Find an Education Path For Teaching in New Jersey, NJ

Once the decision has been made to become a teacher, the level of education completed determines the next steps. Let help us guide you through the next steps towards a career for teaching in New Jersy, please choose your highest level of education.

Choose Your Highest Level of Education:

Look over the information below and discover steps you should take to become a teacher in New Jersey.

If You Have a High School Diploma or a GED

Having a high school diploma or a GED opens doors to many institutions of higher learning that can lead you to a teaching career in New Jersey. Bachelor’s degree programs typically require applicants to be high school graduates or to have earned a GED.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees focusing on education, child development, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
  3. The New Jersey Department of Education recommends that, once you determine what you want to teach, the optimal next step is to attend a four-year college and earn a Bachelor’s in Education degree, with a major in the subject area and grade level you hope to teach.
  4. Aspiring teachers can enroll at some two-year or community colleges and earn an Associate degree or certification in the field of Early Childhood Education.
  5. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help with making a decision about which school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree

Attending a community college and earning an Associate’s degree is a valuable step toward becoming a teacher in New Jersey. Taking community college classes before entering a Bachelor’s degree program may provide some necessary prerequisites for courses in the four-year program.

  1. Many community college credits can be transferred to public and independent four-year colleges and universities, where students can complete a Bachelor’s degree that may lead to a New Jersey teaching certificate.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact the schools that interest you to request more information.
  3. Attending a New Jersey community college or another two-year college is an essential step toward earning an Associate degree. Transferable credits may qualify you to enter a four-year college as a Junior. New Jersey has a statewide program that helps students transfer community college courses to four-year universities. Pursuing and earning a Bachelor’s degree in Education is a major step toward becoming a licensed teacher in New Jersey.
  4. Accredited two-year colleges or community colleges in New Jersey offer an Associate in Applied Science in Early Childhood Education. This four-semester program prepares students for employment immediately after completion, and a student earning this career degree is eligible to work in a child care center, in an early intervention program, as a family or community worker, and in other child and family programs.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution is necessary to qualify for an initial New Jersey Teaching Certificate. If you want to teach in New Jersey and already have a Bachelor’s degree, the next steps toward teacher certification will often depend on your undergraduate major.

  1. If you have earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and completed an accredited Teacher Preparation Program, you will have fulfilled many requirements essential to moving forward toward teacher certification. Successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility or a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing.
  2. Eligibility Certificates lead to a Provisional teaching certificate, which is requested by your employing school district.
  3. Once provisional teachers have successfully completed the Provisional Teacher Program and met all other requirements for state certification, they qualify to be issued a permanent Standard teaching certificate.
  4. Prospective teachers must pass mandatory tests before applying for certification with the New Jersey State Board of Education. Applicants for New Jersey licensure must pass the appropriate Praxis tests, which assess knowledge and skills. The Praxis exams include the Praxis I Academic Skills Assessment and the Praxis II, which tests either and include: Elementary Education – Content Knowledge or Subject and Specialty Area Assessments.
  5. New Jersey teaching candidates who earn a Bachelor’s degree in a major other than Education must complete a Teacher Preparation Program at a regionally accredited institution. Some of these are Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation programs and some are combined with Master’s in Education degree programs.
  6. Once you have successfully completed all academic and experiential requirements, you are ready to begin the multi-phased application process that will lead to your certification as a New Jersey educator.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or Are in a Master’s Degree Program

Master’s degrees in Education typically offer a course of study that includes an Accredited Teacher Preparation Program that has been approved by the state of New Jersey. If your Master’s degree major was not Education, a Teacher Preparation Program must be completed prior to moving forward toward acquiring a teaching credential. You can choose from a few different directions once you have a Master’s degree.

  1. Some universities in New Jersey offer five-year joint bachelor’s degree/master’s degree/initial teacher certification programs. These programs encompass academic, experiential and pre-licensing courses, which culminate in academic degrees, as well as qualification for an Initial Teacher Certification.
    New Jersey offers other education-based master’s programs, such as a Master’s Degree in Social Studies Education and a Master of Arts in Teaching.
  2. If you want to begin your teaching career shortly after completing all of the coursework, passing all required tests, and fulfilling the student teaching requirement, the next step is to apply for your Provisional or Standard teaching certificate. Contact the New Jersey Department of Education to request information and an application.
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctoral degree. New Jersey Graduate schools offer Educational Doctoral Programs, through which you can earn a Ph.D. in Learning, Cognition, Instruction & Development; or a Ph.D. with a Specialization in areas such as Early Childhood Education, Language Education, Literacy Education, Math or Science Education. Contact universities that offer doctoral degrees in education to discover the best school and program for you.