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Teacher Certification Requirements in New York

Becoming a teacher in New York means working in a state that employs some of the highest numbers of teachers in the country and pays them the top average wages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. See what it takes to get certified to become a teacher in the Empire State.

Info About New York Teaching Careers

From preschool through high school, New York state has the top paid teachers in the country on average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for 2018. It is also one of the largest employers of teachers. All New York teachers need a state teaching certificate, which involves education, testing and more. Specifics may vary depending on the grade level and content area, but there are general requirements that all aspiring teachers, preschool through high school, need to meet.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree and teacher preparation program
Exams Required edTPA
EAS (Educating All Students) exam
CST (Content Specialty Test)
Certificate 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)* $48,630 (preschool)
$79,410 (kindergarten)
$83,010 (elementary school)
$83,490 (middle school)
$85,300 (high school)
Estimated Job Growth (nationwide, 2016-2026)* 10% (preschool)
7% (kindergarten and elementary school)
8% (middle and high school)

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

Education and Experience Requirements

All New York teachers need to complete a bachelor's degree program and a teacher preparation program. The traditional option is to complete the teacher preparation program as part of a bachelor's degree in education for the desired subject or grade level. However, there are options for those who already have a bachelor's degree in a different area, like completing teacher training through a master's degree program or an alternative teacher preparation program that doesn't lead to another degree. The New York State Education Department provides information about all the available pathways to certification on its website.

Exam Requirements

Teaching certificate candidates must also pass New York State Teacher Certification Exams (NYSTCE). Most teaching certificates require the following tests:

  • edTPA, a performance evaluation that assesses candidates' skills in a classroom
  • Educating All Students (EAS) exam (201), which covers methods for teaching different student populations, English language learners, students with special needs and more. The cost is $92 as of 2019, and the exam requires a passing score of 520.
  • Content Specialty Test (CST), which tests candidates' knowledge of the subject they want to teach, from biology to music to math, and how to teach it. Passing scores and test fees depend on the exam.

Application Process

Once candidates have completed their education and passed the exams, they need to apply for certification online using the TEACH system. Candidates who completed a state-approved teacher preparation program will pay an application fee of $50 as of 2019. They will also need to submit relevant documents that will be indicated during the application process but could include official transcripts and proof of experience.

Before completing an application, candidates will also need to submit:

  • Proof of DASA training. Six hours of DASA training, for bullying and discrimination prevention, with a state-approved provider is required. A list of approved providers is on the state education department's website.
  • Fingerprints for a background check. The state education department has a link to an approved vendor on its website. This cost is about $100 as of 2019.

Certification Renewal and Advancement Requirements

Once an application is approved, teachers will receive their initial certification. It is good for five years. After that time, teachers will need to apply for a professional teaching certificate. To qualify for a professional teaching certificate, teachers will need to earn a master's degree, if they don't already have one, and acquire three years of teaching experience.