How to Become a High School Teacher in New Mexico

Find out what is required for high school candidates in New Mexico. Read about how to complete all steps required by the Department of Education and which degree programs will prepare students for their future careers.

View Popular Schools

Anyone with an interest in a particular subject area can follow the necessary steps to become a high school teacher in New Mexico. High school teachers can focus on a particular area of expertise, like mathematics or social science.

New Mexico Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Secondary Teachers in New Mexico (2017)* $56,060
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education, Content Area
Testing Requirements Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary, Essential Academic Skills (Subjects I, II, and III), subject exams

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree in New Mexico

Before a future teacher can take the required exams and fill out the certification application, they must first complete a bachelor's degree in the content area they wish to teach. For instance, a future English teacher would pursue a related degree like English literature. Students can also complete a degree program for their subject area and education, such as math education. Students will also complete approved, accredited teacher preparation programs concurrently. While the bachelor's degree helps students become experts in their subject area, the preparation program will give students the tools they need to be effective teachers. Courses that might be offered include educational psychology, multicultural education, and ESL across content areas.

Students will take 24 hours of secondary education coursework, 12 of which must be upper division classes. Twenty-four hours of content area-related coursework are required, along with three semester hours of teaching reading.

Step 2: Take All Required Tests

The next step for teachers is to take all the required tests applicable to their area of specialty. First, teachers will take the Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary exam, which is an NES test. The exam is made up of 100 multiple-choice questions, one case study written assignment, and one work product written assignment. It's three hours long, costs $95, and requires a passing score of 220.

Next, teachers will take the Essential Academic Skills exams, which are made up of reading, writing, and mathematics. This is also an NES exam. The reading exam is 45 multiple-choice questions, the writing subtest is 36 multiple-choice questions and 1 written assignment, and the math exam is 45 multiple-choice questions. Teachers have three hours and 15 minutes for the series. A passing score of 220 is required, and the three exams are $100 when taken together.

Finally, teachers will have to take the applicable subject tests. Tests include Mathematics, Health, Social Science, and Spanish, and they all vary in time and length. Check out the New Mexico Teacher Assessment (NMTA) website for more information on each exam.

Step 3: Submit the Certification Application

When all tests have been taken, teachers can begin the application process through the New Mexico Public Education Department. Teachers will need to pay a $125 application fee and a $44 fee for a background check. Transcripts and official test scores will also need to be submitted. When all of these materials have been provided, teachers will be eligible for licensure.

Study Resources for Future New Mexico Secondary Teachers

If an applicant is looking to get a head start studying for future exams, there are many online resources for both NES exams and the NMTA exams. Take a look at the links below for more information on studying for future tests.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?