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How to Become a Teacher in North Carolina

Published by Nanni on Sunday, October 07, 2012

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Teachers are in high demand in North Carolina. In 2011, North Carolina had one of the highest certification rates in the United States. The requirements for becoming a teacher in North Carolina are very straight-forward, but require hard work and dedication.

Higher Education

The first step that any potential teacher must take is the completion of an appropriate education program. These can include level specific programs, such as special education, elementary, secondary and high school. Candidates may also complete programs in almost any area such as mathematics, language, history and science. North Carolina requires a Bachelors degree or higher in any of these programs before you can become a teacher.

During your coursework, you will be required to serve as an intern at local school appropriate to your teaching program. For more information on teaching programs, speak with an advisor at the college of your choice about which programs are available.

As an alternative, lateral entry programs are available. These are available if you haven’t completed a teacher education program or haven’t earned a teaching certification. In order to apply for these programs, you must first contact a potential employer to see if they support the program. If you are accepted, you will serve as a teacher and student for two years while you complete the teacher education program and obtain your certification. If for any reason you don’t complete the requirements, you will lose your position at the school of your choice.


Upon graduation, you must earn your certification before becoming a teacher in North Carolina. Two tests are required to test your competency in your chosen area of expertise. These tests will evaluate your skills in both basic teaching and student needs and area specific skills. The first is the Praxis I or Pre Professional Skills Test. The second is the Praxis II which is the area specific test. These tests both require considerable concentration and extensive knowledge of any subject matter you may be teaching.

Out of State

If you are a teacher in another state, you may able to transfer your credentials to North Carolina. North Carolina currently supports 45 states.


Upon completion of the above requirements, you may contact the NC Department of Public Instruction to receive your teaching license. You will be required to provide your college transcript to prove completion of an approved program, your social security number and test scores.


The first step after receiving your license is to see which schools are hiring. You don’t have to live in the same school district that you teach in. Even if a school isn’t hiring, you may submit your application for future consideration.

After receiving a position, you will receive tenure after your first four years.

North Carolina requires their teachers to be highly educated and uses accredited college programs to prepare potential teachers for all types of classroom situations such as special needs children, children of different races and genders and the appropriate ways to deal with parents. North Carolina teachers are required to have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, certification and a license.

For more information on testing, benefits and lateral entry programs, see the NC Department of Public Education.

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