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New Hampshire Teacher Certification and Career Guide

All New Hampshire public school teachers must hold an educator’s license issued by the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOH or NHED) Bureau of Credentialing. The main steps for the traditional path to teacher certification in New Hampshire are:

  1. Complete a New Hampshire-approved bachelor’s degree with a teacher preparation component.
  2. Complete a student teaching placement.
  3. Pass the required teacher certification exams.
  4. Apply for a teaching certificate or license.
  5. Upgrade your license.

Continue reading to learn more about the traditional certification pathway in New Hampshire.

Table of Contents

Steps to Become a Teacher in New Hampshire
Teacher Certification Renewal
Adding Subjects or Grades to a Certificate
Teaching License Reciprocity
Related Licenses
Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions


How to Become a Teacher in New Hampshire

The section below covers the traditional pathway to becoming a teacher in New Hampshire. The state has a tiered system for educators:

  • Beginning Educator License (BEL) (3-Year): For new teachers with less than three years of experience.
  • Experienced Educator License (EEL) (3-Year): For teachers with at least three years of full-time teaching experience who have been rated effective or above for two consecutive years and have completed at least one renewal cycle.

If you are a bachelor’s degree holder who has yet to complete a teacher preparation program, check out our guide to alternative teacher certification in New Hampshire.

1. Earn a bachelor’s degree that includes an approved teacher preparation program.

New Hampshire teachers must complete at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. The bachelor’s degree major will depend on the grade level and subject to be taught. All prospective teachers will also complete an approved educator preparation program (AEPPNH), usually as part of the bachelor’s degree.

You can compare key metrics for state-approved teacher preparation programs on our New Hampshire schools page. You can also read about two important accreditations to consider, institutional accreditation and programmatic accreditation, on our teaching schools guide.

2. Complete a student teaching placement.

All teacher candidates in the state must complete a clinical practice experience in the grade level and subject area of their desired endorsement. This student teaching placement will allow them to practice the full range of teaching roles and responsibilities under the supervision and observation of an experienced teacher.

3. Pass the required New Hampshire teacher exams.

New Hampshire State SealProspective teachers in New Hampshire must pass a Basic Academic Skills Assessment (BASA), such as the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, or a comparable exam, or score above the 50th percentile on the ACT, SAT, or GRE. Candidates must also pass a subject area content knowledge test such as the Praxis Subject Assessment related to their grade level and/or subject area. Praxis tests are administered by ETS. In addition, early childhood educators, elementary education teachers, reading and writing teachers, and reading and writing specialists must pass the Pearson’s Foundations of Reading test.

4. Apply for New Hampshire teacher certification.

After meeting the educational and testing requirements, candidates can apply for a Beginning Educator License (BEL) by creating an Educator Information System (EIS) account in myNHDOE. The application must include:

  • Criminal history records check (CHRC) clearance
  • Official transcripts
  • Program/institutional recommendation for licensure
  • Test scores
  • Application fee

5. Upgrade to an Experienced Educator License (EEL).

Public schools in New Hampshire are required to have an approved Professional Development Master Plan (PDMP) to measure the success of teachers and to provide guidance for pursuing professional growth. New Hampshire teachers employed at a public school under a PMDP can upgrade to an Experienced Educator License (EEL) with an employer recommendation after at least three years of full-time experience working as an educator and deemed effective or above for two consecutive years. They also must have completed one renewal cycle to be eligible. In this case, the employing school will recommend a teacher for renewal and upgrade to EEL.

Teachers with a BEL who are not employed under a Professional Development Master Plan or have not yet been issued a license but have submitted an application for a new license can submit documentation from their employer via the Experienced Educator Employer Verification form indicating they have at least three years of full-time experience as an educator at the elementary through secondary levels of education, have been deemed effective or above for two consecutive years, and have successfully completed a renewal cycle. They will also submit an Experienced Educator Upgrade Request form, then submit a help desk request indicating that you have emailed your documentation. More information about upgrading your license can be found on the NHDOE Upgrade to an EEL page.

Guide to Other Teaching Pathways

New Hampshire Teacher Certification Renewal

New Hampshire teaching licenses expire on June 30 of the third year since issuance and must be renewed every three years. To renew, both BELs and EELs need 45 continuing education units (CEUs) for each endorsement cycle and 30 CEUs for each endorsement. CEUs can be prorated if the endorsement was issued mid-cycle.

Teachers at public schools with an NHED-approved PDMP usually have an individualized professional development plan used for renewal. Public charter and non-public schools may or may not have an NHED-approved PDMP. There are two types of renewals, both of which can be completed via myNHDOE:

  • Recommended renewal: Teachers are recommended for renewal by a New Hampshire employer with an NHDOE-approved PDMP.
  • DOE renewal: Teachers employed by a school without a PDMP and teachers with an expired license can renew by direct submission.

Teachers renewing through the DOE renewal method must also submit their professional goals for the next three-year cycle. These goals should align with the NHDOE’s Professional Development Master Plan (PDMP). For more information on certification renewal, review the NHED Educator License Renewal course.

Adding Subjects or Grades to a Certificate

To qualify for a teaching endorsement area, teachers must pass a BASA and a subject area content knowledge test such as the Praxis Subject Assessment related to their grade level and/or subject area. Teachers looking to add an administrative endorsement who meet all license standards through formal coursework can qualify with a Demonstrated Competencies: Transcript Analysis (DCTA). A full list of available endorsements and their corresponding administrative rules can be found on the NHDOE website.

New Hampshire Teaching License Reciprocity

Teachers and prospective teachers from other states can qualify for a New Hampshire teaching license in two ways:

  • Approved Educator Preparation Program Out of State (AEPPOS): Candidate’s educator preparation program is for an endorsement comparable in content and grade level to a New Hampshire license, university- or college-based, state-approved, includes a field experience, internship, or practicum, and leads to institutional recommendation for a license in their home state. They must also meet testing, degree, and experience requirements. They must apply for a New Hampshire license within three years of their program completion or have obtained full licensure in their home state that has not been expired for more than three years from the date of the application.
  • Demonstrated Competencies: Experience under an Out-of-State License (DCEX): Candidate has three years of the last seven years of experience under a full, valid educator’s license issued out of state for each endorsement sought.

For a list of some of the most common out-of-state licenses evaluated by New Hampshire for full licensure, review the NHDOE website.

In addition to regular teaching licenses, New Hampshire offers several licenses and endorsements for administrative and support positions.

  • Special Education Administrator: Special education administrators lead and plan educational programs, ensure legal compliance, implement and oversee curricula, manage budgets and grants, and build partnerships and community. They need an Education Administrator License to practice and a state-approved master’s or higher program in special education administration leading to recommendation by the institution for the license or a master’s program in special education with demonstrated competencies and skills gained through experience in educational leadership. In addition to the educational requirements, candidates must have at least five years of experience as a special educator or in a related field.
  • Reading and Writing Specialist: Reading and writing specialists in New Hampshire instruct and assess K-12 students with the goal of improving their reading and writing skills. They need an Instructional Specialist License and a master’s degree in literacy or a related field and have completed at least three years of classroom teaching.
  • School Social Worker: School social workers diagnose student issues, arrange services to meet their needs, and provide counseling. They need an Educational Specialist License to practice and a master’s level specialist program in school social work or a master’s degree in school social work with an approved conversion program (with a two-year supervised internship) or can demonstrate certain knowledge and skills.

Most of the non-teaching licenses in New Hampshire require a master’s degree. For more information on endorsements and their requirements, review the NHDOE website.

New Hampshire Teacher Outlook, Salary, and Jobs

Projected Job Growth

5.9%

Growth in Teaching Jobs in NH through 20302*

According to the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the state of New Hampshire has a student-to-teacher ratio of 12:1.3 During the 2017-2018 school year, there were 490 public K-12 schools in the state, which enrolled 179,433 students and employed 14,589 teachers.3

Job prospects through 2030 are weaker for New Hampshire than projected national averages, with job growth being the strongest for preschool teachers at 20.7% compared to 18.4% nationally.2 Job growth for New Hampshire elementary teachers is expected to be 5.7% compared to 7.4% nationally; for New Hampshire middle school teachers, 5.6% compared to 13.1% nationally; and for high school teachers, 5.9% compared to 13.7% nationally.2

The table below provides a detailed comparison of job growth prospects and salary levels for New Hampshire teachers.

TypeNumber Employed in NH4Average Annual Openings in NH2NH Proj. Job Growth 2020-20302Average Annual Salary in NH425th Percentile Wages in NH575th Percentile Wages in NH5
Preschool Teachers2,96036020.7%$34,690$30,120$36,470
Preschool Teachers, Special Education500
Kindergarten Teachers640506.4%$59,740$47,920$73,140
Elementary School Teachers6,0305005.7%$63,010$49,600$76,530
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers, Special Education1,3801005.8%$63,940$49,380$76,970
Middle School Teachers3,5302305.6%$65,100$50,350$76,820
Middle School Teachers, Special Education600404.5%$64,190$49,820$76,950
Middle School Teachers, Career/Technical Education3000%$68,900$63,250$79,460
Secondary School Teachers5,0103205.9%$68,250$53,680$79,490
Secondary School Teachers, Special Education610405.8%$64,790$50,020$78,190
Secondary School Teachers, Career/Technical Education270204%$60,910$48,200$72,700

*The estimated job growth average is based on projections for mainstream kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Projections for other categories, such as special education and career and technical education, may be higher or lower than the average.

Teacher Shortages in New Hampshire

Much of the country is seeing a shortage of qualified teachers. According to the US Department of Education Teacher Shortage Area report for 2023-2024, New Hampshire has designated the following deficits:

There were an unknown number of teaching position vacancies in New Hampshire during the 2022-2023 school year.7 During the 2017-2018 school year, the last known data, the state reported 283 underqualified teachers, including those assigned to classrooms outside their certification area on a temporary or emergency basis.7

Additional Resources

Related Articles

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What are the requirements to become a high school teacher in New Hampshire?

Answer: To become a high school teacher in New Hampshire candidates must earn a license to teach secondary education through the state. To be eligible for the credential, you must have a bachelor’s degree and have completed a teacher preparation program. You must also pass the state’s required assessments for educators.

Question: How do I become a substitute teacher in New Hampshire?

Answer: New Hampshire does not have minimum requirements for substitute teachers at the state level. It also doesn’t offer a substitute teacher certificate or license. Individual school districts set the minimum requirements for substitutes. If you would like to become a sub in New Hampshire, you should check with school districts in your area to see what they require.

Question: How many private schools and private school teachers are in New Hampshire?

Answer: According to the latest data available, there were 209 private schools in New Hampshire during the 2019-2020 school year.8 Those schools employed 2,573 full-time teachers and 17,934 students.8 Teacher certification is not required for teachers at private schools in New Hampshire. Check with private schools in your area to confirm their teacher requirements.

References:
1. New Hampshire Department of Education Bureau of Credentialing: https://www.education.nh.gov/who-we-are/division-of-educator-support-and-higher-education/bureau-of-credentialing
2. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
3. National Center for Education Statistics, New Hampshire Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data, 2017-2018: https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/stnfis.asp
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2023 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New Hampshire: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nh.htm
5. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2023 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm
6. US Department of Education, Teacher Shortage Areas: https://tsa.ed.gov/#/reports
7. Teacher Shortages in the United New Hampshires, Tuan D. Nguyen et al.: https://teachershortages.com/
8. National Center for Education Statistics, Private School Universe Survey, 2019-20: https://nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/tables/TABLE15fl1920.asp