How to Become a Teacher in New York City

Teaching in New York City can be a challenging and rewarding career path. Public school teachers in New York City are employed by the New York City Department of Education–the largest public school district in the country with over one million students and 75,000 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. Continue reading to learn more about how to become a teacher in New York City.

New York City Teacher Certification Requirements

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 our 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.

Teacher Certification Programs in New York City

The following colleges and universities offer teacher certification programs in New York City that can qualify you for a teaching certificate or, if you are already certified, an additional endorsement. You can also read more about programs statewide on our New York schools page.

  • Bard College
  • Barnard College
  • Boricua College
  • College of Mount Saint Vincent
  • College of Staten Island
  • Columbia University
  • CUNY Hunter College
  • CUNY Lehman College
  • CUNY Medgar Evers College
  • CUNY York College
  • Fordham University
  • Long Island University
  • Manhattan College
  • Marymount Manhattan College
  • Mercy College
  • Metropolitan College of New York
  • Monroe College
  • The New School
  • New York City College of Technology
  • New York University
  • Nyack College
  • Pace University
  • Plaza College
  • Queens College
  • Rockefeller University
  • St. Francis College
  • St. John’s University
  • St. Joseph’s College
  • SUNY Empire State College
  • Touro College
  • Wagner College
  • Yeshiva University

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 individually; 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.

Contact Information

New York City Department of Education
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NYCschools/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NYCSchools?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

8 Spruce St
New York, NY 10038
(212) 233-2324

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.

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, contact individual schools directly for information on hiring requirements.

The Largest K-12 Schools in New York City

The table below will help you compare the largest public, private, and charter schools in New York City that may be hiring qualified educators.

SchoolTypeGrade Level# StudentsStudent-Teacher
PS 89-ElmhurstPublicK-51,96015:1
PS 19-Marino JeantetPublicK-51,89413:1
New Explorations into Science, Technology & Math SchoolPublicK-121,72919:1
IS 61-Leonardo da VinciPublic6-82,22514:1
IS 73-The Frank Sansivieri Intermediate SchoolPublic6-81,98114:1
JHS 234-Arthur W. CunninghamPublic6-81,90917:1
Brooklyn Technical High SchoolPublic9-125,83924:1
Fort Hamilton High SchoolPublic9-124,58020:1
Francis Lewis High SchoolPublic9-124,54120:1
Excellence Girls Charter SchoolCharterK-121,45214:1
Brooklyn Ascend Charter SchoolCharterK-111,39513:1
Success Academy Harlem 1CharterK-121,18411:1
Central UTA SchoolPrivatePK-124,97512:1
Bais Rochel SchoolPrivatePK-123,58710:1
United Talmudical AcademyPrivatePK-123,31913:1

See Table Notes and References at bottom of page.

New York City Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook

As is common in other states and metros, the average salary for teachers in New York City increases based on the age range taught. According to the New York Department of Labor, in 2018 NYC kindergarten teachers earned an average salary of $66,310, while elementary teachers earned $80,300, middle school teachers earned $79,260, and secondary school teachers earned $80,840.2 These averages are below statewide averages as of 2018, which showed that kindergarten teachers earned an average of $79,410, elementary school teachers earned $83,010, middle school teachers earned $83,490, and secondary school teachers earned $85,300.3

Long-term projections for teacher positions suggest that jobs growth for teachers in New York City should increase by between 4% and 5% through 2026.2 Special education teachers in preschool and kindergarten and elementary school should see even stronger growth, at 18.8% and 7.2% respectively.2

New York City Teacher Shortage Areas

The US Department of Education bases some student loan forgiveness programs on teacher shortage areas, meaning that your chances of qualifying for loan forgiveness may be stronger if you are teaching a subject that has been formally identified as a shortage area. You may also qualify for other funding opportunities or a more competitive salary based on your endorsement(s). Note that shortage areas may change from year to year, so you should be sure to check with state education agencies, your selected education program, and your student loan providers about funding options. For the 2017-2018 school year, the following subject areas were recognized as shortage areas in New York City:4

  • Arts (Dance, Music, Theatre: All Grades)
  • Bilingual Education: Not Special Education (All Grades)
  • Career and Technical Education (All Grades)
  • Childhood and Elementary Education
  • English (7-12)
  • Health Education (All Grades)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) (All Grades)
  • Mathematics (7-12)
  • Reading and Literacy (All Grades)
  • Sciences (7-12)
  • Social Studies (7-12)
  • Special Education (Bilingual): (All Grades)
  • Special Education (Not Bilingual): Elementary
  • Special Education (Not Bilingual): Middle/Secondary

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. You can also check out our jobs board to search for teaching jobs in NYC.

Additional Resources

  • EngageNY: An archived program maintained by the New York State Education Department that provides supplemental educational materials and curriculum support for mathematics and English Language Arts.
  • NYS Teacher Centers: A network of teaching centers that provide professional development to support student achievement.
  • United Federation of Teachers: Union that works to support the needs of educators across all five NYC boroughs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How many teachers are there in New York City?

Answer: According to data from the New York Department of Labor, there are over 126,000 teachers in New York City.2 In addition to these professionals, there are an estimated 8,400 substitute teachers in NYC, as well as approximately 37,860 teacher assistants.2

Question: How much do New York City substitute teachers make?

Answer: Substitutes in NYC are paid a daily rate of $188.75 for each day worked.5 NYC public school substitutes are not eligible for other benefits.

Question: Can you become a substitute teacher without certification in New York City?

Answer: If you do not have teacher certification, you must have a bachelor’s degree and proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking the English language. A school principal must nominate you for an open substitute position, which will then be considered by the school district. You can read more about becoming a substitute through the NYC schools website.

Table Notes and References:
1. Niche, Largest Schools in New York City: https://www.niche.com/k12/search/largest-schools/t/new-york-city-ny/

1. New York City Department of Education: Teach NYC: https://teachnyc.net/why-teach-nyc
2. New York State Department of Labor: https://dol.ny.gov/labor-data
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New York: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ny.htm#25-0000
4. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listing: https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/bteachershortageareasreport201718.pdf
5. New York City Department of Education, Substitute Teaching: https://www.schools.nyc.gov/careers/substitute-teaching