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Become a High School Teacher in New Jersey

Starting a career as a high school teacher in New Jersey requires you to fulfil some prerequisites. Learn about the necessary degree you need to obtain, and the provisional period as a teacher before you become a fully certified New Jersey high school teacher.

Career Information for High School Teachers in New Jersey

To get started as a high school teacher in New Jersey, you'll need to earn a bachelor's degree in secondary education. You will study teaching methods and choose a concentration in the subject you want to teach in high school. The state requires you to pass Praxis tests before you can apply for a certificate.

Education/Experience RequiredBachelor's degree in secondary education with concentration subject area, teacher preparation program
Exams RequiredBasic skills assessment; Praxis Content Exam in subject area
Certificate ValidityCertificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing issued after completing exams and teacher education program (no extension required)
Certificate ExtensionStandard Certificate issued after finishing two years of training in the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP)
Average New Jersey Salary (2018)$76,390 for high school teachers
National Job Growth (2016-2026)8% for high school teachers*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

High school teachers instruct students from ninth through twelfth grade in a limited number of subjects. English teachers might teach literature and poetry, while science teachers focus on biology or physics. You could see several different sections throughout a given school day. You may be in charge of a homeroom of students, where they will report before starting their day, before receiving your own students for class. You'll establish rules of your own classroom while enforcing rules mandated for the rest of the school. If necessary, you can discuss student issues with administration members as well as parents of your students.

Education and Training Requirements

To teach high school in New Jersey, you'll need to earn a bachelor's degree in secondary education. You can supplement this degree with a major in the subject you want to teach, such as biology, physics, or english. Your courses will focus on teaching pedagogy and deep studies of your concentration area. During the later part of your degree, you'll participate in a student teaching experience. This will prepare you for the different aspects of certification throughout the New Jersey education department's approval process.

Exam Requirements

Before you take any exams in your content area, you'll need to pass a basic skills assessment. If you don't have recent scores on the SAT or ACT, you can fulfill this obligation with the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators test. This collection of exams comes with three sections: one in writing, one in math, and one in reading. Once you are done with this assessment, you can determine which Praxis content exams you need to take. Social studies and English teachers have one test to take in their respective areas, but science teachers will typically need to pass two exams. Along with content exams in earth and space science or chemistry, there is a requirement for the General Science: Content Knowledge test.

Certification Requirements

When you've finished your degree and passed your exams, you can obtain a Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing. This allows you to search for a full-time position as a teacher, and when you're hired, you're eligible for a Provisional certificate as part of the Provisional Teacher Program (PTP). During this period, generally two years, the NJ Department of Education will monitor your progress as a teacher, similar to your time as a student teacher while you were earning your degree. Once you have received all the necessary recommendations from your mentors, your Provisional certificate can be upgraded to a Standard Certificate, which is valid until you finish your career.