School Teacher Requirements in New Mexico, NM

New Mexico, ranking 36th in population, has 323,066 students. There are 828 public schools, broken down into 445 elementary, 164 middle, and 162 high schools. New Mexico ranks 30th in average combined SAT and ACT scores (the two most common national standardized tests). New Mexico has a slightly below state graduation rate of 66.4%.

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New Mexico Teaching Certification Requirements:

  • Provisional Teaching Certificate (valid for 5 years)
  • Bachelors Degree from an accredited college or university
  • Complete an approved New Mexico Teacher Preparation Program
  • Have at least 30 course hours in desired grade level of teaching
  • Have at least 24 course hours in a specific subject matter field
  • Take and pass the New Mexico Teachers Assessments (NMTA)
  • Fulfill state fingerprinting requirements
  • Pass a criminal background check through the state and FBI
  • Complete the certification application packet, including transcripts, certifications, and references
  • Pay any applicable fees

Some districts may require additional training and certification.

Employment Outlook For Teachers in New Mexico:

New Mexico has had one of the highest salary growth rates over the last five years, largely due to the fact that the state has been working towards improving both its graduation and standardized testing scores. This means that not only existing teachers are receiving higher salaries, but new teachers are being hired to lower student teacher ratios and cope with a growing state population. The teaching industry has proved to be a relatively stable job market, and even through the budget cuts of the recession teachers have faired well. As in any state, it is a good idea to have a Masters or PhD as that is certainly an eye catcher for prospective employers, as well as providing increased salary opportunities.

Salary Expectation for Teachers in New Mexico:

New Mexico is ranked 16th in the nation when it comes to teacher salaries, the average salary being $52,523 in 2009-2010 (according to In the last three years teachers in New Mexico have seen an average 14.78% wage increase. Over the last 5 years New Mexico has seen one of the highest salary growth rates in the nation, due to the fact that the state has been working towards improving its graduation rate and standardized testing scores by implementing new programs aimed at reaching these goals.