Guide to Becoming a Teacher in New Jersey
New Jersey’s educators are among the nation’s most well compensated and are currently in high demand. For New Jersey’s future teachers, ToBecomeATeacher.org has compiled everything required to get started. This page describes the key steps you’ll need to take to achieve your goal and obtain a teaching position in New Jersey.
1. Choosing a Program: The first step is finding a teaching program that reflects your budget and career goals.
- Finding an appropriate program is essential but never easy. What is important to you ? Are you concerned about the cost of the program or the amount of debt you might incur along the way? Does the program’s graduation rate or job placement rate matter to you? Is program reputation an issue? Is there a specific specialization you hope to pursue and does the program offer this specialization? All of these are critical questions to ask when selecting a program.
2. Planning for Licensure in New Jersey: To become a licensed teacher in New Jersey, you must complete at least a bachelor’s degree and an approved education program and write and pass the state’s teacher licensure exams.
3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed your education and passed the applicable exams, you can begin searching for a job and launch your teaching career in New Jersey.
- At this point, it is important to consider the type of teaching environment in which you hope to work. Is there a specific area of the state in which you hope to find a teaching position? What are your lifestyle priorities and salary expectations? What are your long-term career goals? Are you interested in eventually moving into to school administration? During this stage of the process, you should also keep developing your resume, engaging in professional development activities and acquiring additional teaching experience. This will ensure you are ready to launch your job search in New Jersey.
Choosing an Education Program in New Jersey
If you are worried about selecting the right education program, don’t be. ToBecomeATeacher.org has made this once difficult process easy. Using a complex algorithm, we have reviewed and ranked the state’s top education programs. Among other factors, our team has analyzed total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings, return on investment and much more.
Every school ToBecomeATeacher.org profilers below has shown exemplary dedication to offering education of the highest caliber to aspiring teachers. These programs comprise New Jersey’s very best. Find out which ones stand above the rest by reviewing the information posted below.
New Jersey City University
The College of New Jersey
Montclair State University
William Paterson University of New Jersey
College of Saint Elizabeth
|#||Name||Expense Score||Acceptance Rate Score||Graduation Rate Score||ROI/Value Score||Student to Faculty Score|
|1||New Jersey City University||10||10||3.85||10||3.1|
|2||The College of New Jersey||6.2||9.8||10||6.2||5.5|
|4||Montclair State University||8.7||7.6||7.39||8.7||0.53|
|6||William Paterson University of New Jersey||8.1||7.3||5.7||8.1||3.1|
|9||College of Saint Elizabeth||3.1||9.3||6.39||3.1||10|
Ranking Factors Explained
Our ranking data is based upon Collegescorecard.gov, IPEDS, and the Carnegie Foundation data sets.
How to Become a Teacher in New Jersey
There are several pathways to teacher licensure in New Jersey designed to meet the needs of aspiring teachers at different points in the career cycle:
- Pathway 1: The first pathway to teacher licensure, designed for undergraduates, entails completing a degree in education and writing and passing the state’s applicable exams. Notably, in New Jersey, it is also possible to complete a five-year joint BA/MA program leading to teacher licensure. For example, students at Rutgers University can opt to complete a bachelor’s degree in one of the university’s undergraduate majors and then spend an additional year gaining a master’s degree in education.
- Pathway 2: The second common pathway to teaching in New Jersey is to complete a bachelor’s degree and then to complete a master’s degree (e.g., a M.A.T.) leading to teacher licensure; once again, candidates must write and pass the state’s required Praxis exams.
- Pathway 3: A third option is to pursue a Certificate of Eligibility; this is available to highly qualified personnel who have not yet completed a teacher preparation program. In order to qualify, one must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher with at least a 2.75 GPA and for subject area endorsements (e.g., in English, history or mathematics) have completed at least 30 credits in the subject field. Candidates must also complete 24-hours of instruction and write and pass the state’s applicable Praxis exams before a Certificate of Eligibility can be issued. While working as a teacher under this license, candidates are enrolled in a Provisional Teacher Program and work under the mentorship of an experienced teacher or school administrator. Upon the successful completion of the two-year program, a standard teaching certificate is issued.
What is the Teaching Job Outlook in the State of New Jersey?
New Jersey is home to one of the nation’s largest and most well-compensated teaching populations. In 2015, the state reported employing 5,500 kindergarten teachers, 46,440 elementary teachers, 23,150 middle school teachers and 32,170 high school teachers. Not only do New Jersey over 100,000 teachers start out making more money than teachers in any other U.S. state, their average salaries remain highly competitive over the career cycle. While New York State’s and California’s teachers generally report higher salaries, given New Jersey’s lower taxes, the state’s teachers are often still better off than their counterparts in state’s with slightly higher paid teachers.
Job prospects for New Jersey teachers are expected to hold steady in the coming years. While the state’s population is not growing rapidly and the state is not suffering from a teacher shortage (notably, unlike many U.S. states, New Jersey does not have difficulty attracting qualified personnel to the profession), jobs are expected to continue opening up, especially due to anticipated retirements statewide.
What Resources are Available to Teachers in New Jersey?
- The primary governing body for education in New Jersey is the New Jersey Department of Education, which is a key source of information on educational policies, curricular initiatives and assessment activities.
- New Jersey teachers are represented by what is considered by many observers to be the nation’s most powerful teacher’s union—New Jersey Education Association.
- New Jersey teachers are also represented by other teacher’s organizations, including the American Federation of Teachers-New Jersey and many local (county based) organizations.
- Subject-based teacher’s organizations include the New Jersey Council for History Education, New Jersey Council for Social Studies and New Jersey Science Teachers Association.
What online programs are available to potential teachers in New Jersey?
Rutgers University offers an online master’s degrees in adult education and music education. For aspiring principals, Seton Hall University offers an online M.A. in Educational Leadership, Management and Policy. Caldwell University offers a hybrid online/on campus M.A. in Educational Leadership. At Rowan University, it is possible to complete M.A. and Ed.D degrees online in several concentrations, including educational leadership, special education and teacher leadership.