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How to Become a History Teacher in New Jersey

History teachers are also known as social studies teachers in New Jersey. They can instruct middle or high school students and must complete the specific academic and certification test requirements for the grade level they plan to teach.

New Jersey pays middle and secondary school teachers some of the highest salary rates in the United States. Their middle school teachers earn the 5th-highest salary in the nation while secondary school teachers in New Jersey earn the 4th-highest salary nation-wide. The high salary rates may be factors that attract aspiring history teachers to New Jersey.

New Jersey History Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in New Jersey (2016)* $71,000 (Middle School);
$75,250 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Social Studies
Testing Requirements edTPA, Praxis

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

The standard certification in New Jersey is called the Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS). CEAS applicants need to earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited postsecondary program and also need to fulfill the teacher preparation requirements. These requirements can be met through their bachelor's studies or through a post-bachelor's certificate program. Teacher preparation programs involve completing several education courses as well as student teaching assignments.

All CEAS applicants must meet the state's physiology and hygiene requirement. This can be accomplished by passing a True/False test; completing a health, biology or nutrition course; or completing military training.

Middle school CEAS applicants are expected to take a course in childhood development that covers the development of children ages 11 through 14. Those who plan to pursue the elementary school CEAS must earn 60 credits in liberal arts subjects, which include history. A middle school CEAS applicant's bachelor's degree must reflect at least 15 credits in their intended subject area.

At the high school level, applicants must earn 30 social studies credits. These 30 credits must include at least 15 history credits, including a course in American history and a course in world history. At least 12 of the 30 credits must be at the junior, senior or graduate level of study to fulfill these requirements.

Education pedagogy courses can't be used to fulfill credit requirements.

Step 2: Pass edTPA Certification Test

The edTPA must be taken by all teaching certification applicants. Those taking the edTPA in the 2017-2018 school year do not need to obtain any set score; they only need to complete the examination. Those who take the edTPA during the 2018-2019 school year must earn a score that is no more than one error below the recommended national average passing score. New Jersey plans to introduce its own passing standards as of the 2019-2020 school year.

Step 3: Pass Praxis Certification Tests

Those pursing their CEAS certification requirements must pass the Praxis content tests for their subject area. Middle school social studies teachers are expected to take the Middle School Social Studies test. Applicants with a 3.0 GPA must earn a score of 158 to pass. Those who have a 2.75 GPA can qualify for certification with a score of 174 on this test. Those who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher only need a score of 150 to pass.

Social studies applicants must take the Social Studies: Content Knowledge test and obtain a score of no less than 157 to pass. Individuals with a GPA of 2.75 need 173 to pass this test while those with a GPA of 3.5 only need 149 to fulfill this requirement.

Middle school CEAS applicants who plan to obtain the elementary CEAS will also need to take the Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects praxis. They must earn passing scores on tests covering mathematics, social studies, science and reading and language arts.

Step 4: Apply For Certification

Once you have met all the requirements for certification you must fill out the appropriate application form and send your application to the New Jersey State Department of Education. Include the application fee of $170 and any required documents to demonstrate you have fulfilled the certification requirements.

Middle school social studies teachers must receive two certificates so they must apply for the middle school social studies CEAS as well as either the elementary school CEAS or the social studies CEAS.

Teacher Certification Resources

To prepare for the certification tests required to teach history in New Jersey use the study resources linked to here.


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