New York State Teacher Certification Requirements

Jul 03, 2020

Prospective teachers in the State of New York can opt to pursue certification to teach elementary, middle school, or secondary school students. Teachers may also choose to concentrate on obtaining their qualifications to teach a specific subject, such as mathematics, visual arts, physical education or technology. In order to obtain their initial certificate they must complete postsecondary education requirements, pass several exams, fulfill student teaching requirements, attend workshops, pass a background check and pay exam and application fees.

New York Teacher Certification Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in New York (2019)* $78,140 (Kindergarten); $82,830 (Elementary School); $87,050 (Middle School); $87,240 (High School)
Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in New York (2019)* $81,660 (Kindergarten and Elementary School); $87,440 (Middle School); $83,890 (High School)
Average Salary for Career/Technical Education Teachers in New York (2019)* $85,700 (Middle School); $78,940 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education
Testing Requirements edTPA, EAS, CST

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Education Requirements

The State of New York has approved several postsecondary programs that fulfill the academic requirements for teacher certification in the state. Students may opt to pursue education programs that are targeted towards teaching specific age groups, such as childhood education (grades 1-6), middle childhood education (grades 5-9), or adolescent secondary education (grades 7-12). They may also opt to pursue a degree in a specific education subject area, such as mathematics education or visual arts education. Choosing the appropriate program that is designed for the subject or age group that the individual wants to teach is important because these programs are designed to incorporate core course requirements in the appropriate subject areas. For example, a student preparing to teach technology may need to earn 30 credits or more in technology education courses while someone planning to teach visual arts may need more than 50 fine arts credits in their bachelor's program. All education programs include student teaching assignments and core education courses that prepare graduates to enter the field of education, and many programs include courses in subjects such as human development and special needs education. Upon graduation, those who have completed a degree through an approved pathway program must obtain a letter of recommendation to qualify to receive their teacher certification.

Step 2: Pass Certification Exams


The edTPA is a performance-based assessment where teachers document materials and lesson plans used during student teaching experiences in a portfolio to be submitted for review. Teachers also record video of themselves teaching in a classroom as part of the portfolio.

Elementary school teachers currently need to earn a score of 46 to pass the edTPA. As of 2020 they will need a score of 47 to pass, and the passing score will increase again to 48 as of 2022.

World language teachers are currently expected to earn a score of 32. This requirement increases to 33 in 2020, and world language teachers will need to score 34 to pass as of 2022.

All other teachers are currently expected to receive a score of 38 or higher to pass the edTPA. In 2020 the passing score for all other teachers will increase to 39, and the passing score will increase again to 40 in 2022.


Teachers of all subjects and age groups must pass the Educating All Students (EAS) exam in order to qualify for certification. The passing score is 500. This test costs $92, which must be paid when registering to take the exam.


Content Specialty Test (CST) requirements must be met for teachers in all areas. The specific CST requirements for teachers depends on the subject or grade level that they will teach.

For example, those taking the Multi-Subject Teachers of Childhood (Grade 1 - Grade 6) or Multi-Subject: Teachers of Middle Childhood (Grade 5 - Grade 9) must take three tests to pass the CST. They are tested in literacy and language arts, mathematics, and arts and sciences. They must pay a total of $179 to take all three tests and earn a 520 or higher score on each test.

Those who are seeking their qualifications to teach a specific subject must take the CST for that subject area. These tests cost $134. The passing score requirements vary. For example, those taking the Mathematics CST must obtain a score of 520 to pass while those taking the Music CST need a score of 220.

Individuals pursuing their qualifications to teach students with disabilities must also pass a second CST. The Students With Disabilities CST costs $134 and a score of 520 is needed to pass this test.

Step 3: Complete Certification Requirements

All individuals pursuing the initial certificate must attend the Dignity For All Students Act workshop. They are also required to provide their fingerprints for a background check.

Step 4: Apply for Initial Certificate

Once all of the certification requirements have been met it is necessary to apply for the initial certificate. Those who graduated from an approved pathway program must pay a $50 fee and provide proof of their identity, as well as copies of their transcripts to demonstrate that they have completed all of the certification requirements.

Teacher Certification Resources

A link to a practice and study guide that will help you prepare to pass the EAS exam is provided here. Practice and study guides for some CST tests are also available and preparation resources for the Music CST and Multi-Subject - Teachers of Childhood (Grades 1-6) are linked to below.

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