How to Become a Music Teacher in New Jersey

Music teachers in New Jersey must have a strong academic foundation in music, as well as teacher preparation training. They are also required to pass the edTPA and a Praxis exam in music.

Music teachers in New Jersey are qualified to work with students from PreK through to grade 12. New Jersey's middle and high school teachers earn some of the highest salaries in the United States and the strong pay rates may attract aspiring music teachers to New Jersey.

New Jersey Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in New Jersey (2016)* $65,830 (Kindergarten);
$68,810 (Elementary School);
$71,000 (Middle School);
$75,250 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Music Education
Testing Requirements edTPA, Praxis

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

In order to qualify for the Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) to teach music in New Jersey you must earn a bachelor's degree that includes the following:

  • 18 music credits from any grade level
  • 12 music credits from junior, senior or graduate classes
  • 1 course in nutrition, health or biology to satisfy the physiology and hygiene requirement (this requirement can also be met through military training or passing a 35-question True/False test)

All certified teachers in New Jersey are typically expected to graduate with a 3.0 GPA, although those with a 2.75 GPA or higher can pursue certification if they obtain higher scores on the Praxis test.

CEAS applicants must complete teacher preparation as part of their bachelor's degree studies or after they have earned a bachelor's degree. The teacher preparation training involves student teaching assignments that develop practical teaching skills. There are also education courses that must be completed to fulfill this requirement.

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Step 2: Pass edTPA Certification Test

As of the 2019-2020 school year the state of New Jersey will introduce its own scoring standards for the edTPA. Those taking this evaluation in the 2017-2018 school year are only required to complete the edTPA to qualify for certification. Individuals who take the edTPA in the 2018-2019 school year will be expected to score within one error below the national average recommended passing score for the edTPA to pass.

Step 3: Pass Praxis Certification Tests

Those who have earned a 3.0 GPA need to score 153 or more on the Music: Content Knowledge Praxis. With a GPA of 2.75 or more but less than 3.0 it is necessary to score 168 on this test to qualify for certification.

Step 4: Apply For Certification

To receive your certificate you must fill out an application form and send it, along with any documents needed to prove you have met the certification requirements, to the New Jersey State Board of Education. You are also required to pay a $170 application fee.

Teacher Certification Resources

Those who plan to teach music must pass a Music: Content Knowledge exam and can use materials available through the link provided here to prepare for that test.


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