Become a Teacher in New Jersey

New Jersey Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary $68,100
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary $64,070
Vacation Weeks per Year 15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio 11.96
Expenditure per Pupil $19,652

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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New Jersey Teacher Shortage Areas

  • Bilingual/Bicultural
  • Elementary Subject Matter Specialization (All)
  • ESL
  • Mathematics
  • Science (All)
  • Special Education
  • World Languages (All)
  • Career and Technical Endorsements (All)

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 New Jersey

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: 10/25/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of New Jersey, 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 New Jersey teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your New Jersey Teaching Credential

To earn your New Jersey teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. New Jersey issues a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) to graduates of teacher preparation programs who meet all basic New Jersey licensing requirements. CEAS holders go through the Provisional Teacher Program, which involves a period of mentoring and assessment, before being issued a permanent Standard Certificate. Learn more through the State of New Jersey Department of Education Office of Certification & Induction about earning your New Jersey teaching credential.

Learn more about getting your teaching credential on

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in New Jersey

All states require at least a bachelor’s degree to teach. New Jersey has the following additional coursework requirements: All prospective teachers must complete a “coherent sequence” of education coursework. In addition, each field or subject area has specific requirements:

  • Elementary Education (Grades K–5): A major in the liberal arts or sciences, or at least 60 liberal arts credits are required. In this sense, “liberal arts” means any course of study designed to provide general knowledge rather than vocational skills. An additional endorsement in a subject area on top of the Elementary Education certificate is required to teach Grades 5–8.
  • English (Grades K–12): A minimum of 30 credits in a coherent sequence in the subject field of English, including at least 12 credits at the advanced level of study.
  • Mathematics (Grades K–12): A minimum of 30 credits in mathematics, including at least 12 credits at the advanced level.
  • Physical Science (Grades K–12): A minimum of 30 credits in the subject field of Physics or Chemistry, including at least 12 credits at the advanced level. An additional 15 credits at any level must be completed in the ancillary subject matter. Examples of courses accepted for Physical Science include physics, mechanics, electrical engineering majors, analytic physics, statics, thermodynamics, circuit designs, heat transfers, and mechanical designs, as well as chemistry courses and biochemistry. This endorsement entitles the holder to teach Physical Science, environmental science, and general science in all public schools.

New Jersey also requires a period of student teaching. For more specific requirements for each teaching certificate, please consult the State of New Jersey Department of Education's list of Certificate Subject Areas.

Step Two: New Jersey 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. The State of New Jersey Department of Education provides a list of approved teacher preparation programs in New Jersey.

Step Three: Required Tests for New Jersey

Most states require tests to show competency in basic skills as well as in the desired subject area. All candidates for a CE or CEAS (except those seeking a CE with a career and technical education endorsement) are required to fulfill a basic skills requirement by taking the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators exam. An SAT, ACT, or GRE score in the top third percentile for the year in which it was taken also meets this requirement. For CEAS candidates, the basic skills requirement must be met before acceptance into a teacher preparation program. In addition, you must pass the PRAXIS II Subject Assessment/Specialty Area test(s) appropriate for the area and/or subject you plan to teach.

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.

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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 New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Education sponsors a state-run alternate route to teacher certification. Participants who complete 24 hours of formal instruction are issued a Certificate of Eligibility, and then undergo a minimum of 200 hours of formal instruction accompanied by mentoring from more experienced teachers. Additionally, alternative certification programs, such as Troops to Teachers, are an option. New Jersey participates in the Mid-Atlantic Region Troops to Teachers program.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in New Jersey

It is no longer enough to just have years of experience in 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 degree 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 may be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay. Visit Masters In Teaching to learn more about the salary impact of a master’s degree for New Jersey teachers.

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

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Certification Reciprocity in New Jersey

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. Visit the New Jersey Department of Education website to view their reciprocity policies. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in New Jersey, visit the reciprocity page. Or, for more specific questions about your situation, contact the New Jersey Department of Education.  

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Financial Aid in New Jersey

New Jersey 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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New Jersey Teacher Salary and Incentives

The average elementary school teacher in New Jersey makes $68,100 per year, and the average secondary school teacher makes $74,070 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. New Jersey is one of the highest paying states to teach in, although it does not provide any additional pay for teaching in high-demand districts or subjects. Detailed salary info can be found by using the annual New Jersey Taxpayers’ Guide to Spending or learn more about teacher salaries on

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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New Jersey Teacher Benefits and Retirement

The New Jersey Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) provides full benefits to New Jersey public schools teachers who are at least 62 years old, although reduced benefits are available for younger members. The TPAF website provides several fact sheets on specific aspects of membership. Learn more about benefits for teachers on

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Professional Development for Teachers in New Jersey

The Professional Development in New Jersey section of the New Jersey Department of Education website handles the professional development of teachers and administrators. The New Jersey Office of Professional Development has strong policies to place teachers in sustained professional learning to refine and expand their practice in order to help students perform at higher levels.

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New Jersey Teaching Jobs

NJHire is a recruitment site sponsored by the State of New Jersey that provides a number of ways for applicants to search for job openings and job events, as well as a host of additional resources.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on

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