New Jersey High School Teacher Requirements

Jan 02, 2019

There are 4 or 5 steps involved in becoming a certified high school teacher in New Jersey, depending on which subject you are pursuing certification in. Academic and practical training and testing requirements must be met to earn certification.

High school teachers in New Jersey earn the 4th-highest average salaries paid to high school teachers in the United States. Some teachers, such as music and physical education teachers, are certified to teach all grades from PreK to 12 and may opt to work in a high school. Other high school teachers specifically prepare to teach subjects such as social studies, theatre or chemistry.

New Jersey Teacher Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in New Jersey (2016)* $75,250 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Various Subjects and Education
Testing Requirements edTPA; Praxis

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

A recognized teacher preparation program must be completed to qualify for the Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing (CEAS), which is the main teaching certificate in New Jersey. This program can be completed after earning a bachelor's degree from an accredited program or as part of an individual's studies towards their bachelor's degree.

All CEAS applicants are expected to meet the physiology and hygiene course requirement. This can be done by taking military training, by completing a college course in biology, nutrition or health, or by passing a 35-question True/False exam.

Approved teacher preparation programs combine academic and practical training. Students must take a number of education courses, covering topics like student development and how to create a curriculum. Student teaching assignments are also part of approved teacher preparation programs. Completing an approved teacher preparation program ensures that CEAS applicants have the practical and academic skills needed for a career in education.

The academic requirements to qualify for a high school CEAS vary depending on the subject area. Aspiring music teachers would need to take a set number of music courses, for example.

CEAS subject areas that require at least 12 credits at the junior, senior or graduate level and an additional 18 credits at any level in their chosen subject area include:

  • Music
  • Physics
  • Spanish
  • Theater
  • Social Studies
  • Technology
  • Speech Arts and Dramatics
  • Mathematics
  • Physical Science
  • Physical Education
  • Art
  • English
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
  • Health
  • Reading

Step 2: Pass edTPA Certification Test

The edTPA is an evaluation of an applicant's practical teaching skills. As of the 2017-2018 school year there was no minimum score required to pass the edTPA. In the 2018-2019 school year the passing score will be one error less than the recommended national passing grade for the edTPA. Those who take the edTPA in the 2019-2020 school year will need to meet standards introduced by the state of New Jersey in that year.

Step 3: Pass Praxis Certification Tests

In order to be certified, aspiring teachers need to take the appropriate Praxis tests for the subject they plan to teach. Passing scores are based on graduating with a 3.0 GPA; however, with higher test scores it is possible to pursue certification with a GPA of 2.75 or more. The specific passing scores vary from subject to subject.

One subject-area Praxis test is required for those planning to teach subjects such as:

  • Art
  • English
  • Health & Physical Education
  • Reading
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • World Languages such as Spanish or French
  • Theater
  • Social Studies
  • Mathematics

Individuals planning to teach science subjects must pass the General Science: Content Knowledge Praxis, as well as the content knowledge test for their chosen subject area. This applies to those planning to teach:

  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Physics
  • Biology

Those who are pursuing their Physical Science CEAS must pass the General Science: Content Knowlege test, the Chemistry: Content Knowledge exam and the Physics: Content knowledge test.

To earn the Speech Arts and Dramatics CEAS it is necessary to pass both the Speech Communication: Content Knowledge and Theater exams.

Step 4: Fulfill Oral Proficiency Requirements, If Applicable

This step applies to those who are seeking certification to teach a foreign language, such as Spanish. These individuals must complete an oral proficiency interview and earn at least an Advanced Low grade to qualify for the CEAS. Proficiency testing also applies to American Sign Language CEAS applicants.

Step 5: Apply For Certification

To receive your CEAS you must send the New Jersey State Department of Education the following:

  • An application fee of $170
  • A completed application form
  • Required documents, such as transcripts, a record of professional experience and oath of allegiance form

Teacher Certification Resources

The specific Praxis tests that a high school teacher in New Jersey needs to take vary depending on which subject area they plan to teach. Use the link here to access study guides to prepare for your Praxis exams.

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