New Jersey Teacher Credentialing

New Jersey’s commitment to improving struggling schools and to hiring excellent teachers has led to significant progress.

  • According to a 2010 report published by the Office of Professional Standards, Licensing and Higher Education Collaboration, 98 percent of NJ teachers rate as highly qualified.
  • Education Week’s annual Quality Counts report ranks New Jersey the “Smartest State” in the country, based on the quality of the state’s public elementary and secondary schools.
  • New Jersey’s teachers are the fourth highest paid in the country, earning more than the national average, according to a 2010 article on
  • New Jersey schools and students excel in certain areas, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the “Nation’s report card”:
  • Fourth-grade reading scores are among the best in the nation.
  • Eighth-grade writing scores are first in the nation.
  • Fourth- and eighth-grade math scores rank among the top five states.

Becoming a Teacher in New Jersey

If you have decided to pursue a career as an educator and are considering teaching in New Jersey, there are a number of steps you must take.

  • Elementary school educators are required to complete a more general course of study that prepares them to teach all elementary core subjects.
  • Secondary school teachers typically choose a subject matter specialty on which to focus their academic and experiential education.

Types of Teaching Certificates

New Jersey offers different types of teaching certificates, each with specific requirements:

Certificate of Eligibility

  • The Certificate of Eligibility (CE) authorizes a teacher to seek and accept employment in NJ public schools. It is issued to an individual who:
    • Has not completed a Teacher Preparation Program.
    • Has met all basic requirements for certification, including prescribed academic study and required test scores.

Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing

  • The Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) authorizes an individual teach in NJ public schools. This credential is issued to an individual who:
    • Has completed a Teacher Preparation Program.
    • Has met the basic academic requirements for certification.
    • Has met applicable test requirements.
    • Does not hold a NJ Standard certificate


    • Has not completed one year of full-time teaching under an out-of-state certificate.

Provisional Certification

The two-year provisional certificate is requested by the employing school district for a newly hired teacher who already has a Certificate of Eligibility or a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing. Mentoring, supervision and evaluation are required under this certificate.

Alternate Route Certification Program: New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey (NPTNJ)

New Jersey offers a statewide alternate route teacher preparation program, designed for people who have not completed a formal teacher preparation program, but who wish to obtain the training necessary to become a certified teacher. New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey (NPTNJ) was created for candidates who have a Bachelor’s Degree and a Certificate of Eligibility. When candidates fulfill the following requirements, they will qualify for a Standard License:

  • Complete the New Pathways to Teaching in New Jersey (NPTNJ) coursework.
  • Be hired as educators.
  • Teach under a Provisional certificate.
  • Receive a recommendation from the employing school’s principal.

Basic Requirements for All Certified Teachers in New Jersey

  • Degree and Grade Point Average
  • New Jersey requires that candidates earn a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 in a bachelor’s or higher degree program or a State-approved teacher preparation program.  
    • Testing
    • All applicants must successfully complete the Praxis II Test.  
      • Professional Teacher Preparation
  • Applicants must complete a provisional teacher program or an approved teacher preparation program. A professional education program must culminate in supervised student teaching.  
    • State Teaching Certificate
  • Out-of-state applicants must present a teaching certificate equivalent to New Jersey’s Standard Certificate.  
    • Letter of Teaching Experience
  • Submit an original letter(s) from a school official(s), documenting 1 year of full-time teaching under a valid out-of-state license.  
    • Physiology and Hygiene Requirement
  • All applicants must satisfy the Physiology and Hygiene Requirement.
    • Criminal Background Check, Fingerprinting and Oath of Allegiance
  • All teachers must complete New Jersey’s criminal history record check process, including fingerprinting. Applicants who are United States citizens must sign an Oath of Allegiance.

Grade Level and Subject Area Requirements for Standard Certification

  • Permanent certificates are issued to individuals who meet all state certification requirements, including:
    • Successfully completing the Provisional Teacher Program.


    • Holding a previously issued NJ Instructional certificate.


    • Having a valid out-of-state instructional certificate with one year of full-time teaching experience.

Elementary K-5 Standard Certification

  • The elementary school teaching certificate requires:
    • Fulfillment of all New Jersey Basic requirements.
    • Bachelor’s degree with a major in liberal arts or sciences, from a regionally accredited college/university.
  • Once certified, an individual is authorized to:
    • Serve as an elementary school teacher of all subjects in kindergarten through grade five in NJ public schools
    • Teach language arts literacy, mathematics, science and social studies full-time to K-5 students.
    • Teach basic skills in reading, writing, arithmetic and spelling in grades 6-12.

Academic Subject Area K-12 Standard Certification

  • This certification entitles the holder to teach a single subject in all public elementary, middle and secondary schools.
  • In addition to the New Jersey Basic requirements, the Standard Certificate also requires Subject Matter Preparation, consisting of a minimum of number of acceptable courses in the chosen subject field.

Elementary K-5 & Middle School Grades 5-8 With Subject Matter Specialization Standard Certificate for:

  • Candidates for the Elementary School With Subject Matter Specialization certificates must:  
    • Fulfill all Basic New Jersey Requirements for teacher licensure.
    • Have at least a Certificate of Eligibility for Elementary K-5.
    • Complete coursework in Child and Early Adolescent Development.
  • Once certified, educators may teach the following in all public schools:  
    • Subject matter of specialization in all public schools to grades 5-8 students.
    • All core curriculum subjects in grades K-5.
    • Teach basic skills of reading, writing, arithmetic and spelling in grades 6-12.