If it’s your dream to be a teacher, you might be wondering, “What is the average teacher salary in North Carolina?” The latest data from Teach North Carolina shows that the average teacher salary in North Carolina is $54,392. In addition to a fast rate of salary growth, public school teachers in North Carolina enjoy benefits, including health insurance, a retirement plan, and paid leave.
Teaching is one of society’s most important jobs, and the requirements to become a teacher in North Carolina reflect that. You’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree, finish a teacher preparation program, and complete a teacher certification exam. Keep reading to have your questions answered about becoming a teacher in North Carolina.
What Is the Average Teacher Salary in North Carolina?
North Carolina’s average teacher salary was $54,392 in 2021. The current starting salary for first-year teachers is $35,000 throughout the state, and teachers enjoy a fast rate of salary growth that corresponds with their education level and years of experience. Many teachers also take on additional responsibilities like leading extracurriculars, allowing them to pursue their interests while increasing their pay.
What Is the Average Salary of a Teacher in the United States?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual wage for a high school teacher in the US is $61,820. While this is higher than the average salary for teachers in North Carolina, other states have salaries that correspond to a higher cost of living. Across the country, BLS reports that the job outlook for teachers is steady, with eight percent expected growth over the next 10 years.
Average Teacher Salary in North Carolina: K-12
|Level||Number Employed in North Carolina||Average Salary in North Carolina||Average Salary in the United States|
|Elementary School Teachers||40,230||$50,530||$61,400|
|Middle School Teachers||20,080||$50,630||$61,320|
|High School Teachers||1,180||$54,420||$61,820|
Basic Requirements to Become a Teacher in North Carolina: K-12
- Earn a bachelor’s degree. To become a teacher in North Carolina, you must earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. While you can choose a program focused on education, you can also study the subject you’d like to teach.
- Complete a teacher preparation program. You must also complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. If you don’t have a teaching degree, these programs fill the gaps by providing the training and education needed to become a successful teacher.
- Pass the required exams. Public school teachers at all levels need a teaching license. To become a licensed teacher, you must pass exams that cover the required knowledge and teaching skills.
- Check the rules around background checks. North Carolina does not require background checks at the state level, but policies will vary at the school district level. Be sure to check with your local board of education for instructions on completing a criminal background check.
- Submit the teaching license application. After completing all of the basic requirements, you may apply for a North Carolina educator license. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction will evaluate your qualifications and decide if you’re eligible for a teaching license.
How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher in North Carolina
You must be licensed and certified, as described above in order to become a kindergarten teacher. It’s important for kindergarten teachers to have a strong understanding of early childhood development in order to create an appropriate learning environment for their students.
Teaching young children is an ideal profession for people who like working with kids and can relate to them easily. You must be able to get down on their level and explain things in simple language that they can understand. Qualities like patience, playfulness, and resourcefulness will get you far as a kindergarten teacher.
How to Become an Elementary School Teacher in North Carolina
To become an elementary school teacher in North Carolina, you must have a bachelor’s degree, with bonus points if you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. You must also complete a teacher preparation program approved by the NC Department of Public Instruction and qualify for your teaching license.
As with kindergarten teachers, it’s ideal if you have an easy time relating to children. You must be able to develop relationships with your students and have strong interpersonal skills. Many elementary schools follow the classroom teacher model, in which you teach your class the entire core curriculum. With this, you should be comfortable teaching multiple subjects in an age-appropriate way.
How to Become a Middle School Teacher in North Carolina
It’s essential to earn a bachelor’s degree and complete a teaching certification to teach middle school. Students at this age often have subject-specific teachers, so if you’ve dreamed of becoming a math or social studies teacher, middle school might be a good fit for you. This means you can focus on getting a bachelor’s degree in a subject you’re passionate about.
You’ll need to complete a state-approved teacher preparation program designed for middle school teachers. Teaching children in this age group can be challenging, so you’ll need specific strategies to manage your classroom. You should be organized and confident with strong communication skills.
How to Become a High School Teacher in North Carolina
Many people enjoy teaching high school because teenagers are able to learn more advanced concepts. Along with the standard training and license requirements, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in the subject you want to teach, or one specifically focused on education to become a high school teacher in North Carolina.
Teaching high school is a great way to mentor students as they start to think about college and the workforce. You should have strong communication skills, be patient and driven, and have a passion for teaching. High school teachers in North Carolina also have opportunities for advancement in their careers by becoming lead teachers or school principals.
Average Teacher Salary in North Carolina: Other Types of Teachers
|Type||Number Employed North Carolina||Average Salary in North Carolina||Average Salary in the United States|
|Career/Technical Education Teachers||4,510||$54,030||$61,820|
|Adult Basic Education and ESL Teachers||4,090||$52,940||$59,720|
Requirements to Become a Teacher in North Carolina: Preschool
- Get your degree. North Carolina requires a minimum of an associate degree. However, public education teachers will benefit from a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a degree in psychology.
- Apply for a professional educator’s license. You’ll have to pass the Early Childhood Education exam in order to earn your teaching license. Your license will be valid for three years, and you must use that time to get three years of teaching experience.
- Upgrade and keep your license. To maintain your standard professional license, you must complete renewal credits on subjects like literacy and early childhood education. You can earn these credits by taking classes and workshops.
Requirements to Become a Teacher in North Carolina: Career and Technical Education
- Complete a period of fieldwork. Career and technical education professionals teach students of all ages useful technical skills for the workforce. One of the requirements for a teaching career in technical education is a period of fieldwork, which puts you in the classroom to learn how to teach these particular skills.
- Get work experience. To become a certified teacher in North Carolina, you must have at least three years of work experience. Teacher certification is granted by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction after meeting the requirements for an initial license.
- Be licensed or certified. To become a teacher in Career and Technical Education in North Carolina, you also need to be licensed or certified. To become licensed, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, complete an approved teacher preparation program, and pass the required exams.
Requirements to Become a Teacher in North Carolina: Adult Basic Education and ESL
- Earn a degree. At a minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to become an adult basic education or ESL teacher. A master’s degree, graduate coursework, or knowledge of a second language can be helpful and make you an attractive hire.
- Get your certification. As with other teaching jobs in North Carolina, a teaching license is required to teach adult basic education and ESL. Licenses are earned by taking exams specific to this teaching field.
- Develop your interpersonal skills. When teaching non-native English speakers and students with learning difficulties, you’ll need to be able to explain concepts in different ways and relate to people with different backgrounds. Working on your interpersonal skills will help you become an empathetic and effective teacher.
Requirements to Become a Substitute Teacher in North Carolina
- Get a diploma. You must have a high school diploma or its equivalent to become a substitute teacher. It’s not required to have a college degree, but it’s a plus if you want to advance your career.
- Complete in-service training. To work as a substitute teacher, you will need to complete some in-service training. This includes subjects like the educational system, the teacher’s role, classroom management, and how to deal with specific student behaviors.
- Check for background check requirements. A criminal background check may be a mandatory step to becoming a substitute teacher in your town. Check with your local school district to find out their screening requirements.
Average Teacher Salary in North Carolina: Special Education
|Special Education Level||Number Employed in North Carolina||Average Salary in North Carolina||Average Salary in the United States|
|Kindergarten and Elementary||5,160||$51,670||$67,090|
Requirements to Become a Teacher in North Carolina: Special Education
- Get the right teaching license. Due to the nature of special education, special education teachers need different licenses, often needing to pass several exams that focus on educational requirements and strategies to teach children with specific disabilities.
- Complete a special education certification program. To teach special education, you must complete a special education certification program. These programs are tailored to your level of post-graduate education and teach the skills needed to work with students with disabilities, parents, and other professionals.
- Gain experience in the role. Special education is a field that’s equally challenging and rewarding, and it takes time to learn the needs of your specific students and their learning styles. Along with education in this field, hands-on experience is the best way to grow as a teacher and help students learn and succeed.
Is a Teacher’s Salary in North Carolina Worth My Time and Money?
Yes, teachers in North Carolina are well compensated and have faster salary growth than the national average. According to the National Education Association (NEA), teachers earn $37,049 at the start of their careers and receive pay increases when they complete additional education or with years of service. On average, teachers in North Carolina earn $54,392 annually.
Just as importantly, teachers in North Carolina enjoy stable careers with excellent benefits. Along with strong medical, dental, and vision insurance, teachers receive a state pension that scales with years of service. There are also programs that can help with student loan forgiveness and housing assistance for North Carolina educators, making this a strong career choice.
Teacher Salary in North Carolina FAQ
Yes, the North Carolina state salary schedule for teachers sets the minimum starting salary at $35,460 for brand-new teachers with bachelor’s degrees. North Carolina teachers can expect steady salary growth, job security, and excellent benefits.
The average salary for a public school teacher in North Carolina is $54,392. Teachers who are just starting out make less, but you can earn more than the average over time and with the right education and certifications.
On average, preschool teachers in North Carolina earn $29,530 per year, according to BLS. Wage ranges can vary depending on the city you’re working in and factors such as education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have worked in your field.
A public school teacher in North Carolina will earn $54,392 on average. There are specific benefits to choosing a career in public education, including medical insurance, a state pension, and the transparency of a state-set salary scale.
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