined Assessment & Processing training event in-person and complete written and oral English assessments to determine your proficiency. If you are successful, you will need to attend workshops on child abuse prevention, violence in schools prevention, Dignity for All Students, and substitute teaching and submit proof of attendance with the $100 fee to be issued the Per Diem Teaching Certificate. With this certificate, you will be able to work at any school in the state as a substitute teacher.
New York City Teacher Certification Requirements
You can earn three different types of NYSED teaching certificates depending on your experience. If you have a bachelor’s degree and completed teacher preparation from a recognized New York state program or a similar program in another state, you can apply for a traditional certificate. New teachers will be issued an Initial Certificate, while experienced teachers may be eligible for the Professional Certificate. Take a look at the New York certification page for more information.
If you did not complete teacher preparation as part of your bachelor’s degree program, you can complete this requirement while you teach through a New York alternative certification program. These types of certificates include the Transitional A certificate for career and technical education teachers with experience but no degree or the Transitional B certificate for teaching fellows who are eligible to earn the certificate while they teach through programs such as the New York Teaching Collaborative, which places teachers in the highest need schools. Our New York alternative certification page has more information about these options.
New York City Department of Education
8 Spruce St
New York, NY 10038
Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in New York City
Private and charter schools in NYC have individualized requirements for teacher applicants. In most cases, you will need at least a bachelor’s degree and some experience working with children to be eligible, although a master’s degree, teaching experience, or state certification will significantly improve your chances of finding a job in this type of school. Private and charter schools operate independently of the public school system, although charter schools receive public funding. If you are interested in teaching jobs in these types of schools, take a look at our list of well-known examples in New York City.
Private Schools in New York City
- The Spence School
- The Beekman School
- United Nations International School
- Dwight School
- Trinity School
- Leman Manhattan School
Charter Schools in New York City
- Great Oaks Charter School
- Dream Charter School
- Global Community Charter School
- Bronx Charter School for Excellence
- The Renaissance Charter School
- Success Academies Charter Schools
New York City Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
Long-term projections for teacher positions suggest that jobs growth for teachers in New York City should increase by about 4.4% through 2022.2 The New York City Department of Education is particularly working to recruit teachers in shortage areas, including science, math, engineering and technology, English as a Second Language, bilingual education, and special education. If you have training in these skills, you may be more competitive for available teaching positions.
As is common in other states, the average salary for teachers in the New York-Jersey City-White Plains metropolitan area increases based on the age range taught. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 kindergarten teachers earned an average salary of $63,380, while elementary teachers earned $71,190, middle school teachers earned $75,790, and secondary school teachers earned $82,260.3 These averages are comparable to statewide data that shows that as of 2015, kindergarten teachers in New York earned an average of $68,200, elementary school teachers earned $72,930, middle school teachers earned $77,130, and secondary school teachers earned $79,720.4
New York City Teaching Job Boards
Job postings for public school positions are available to applicants who have been accepted by the NYSED; however, you can still find postings for private and charter school jobs on the following sites:
- New York City Charter School Center
- Charter School Jobs
- New York State Association of Independent Schools
Check out our Jobs Board to search for teaching jobs in NYC now.
Additional Resources for Teaching in New York City
1. New York City Department of Education: Teach NYC: http://teachnyc.net/why-teach-nyc
2. New York State Department of Labor, Employment Projections: https://www.labor.ny.gov/stats/lsproj.shtm
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates:
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New York: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ny.htm#25-0000