How to Become a Math Teacher in New Jersey

Jan 02, 2019

A bachelor's degree, teacher preparation program and passing scores on certification tests are needed to become a mathematics teacher in New Jersey. These teachers also need a strong academic foundation in mathematics.

In New Jersey, mathematics teachers are generally certified to work with students of all grade levels. There are additional certification requirements for those who plan to teach middle school mathematics, however. New Jersey pays middle school teachers the 5th highest salary rates in the United States for middle school teachers, while their high school teachers earn the 4th highest salaries for secondary school teachers in the nation.

New Jersey 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 Mathematics and Education
Testing Requirements edTPA; Praxis

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

All aspiring mathematics teachers must complete the academic requirements to qualify for the Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) in their chosen subject area.

Those planning to teach mathematics at the high school level will need to earn 30 mathematics credits, with at least 12 mathematics credits from junior-, senior- or graduate-level courses.

Aspiring middle school mathematics teachers have two paths of study from which to choose. The first requires at least 15 credits in mathematics, which can be counted toward a required 60 credits in liberal arts topics. The second option requires earning 30 credits in mathematics, with 12 credits occurring at the junior, senior, or graduate level.

Middle school teaching applicants are also expected to complete one course in child and early adolescent development that includes the development of children ages 11 through 14.

Aspiring middle and high school mathematics teachers must also satisfy a physiology and hygiene requirement. There are three ways to meet this requirement:

  • Completing a course in nutrition, biology or health
  • Passing a 35-question True/False test
  • Completing military training

All CEAS applicants are also required to complete teacher preparation training. Some may opt to take a program after they have earned their bachelor's degree while others may pursue a degree that incorporates the teacher preparation requirements. Approved teacher preparation programs combine student teaching assignments and education courses so that graduates have the practical skills and theoretical knowledge needed to be an effective teacher.

Step 2: Pass edTPA Certification Test

New Jersey has adopted the edTPA to assess the teaching skills of certification applicants. The edTPA passing requirements are as follows:

Academic Testing Year Passing Requirements
2017-2018 Complete edTPA evaluation - no minimum passing score
2018-2019 Earn score that's one mistake below national edTPA passing score
2019-2020 Passing score to be determined

Step 3: Pass Praxis Certification Tests

In order to qualify to teach mathematics at the high school level, it is necessary to take the Mathematics: Content Knowledge exam. Those who earned their degree with a 3.0 GPA need to score 160 or more to pass this test and qualify for certification.

Those who plan to teach middle school mathematics must take two Praxis exams. One is the Middle School Mathematics test. A grade of 165 is needed to pass if the applicant graduated college with a 3.0 GPA.

The second test required of middle school mathematics teachers depends on which course of study they chose. Those who opted for the liberal arts path would take the Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects tests. Those who pursued a math-focused program of study would take the Mathematics: Content Knowledge exam.

For those pursuing certification that did not earn a 3.0 GPA but did graduate with a 2.75 GPA or higher there is still a possible path to certification. A score of 176 is needed on the Mathematics: Content Knowledge exam. The passing grade on the Middle School Mathematics test is 182 for these applicants.

Step 4: Apply For Certification

Once you have completed all the certification requirements you need to fill out an application form for certification. Applicants must submit that form, along with a $170 application fee, to the New Jersey State Department of Education. They must also include required paperwork, including a professional experience record, oath of allegiance and their transcripts.

Those pursuing middle school mathematics certification must apply for either their elementary K-6 certification (liberal arts path) or their mathematics certification (math-focused path) first. Once they have received their certification in one of those areas they can apply for their middle school mathematics certification.

Teacher Certification Resources

To prepare for the certification tests required to become a mathematics teacher in New Jersey use the study materials linked to below.

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