How to Become a Teacher North Carolina

how to become a teacher in North Carolina

It is time to become a North Carolina teacher. If you didn’t earn a bachelor’s degree in Education, it does not mean your opportunity to become a teacher in North Carolina is over. In five steps, you can transition into a new career. You can follow this guide to realize your dream of becoming a North Carolina teacher.

This is not a journey to take alone. Organize your steps and find partners. We have started the work for you and outlined the steps to becoming a North Carolina teacher. Use the links in this guide and reach out to the suggested resources. We want to help you. Let’s get started!

Becoming a Teacher in North Carolina

1. Obtain a Teaching Degree

To become a teacher in North Carolina, you must hold a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher education program. If you major in education, your university will guide you through the steps to becoming a certified teacher in North Carolina. If you have a bachelor’s degree outside of education and did not complete a teacher preparation program, you can earn a teaching license through lateral entry.

2. Complete Student Teaching Requirements

Candidates must complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. In North Carolina, primary and secondary teachers must complete at least 10 weeks of student teaching in a primary or secondary school setting. You can view a list of approved teacher training programs through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website.

3. Take Required Testing

The State Board of Education Certification testing in North Carolina is run by the State Board of Education (SBE). Test registration is available on the Pearson and Praxis websites. All candidates seeking a North Carolina Teaching License must fulfill the pedagogy assessment requirement by taking one of the following exams:

Candidates will also need to register and pass the required tests based on which certification they are seeking.

4. Apply for Certification

Once you have completed a state-approved teacher preparation program and passed the required North Carolina Teacher Certification Examinations, you can apply for certification through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. You must have the following documents ready to upload to your application.

  • Degree-dated transcripts
  • Licensure content examinations
  • Valid and current educator license from another state (if applicable)
  • Forms

5. Apply to a Teaching Position

Once you have received your teaching license, you can apply for a teaching position. You can research specific districts by using their website to view job listings or search for jobs in the entire state of North Carolina by using the job search filter on NC.gov. To have a successful job search, you must write a resume and cover letter tailored to your desired position. Also, think of at least two professors, colleagues, or supervisors who can serve as references for you during your job search.

How to Become a Teacher at Various Grade Levels

After you pass your North Carolina Pedagogy assessment, you must choose a subject & grade level-specific test.


  • Preschool/Elementary:
    • (none) Birth through Kindergarten
    • (Pearson 190 & Pearson 203 Mathematics subtest or Praxis 7813 CKT Math subtest) Elementary (K-6)
  • Middle Grades 6-9:
    • (5047) Language Arts
    • (5164) Mathematics
    • (5442) Science
    • (5089) Social Studies
  • Secondary 9-12:
    • (5081 & 5624) Anthropology
    • (5235 or 5236) Biology (5235 expiring Aug 2023)
    • (5245 or 5246 & 5624) Chemistry (5245 expiring Aug 2023)
    • (5571 or 5572) Earth Science (5571 expiring Aug 2023)
    • (5081 & 5624) Economics
    • (5038 & 5624) English 
    • (5174 or ACTFL OPI & WPT) French
    • (5081 & 5624) Geography
    • (5183 or ACTFL OPI & WPT) German
    • (5081 & 5624) History
    • (560) Latin
    • (5165 & 5624) Mathematics
    • (5265 or 5266) Physics (5265 expiring Aug 2023)
    • (5081 & 5624) Political Science
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Russian
    • (5435 or 5436 & 5624) Science (comprehensive) (5435 expiring Aug 2023)
    • (5081 & 5624) Social Studies (comprehensive) 
    • (5081 & 5624) Sociology
    • (5195 or ACTFL OPI & WPT) Spanish
  • Special Subject Areas (K-12):
    • (NTID Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI)) American Sign Language (ASL)
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Arabic
    • (5135) Art
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Chinese (Mandarin or Cantonese)
    • (5362) English as a Second Language
    • (5174 or ACTFL OPI & WPT) French
    • (5183 or ACTFL OPI & WPT) German
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Greek, Modern
    • (5857) Health and Physical Education
    • (5551) Health Specialist
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Hebrew
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Hindi
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Italian 
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Japanese 
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Korean
    • (5601) Latin
    • (5114) Music
    • (5091) Physical Education
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Portuguese
    • (5206) Reading (bachelor’s level)
    • (5302) Reading (graduate level)
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Russian
    • ( 5195 or ACTFL OPI & WPT) Spanish
    • (5221) Speech Communication
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT –  if available) Swahili
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) Turkish
    • (ACTFL OPI & WPT) – if available) Other Foreign Language
    • (NCDPI Safety and Traffic Education Program) Safety and Driver Education
  • Exceptional Children (K-12):
    • (none) Academically or Intellectually Gifted 
    • (5545 & 5511) Special Education: Adapted Curriculum
    • (Core Knowledge – Praxis II 5543, Pearson 190, Pearson 203- Mathematics subtest or Praxis 7813: CKT Math subtest) Special Education: General Curriculum
    • (5372 & 5511) Behaviorally/Emotionally Disabled
    • (5354 & 5511) Cross Categorical
    • (5322 & 5511) Mentally Disabled
    • (5322 & 5511) Severely Profoundly Mentally Disabled
    • (5383 & 5511) Learning Disabled
    • (5282) Visually Impaired
  • Career/Technical Education (6-12):
    • (5421) Family and Consumer Sciences
    • (5561) Marketing Education
    • (5051) Technology Education
    • (5101) Business Education
  • Student Services Personnel:
    • (5421 or 5422) School Counselor (5421 expiring Aug 2023)
    • (5402 or 5403) School Psychologist (5402 expiring Aug 2023)
    • (5311 or 5312) Media Coordinator (5311 expiring Aug 2023)
    • (NCBOESLPA Requirements) Audiologist 
    • (NCBOESLPA Requirements) Speech-Language Pathologist
  • Administrative/Supervisory
    • (5421) Curriculum- Instructional Specialist
    • (5412) Media Specialist
    • (5412) Exceptional Children Program Administrator

Renewing Your Teaching Certification

Once you obtain your North Carolina Professional Teaching Certificate, you must renew it every five years. To renew, educators must complete the required continuing education hours and complete a renewal application before April 15th of the last year of the certificate’s validity. Complete steps to renew your teaching certificate are on the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website.

Teaching Job Outlook and Salary in North Carolina

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction the annual starting salary of a teacher in 2022-2023 was $37,000, with the average base salary estimated to be $50,575. In North Carolina, employees are paid on a state salary schedule, but a local district may provide a local supplement. Be sure to research district pay scales before filling out your job applications.

North Carolina Counties With the Highest Salaries

When you combine the state’s average base salary ($50, 575) with the district’s local supplement, it creates a wide range of annual salaries for teachers in varying districts. In 2022-2023 the average state-wide local supplement was estimated to be around $6,053. In some of the highest-paying districts, the average local supplement was as high as $10,135. The average annual pay for teachers in the following school districts ranged from $58,000 to $60,000 annually in 2022-2023. The following school districts offered the top pay for North Carolina teachers.

Chapel-Hill/Carrboro City Schools($60,710)local supplement: $10,135

Wake County ($60,040) local supplement:  $9,465

Charlotte-Mecklenburg County ($59,920) local supplement:  $9,345

New Hanover County Schools ($59,590) local supplement: $9,015

Durham County ($58,989) local supplement: $8,414

Can You Be a Teacher Without a Degree in North Carolina?

The short answer is no. A bachelor’s degree and completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program are required to be a fully-certified classroom teacher in North Carolina. However, you can become a teacher’s assistant by holding a high school diploma or its equivalent and having a CDA credential or working towards a degree in education by completing at least six semester hours per year. In 2016,  TA to Teachers was established to reimburse five teacher assistants up to $4,600 per year for up to four years to complete coursework to become certified teachers.

Frequently Asked Questions about Teaching in North Carolina

Which teaching positions are in-demand?

The US Department of Education reported in 2022-2023 that North Carolina had a teacher shortage in Special Education K-12, Mathematics 6-12, and Science 6-12. You can view in-demand teaching positions on the US Department of Education website by filtering teacher shortage reports.

What is the average salary for teachers in North Carolina?

According to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction the annual average base salary of a teacher in 2022-2023 was $50,575. Each district’s salary can differ based on what bonuses and supplemental pay are offered after the state’s base salary.

How long does it take to become a teacher in North Carolina?

Once you complete your bachelor’s degree, which takes approximately four years, you must complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. When you finish your teacher preparation program, you will then take your initial North Carolina examinations and apply for a North Carolina teacher certification. You should be ready to teach in North Carolina in less than five years!

How much does it cost to become a teacher in North Carolina?

Becoming a teacher in North Carolina requires a financial commitment. The main initial cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree will vary widely from person to person. There are several resources available to help teachers pay for their degrees. If you are majoring in education or are going directly into the field upon graduation, look into grant and loan programs. You can find information about finance and grants on the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website. First-time candidates can also apply for National Board Certification Funding.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, other costs are associated with becoming a North Carolina teacher. Some potential costs are a teacher preparation program (about $6,000 plus fees), state certification tests ($130-$150 per exam), and state licensure fees ($30-$70). Plan for the financial costs, and your teaching career will be off to a great start.

What other certifications can teachers in North Carolina obtain?

Many! Once certified to teach in North Carolina, you may add another licensure by taking all required testing for that area of study.  Once you pass the required exams, you must submit a completed application package to add the area of study to your certificate.


Are you ready to be a North Carolina certified teacher? 240 can help! 240Tutoring.com offers FREE North Carolina exam resources to help you master your certification tests. When you subscribe to 240 Tutoring, you will gain access to every 240 North Carolina Study Guide for one monthly price. With the 240 Tutoring Pass Guarantee, it is no wonder that so many are choosing 240 to pass their North Carolina exams. We wish you the best on your journey to becoming a North Carolina certified teacher!

Interested in becoming a teacher in a different state? Check out these additional articles:

How to Become a Teacher in Texas
How To Become a Teacher in Florida
How to Become a Teacher in Illinois
How to Become a Teacher in Ohio
How to Become a Teacher in Tennessee
How to Become a Teacher in Virginia
How to Become a Teacher in Wisconsin
How to Become a Teacher in Colorado
How to Become a Teacher in Arkansas