Because history is a more specific course than the generalized social studies curriculum found in younger classrooms, those who wish to become history teachers should focus on middle and secondary grades when pursuing a degree. North Carolina issues licenses in middle grades (6-9) and secondary grades (9-12).
Requirements for History Teachers in North Carolina
|Average Salary for Teachers in North Carolina (2017)*||$45,690 (Elementary and Middle School Teachers), $46,370 (Secondary School Teachers)|
|Degree Field||Middle or Secondary School Education|
|Testing Requirements||Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators; Praxis Middle School Social Studies content test or Social Studies: Content Knowledge and Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 tests|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Earn Your Degree
All aspiring history teachers in North Carolina are required to complete a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. This program must include a student teaching/teacher education preparation aspect that exposes future teachers to direct classroom experience. A Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education focuses on grades 6-9, and undergraduates can choose social studies as their concentration area. Some schools encourage students to select a second concentration area as well.
For those interested in teaching at the high school level, a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with a concentration in social studies is an option. Students will focus on social studies courses, like economics, nonwestern history, and anthropology. Some schools also allow students to major in history and minor in secondary education.
Step 2: Pass Your Exams
The state of North Carolina requires all teachers to undergo the Core Academic Skills for Educators Praxis Exam in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. These exams are multiple-choice in format, while the Writing exam contains two essay questions. Passing scores of 156, 162, and 150 are required for the Reading, Writing, and Math tests, respectively.
Those interested in teaching history or social studies at the middle school level will also need to take the Praxis Middle School Social Studies content exam, passing with a score of 149. For history teachers at the secondary level, two different Praxis exams are mandatory: Principles of Learning and Teaching, Grades 7-12, and Social Studies: Content Knowledge, requiring respective passing scores of 157 and 158.
Step 3: Apply for Your License
New applicants for North Carolina teaching licenses will apply for a Professional Educator's Initial License. This credential is non-renewable, and is valid for three years. The fee for an initial license, if opened by an in-state educator is $70. When submitting your application, it should be noted that electronic copies of transcripts are acceptable, provided they are official copies directly from the issuing educational institution. Upon receiving the application, your university issuing the degree will send their recommendation for licensure.