Become a Teacher in Nebraska

Nebraska Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary $50,710
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary $41,320
Vacation Weeks per Year 15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio 13.73
Expenditure per Pupil $11,619

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report. Expenditure per Pupil information provided by Nebraska Department of Education.

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Lincoln, NE 68509
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Nebraska Teacher Shortage Areas

  • Agriculture Education
  • Art
  • Business, Marketing, and Information Technology
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Health and/or Physical Education
  • Industrial Technology/Skilled and Technical Science
  • Language Arts
  • Special Education
  • World Language
  • Mathematics
  • Music-Instrumental/Vocal
  • Science
  • Speech Language Pathology

Teacher Shortage information was provided by the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Shortage Areas Nationwide Listings for 2016–2017, and was determined by examining the most recent data about unfilled teaching positions; positions filled by teachers certified by irregular, provisional, temporary, or emergency certification; and teachers teaching in subject areas other than their area of preparation.

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Nebraska

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 10/24/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Nebraska, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Nebraska teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Nebraska Teaching Credential

To earn your Nebraska teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Nebraska issues an Initial Certificate, valid for five years, to new graduates of teacher preparation programs; a Standard Certificate, also valid for five years, which can be attained once a teacher has completed two consecutive years of full- or half-time teaching; and a Professional Certificate, valid for ten years, for teachers who have completed a master’s degree.

Visit the Nebraska Department of Education website to learn more about earning your Nebraska teaching credential or learn more about getting your teaching credential on

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Nebraska

All states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. Nebraska also requires that you meet the qualifications for at least one endorsement to teach a particular subject and/or at a particular grade level. Each endorsement has specific coursework requirements. Nebraska also requires you to complete training in human relations and special education. Endorsement requirements include:

  • Elementary Education:
    • A minimum of 40 semester hours of professional education coursework, including courses in child development, elementary curriculum, instructional strategies, classroom management, cross-cultural communication skills, education history, and the social and cultural factors that impact education
    • 30 semester hours of academic coursework distributed across the four curriculum areas of English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies/history, including at least 6 hours in each of the four areas
    • Courses in fine arts and humanities, and health and wellness
  • Middle Level Education (Grades 5–-9):
    • 36 semester hours, of which 12 semester hours shall be in professional education courses, not including clinical experience, related to middle level education, and a minimum of 24 semester hours in one core academic area
  • Music (Grades K–12):
    • A minimum of 54 semester hours in theory, composition, arranging, improvisation, music history, applied music, ensemble performance, conducting, pedagogy, and technology
  • Secondary English (Grades 7–12):
    • A minimum of 36 semester hours of content and pedagogical content coursework in reading/literacy skills and strategies, writing, language, and literature
  • Secondary History (Grades 7–12):
    • A minimum of 36 semester hours including 30 semester hours in history and a minimum of 6 semester hours in one or more of the other social sciences areas (Economics, Geography, Political Science, Psychology, and/or either Anthropology or Sociology)
  • Secondary Mathematics (Grades 6–12):
    • A minimum of 36 semester hours of mathematics
  • Secondary Biology (Grades 7–12):
    • A minimum of 36 semester hours of laboratory based courses in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, Earth and space science, and physics), of which 24 semester hours must be in biology and a minimum of 12 semester hours of laboratory based courses among the remaining three natural sciences areas .

Step Two: Nebraska Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher Certification Programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs in Nebraska can be found on the Nebraska Department of Education website, and information about which accredited programs can be completed at least partly online is on another Nebraska Department of Education list.

Step Three: Required Tests for Nebraska

Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. Nebraska uses the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CORE) for basic skills and the Praxis II Content Area exams for subject area endorsement.

You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

Read more about teacher certification tests on

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Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

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Alternative Teacher Certification in Nebraska

Nebraska has a number of temporary and provisional teaching certificate options. One such option is the Transitional Teaching Permit available to mid-career professionals and non-education graduates through the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree that meets at least 75% of the requirements for certification in a field or subject area, and a particular school district must be prepared to employ and mentor you.

Candidates who want to teach while completing the teacher education coursework can do so under a Nebraska Transitional Teaching Permit. Additional alternative certification routes may be available. The Missouri Troops to Teachers program includes Nebraska.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Nebraska

It is no longer enough to just have years of experience for teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, the careers of teachers increasingly depend on their results in the classroom. A master’s degre in the field of education can give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor.

After a master’s program, you will be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay. In Omaha, teachers holding a master’s degree can often earn at least $5,000 more than those without one, according to 2015–2016 data from the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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Certification Reciprocity in Nebraska

Nebraska does not have reciprocity with other states; all candidates must meet Nebraska requirements for certification, but out-of-state certificates and documents may be used to judge what documents will be required for a Nebraska certificate.

Visit the reciprocity page for more information. Or, for more specific questions about your situation, contact the Nebraska Department of Education.

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Financial Aid in Nebraska

Nebraska residents are eligible for the Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant that gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need field in a low-income area.

Learn more about how to finance your master's degree on

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Nebraska Teacher Salary and Incentives

The average salary for an elementary school teacher in Nebraska is $50,710, and the average salary for a secondary school teacher is $51,320, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nebraska also provides loan forgiveness to teachers in high-needs schools and shortage subject areas. More detailed data can be found through the Nebraska State Education Association (NSEA).

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Nebraska Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Nebraska public school teachers are covered by the Nebraska School Pension Plan administered by the Nebraska Public Employees’ Retirement System. Under the plan, teachers are eligible for full retirement benefits at age 65, or at age 60 with at least 5 years of service for reduced benefits. Retirement funds are determined by the average of a teacher’s three highest 12-month periods of compensation and by years of service.

Learn more about benefits for teachers on

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Professional Development for Teachers in Nebraska

The Nebraska Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD) leads efforts to increase the capacity of educators to better serve students with disabilities and their non-disabled peers in inclusive K-12 settings. Specific activities and programs are offered to school teams and generally consist of 1-2 day workshops, mentoring programs for new teachers, and summer training. Nebraska requires teachers to complete at least 6 semester hours of coursework from a teacher education program every five years.

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Nebraska Teaching Jobs

Nebraska Department of Education maintains, a free online service that provides individuals in search of teaching jobs in Nebraska with the ability to search an up-to-date online job bank. Learn more about finding a teaching job on

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