How to Become an Elementary Teacher in New Jersey

Jan 02, 2019

To qualify for a career as an elementary teacher in New Jersey it is necessary to earn a degree, fulfill the teacher preparation training requirements and pass the edTPA and elementary education: multiple subjects content knowledge test.

In New Jersey, elementary education teachers are qualified to equip students in grades 1 through 6 with the educational foundation they need to succeed. While the national average annual rate of pay for elementary teachers is $59,020, elementary teachers in New Jersey take home an average salary of $68,810 per year.

New Jersey Elementary Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in New Jersey (2016)* $68,810 (Elementary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Liberal Arts; Elementary/Early Childhood Education
Testing Requirements edTPA; Praxis

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

Those who plan to pursue their Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS) to qualify to teach in New Jersey must earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited program and complete an approved teacher preparation program. They can fulfill the teacher preparation requirements as part of their undergraduate degree studies or through a post-degree program. The teacher preparation involves completing education courses and student teaching assignments so that educators enter the field with academic knowledge and practical skills.

As part of their studies they must satisfy the physiology and hygiene requirement via a course in biology, nutrition or health; by completing basic military training; or by passing a 35-question true/false exam at a county office of education. If applicants choose an area of study outside of elementary education, they must also complete 60 liberal arts credits, which can include studies in mathematics, science, literature and history.

Typically, teachers in New Jersey are expected to graduate with a 3.0 GPA. With higher Praxis test scores those with a 2.75 GPA or more can also qualify.

Step 2: Pass edTPA Certification Test

All Certificate of Eligibility (CE) and CEAS applicants must take the edTPA. This is an evaluation of the individual's practical teaching skills.

For the 2017-2018 school year, CE and CEAS applicants must complete the edTPA but don't have a passing score requirement they need to meet. Those who take the test during the 2018-2019 school year must score within one standard error below the national average passing score. As of the 2019-2020 school year New Jersey will introduce their own passing score requirements for the edTPA.

Step 3: Pass Praxis Certification Tests

Elementary teachers in New Jersey must pass the Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects Praxis. This covers testing in mathematics, reading and language arts, science and social studies. They can choose to take all the exams at once, individually or coupled. Whichever way they choose to do it, a score of 157 or higher is needed to pass the mathematics and reading and language arts subtests. Earning a score of 155 is enough to pass the social studies subtest and the science subtest requires a score of 159 or more.

Applicants with a GPA that is less than 3.0 but 2.75 or higher can qualify for certification by earning higher scores on the subtests. To do that, a score of 173 is needed for these applicants to pass the reading and language arts and mathematics subtests. They must earn 175 or higher on their science subtest, and to pass the social studies subject they must score 171 or more.

Step 4: Apply For Certification

When applying for certification, the following must be submitted to the New Jersey State Department of Education:

  • A completed application form
  • Payment of $170 application fee
  • Documents needed to establish certification eligibility

Teacher Certification Resources

To prepare for the Praxis tests to qualify for elementary teacher certification in New Jersey, you can use the study guide materials linked to here.

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