The North Dakota Teaching and Certification Resource

Those who wish to teach in North Dakota’s public K-12 schools must first earn certification from the state. The North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board oversees the certification process, which is outlined below for those looking to learn how to become a teacher in North Dakota.

How to Become a Teacher in North Dakota

Like most US states, North Dakota requires all teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree, complete a teacher preparation program, and pass the appropriate content and subject examinations. Those who hold a bachelor’s degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program may be interested in alternative teacher certification in North Dakota.

North Dakota has adopted a tiered licensing structure for teachers. First-time teachers who meet all requirements are eligible for a two-year Initial In-State License. After successfully teaching for 18 months, teachers may upgrade to a Five Year license, which is renewable.

Quick Guide

Finding Approved Teacher Education Programs in North Dakota

Projected Job Growth


Growth in Teaching Jobs in ND through 20242

Perhaps the most important step towards teacher certification in North Dakota is completing a quality teacher education program at an approved school. To qualify graduates for licensure, a teacher preparation program must be approved for the preparation of teachers by the board of education for the state in which it is located. Visit the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board for information on approved programs.

When evaluating potential schools, it’s also important to confirm that the school is accredited by one of the six regional accreditation agencies overseen by the US Department of Education. This also applies to online and out-of-state programs.

Additionally, schools may hold accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). Though CAEP accreditation is not mandatory for North Dakota teacher preparation program approval, it carries a highly respected reputation in the education sector.

See our list of CAEP accredited schools in North Dakota.

North Dakota Teacher Outlook
The North Dakota Workforce Intelligence Network projects 4 average annual job openings due to growth for elementary school teachers, 9 average annual job openings due to growth for middle school teachers, and 26 average annual job openings due to growth for secondary school teachers in North Dakota through 2024.3 These openings are in addition to replacement openings as current teachers leave their positions. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that there are 8,290 elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers in the state, excluding special education teachers.4 Elementary school teachers in the state earn an average salary of $47,110, middle school teachers earn an average salary of $52,920, and secondary school teachers earn an average salary of $48,410.4 Visit North Dakota United for regular updates on policy changes, legislation and job opportunities for educators in North Dakota.

North Dakota Teacher Education Requirements

All North Dakota teacher candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree and state-approved teacher preparation program. These programs must include a general studies component, professional studies in education, and content-specific coursework. For certification, the state of North Dakota requires a 2.50 overall grade point average on all college coursework attempted. The bachelor’s degree major must consist of a minimum of 32 credit hours. The coursework requirements vary based on the grade level(s) a candidate seeks to teach; however, all candidates must take an approved course in Native American Studies. For detailed information, consult the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board.

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 Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam. This is a basic skills test that assesses knowledge in reading, writing, and mathematics. Candidates must also obtain a passing score on the Praxis Subject Assessments for the desired area of certification.

Additional North Dakota Teacher Certification Requirements

Prospective teachers applying for North Dakota educator certification for the first time must complete a fingerprint screening for state and federal criminal background checks. Fingerprinting cards can be requested from the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board 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, candidates should submit their applications to the Education Standards and Practices Board. The following documentation is required:

  • Official transcripts showing proof of bachelor’s degree.
  • Verification of teacher program completion at an approved teacher preparation school.
  • Passing scores on the required Praxis exams.
  • Completed fingerprint card for state and federal background check.
  • Letters of recommendation from recent teaching supervisors.
  • Payment of non-refundable certification processing fee.
  • Completed application for teaching certification in North Dakota.

Initial applications should be submitted online through NDTeach. Visit the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board for further details on teaching certification in North Dakota.

North Dakota Teacher Salary and Jobs

TypeNumber EmployedAverage Annual Salary
Preschool Teachers570$37,960
Preschool Teachers, Special EducationNot availableNot available
Kindergarten Teachers660$45,130
Elementary School Teachers4,600$47,110
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School730$51,430
Middle School Teachers1,010$52,920
Middle School Teachers, Special Education140$54,310
Secondary School Teachers2,680$48,410
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education370$52,060
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education400$53,620

Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.4

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: High school teachers in North Dakota must be licensed. 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 as well as the Praxis exams for educators.

Teaching and Education Programs

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1. North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board: https://www.nd.gov/espb/
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. North Dakota Workforce Intelligence Network: https://www.ndworkforceintelligence.com/gsipub/index.asp?docid=357
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, North Dakota: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nd.htm