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How to Become a High School Teacher in New York State

New York is the third-largest employer of high school teachers of any state in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Learn how to become certified to teach there.

New York State High School Teacher Career Overview

As of May 2018, New York state employed 74,830 high school teachers and paid them the highest of any state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. High school teachers usually teach grades 9 through 12, and they specialize in a certain subject. Aspiring high school teachers in New York will need to get a certificate in classroom teaching.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree and teacher preparation program
Exams Required edTPA; EAS (Educating All Students); CST (Content Speciality Tests)
License Validity Period 5 years for initial certificate
Advancement Requirements Master's degree and 3 years of teaching experience to advance to professional certificate
Mean Salary (2018) $85,300*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 8 percent (for high school teachers nationwide)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Step 1: Get the Education and Experience Required

To get a classroom teaching certificate in New York, applicants need to have completed a bachelor's degree and an approved teacher preparation program that includes supervised experience in a classroom. The most traditional route is to complete a teacher preparation program as part of a bachelor's degree. However, those who already have a bachelor's degree in a different area can enroll in an approved graduate program for teacher preparation. Or, those who already have a bachelor's degree with expertise in a specific subject (like science or math, for example) can enroll in an approved alternative certification program, which doesn't result in another degree but trains candidates in teaching. Detailed information about the different certification routes can be found on the New York State Education Department's website.

Step 2: Take the Certification Exams

Once the relevant education and training program is completed, aspiring educators need to take the relevant New York State Certification Exams. This includes the edTPA exam, which assesses their skills in teaching, lesson planning and more. They will also need to take the EAS (Educating All Students) exam, which costs $92 as of 2019 and requires a passing score of 520. Content Speciality Test (CST) exams are also required for the subject area the applicant wants to teach (for example, social studies, English Language Arts or more). Passing scores and fees vary by exam. Applicants can register for these tests online at the New York State Teacher Certificate Examinations website.

Step 3: Complete the Certification Application Process

Applicants apply for certification online through the TEACH system on the New York State Education Department website. The application fee will be $50 or $100, depending on the pathway to certification, as of 2019. Applicants must also send documents, like college transcripts and other proof of experience, to the Office of Teaching Initiatives. The necessary documents will be indicated during the application process. Fingerprinting for a background check is also required and costs around $100 as of 2019. The applicant is also required to attend a DASA training, about bullying and discrimination prevention, with an approved provider from the state education department; a list is available online.

Step 4: Understand License Renewal and Validity Requirements

An initial teaching certification is valid for five years. During that time, teachers need to work toward a professional teaching certificate. To get this advanced certificate, teachers must complete an approved master's degree program (if they haven't already) and have three years of teaching experience, including mentored experience.