How to Become a Teacher in North Carolina

North Carolina has a commitment to education that dates back almost to its founding. The University of North Carolina, the state’s largest public university, was actually the very first such institution in the history of the country. In addition to a dedication to post-secondary education, North Carolina is also focused on providing a robust public school system, which is why this state requires that its teachers go through a certification process.

If you’re someone who is considering a career as a North Carolina teacher, it’s vital that you learn about the Tar Heel State’s licensing requirements so you can make it through the certification process easily and effectively.

North Carolina Teacher Certification Requirements

North Carolina Teacher Certification Types

The state of North Carolina offers two teaching licenses. Teachers new to the field with less than two years of experience will apply for the Standard Professional 1 (SP1) license. Those with three or more years of experience will apply for the Standard Professional 2 (SP2) license.

North Carolina Teacher Education

To be licensed as a North Carolina teacher you will need a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, at the minimum. It is also required for you to complete a teacher preparation course. Many teacher preparation courses award a Bachelor’s degree upon completion.

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North Carolina Teacher Certification Exam

The Praxis I Reading, Writing and Mathematics Exam is required for North Carolina teachers. You will be exempt from this exam with acceptable scores on either the SAT or ACT. If you are seeking licensure in a specific educational discipline, you will need to pass the Praxis II exam in this content area.

Teacher Experience

When you are enrolled in your teacher preparation program, you will complete a student teaching portion and a practicum. Your practicum will mostly be spent in a classroom observing a licensed teacher. Student teaching will give you hands-on experience that will prepare you for your teaching career.

Background Check

A statewide background check is required before you will be hired in any public school in North Carolina.

Alternative Certification and Other Requirements

  • North Carolina Alternative Teacher Certification: The alternative certification in North Carolina is called lateral entry. This allows you to teach while working towards your certification as long as you have a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Teacher Certification Renewal: After teaching for three years with an SP1 license, you are eligible to upgrade to an SP2, which is active for five years. To receive your renewal, you need to earn 7.5 renewal credits. One credit is awarded for literacy training, one for training in your academic discipline and 5.5 in general education.
  • North Carolina Substitute Teaching: Substitute teachers are not required to earn a license in North Carolina. You can use substitute teaching to fulfill the student teaching requirement of your teacher preparation program.
  • Reciprocity: If you are an out of state teacher, you can earn both the SP1 or SP2 license. However, you will need to demonstrate your credentials before receiving your license.

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What Does a Teacher Do in North Carolina?

Many people who enter the field of teaching are surprised at how many different tasks that teachers are required to perform. While instruction is the major focus of this profession, other common tasks you will be responsible for include providing after school tutoring, networking with teachers from across the country and continuing education so that you are as effective a teacher as possible.

North Carolina Teacher Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides valuable information related to the salaries for North Carolina teachers. Elementary School teachers employed in North Carolina in 2015 earned a median yearly salary of $43,900. A Middle School teacher in 2015 could expect to earn $44,150. For High School teachers, the median 2015 salary was $45,220.

North Carolina Teacher Certification Links

Teacher Certification Programs in North Carolina

Teacher Certification Programs in North Carolina

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Choose your area of study and receive free information about programs you are interested in. Becoming a teacher is an important decision that requires commitment, dedication, and passion. Teacher certification requirements vary by state. However, there are a number qualifications that every state requires to teach at the public school level. Request information from multiple schools to find the best program and educational opportunity for you!