How to Get a Teaching License in Nevada
While there are several pathways to the end goal of teaching school in the state of Nevada, your options will vary, depending upon your level of education and experience.
Our guide can help you determine the right pathway for you at any point in your career. If you’re just beginning your education journey and need to know about the Nevada certification process, we have the information you’ll need. Or maybe you want to learn how to progress to advanced certification and earn an endorsement to specialize—or you’re currently a teacher looking to move to Nevada from another state.
The short video below gives a basic overview of what to expect as a certified teacher in Nevada.
Basic Requirements for Teachers
There are three certification types for teachers in Nevada. The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) oversees the licensure process and outlines all requirements for earning your teacher certification. Requirements include being a US citizen or lawful permanent resident, completing a background check, earning a bachelor’s degree, sending in your original college transcripts, passing all NDE required exams, and submitting a $161 fee along with your application.
If you are a new teacher, there are two certification options for you:
Non-Renewal License: This license is valid for three years. It is issued to teachers who are qualified to teach in Nevada but are missing certain coursework, testing or student teaching requirements. Your license will indicate what areas you are deficient in. While you hold this license, you must work towards completing those requirements. When you have met all the requirements, you will be awarded the standard license.
Standard License: For those who hold a bachelor’s degree and have met all of the NDE requirements, you will be awarded a standard license. It is valid for five years and can be renewed. To renew, you must complete six continuing education credits.
If you are an established Nevada teacher looking to advance your teaching credentials, you should apply for the third type of NDE teaching certification:
Professional License: Professional licenses are awarded to those who earn a master’s degree or higher. Earning a National Board Certification also qualifies you to earn a Nevada professional license. You must have at least three years of full-time teaching experience. A professional license is valid for six years and can be renewed by completing six continuing education credits.
Meet the Minimum Education Requirements for Nevada
Like most states, Nevada requires all teachers to earn a bachelor’s degree. Ideally, this degree will be in an education specialty. Your degree program will also include an academic preparation program. Completion of this program is required to earn licensure in Nevada. Before starting a degree program, make sure it includes an academic preparation program. If one is not included, the program may not be an NDE approved program.
Your degree program will also require that you complete a certain number of student teaching hours. Student teaching is required to earn a teaching certification in Nevada. As a student teacher, you will work with an experienced teacher in their classroom. Initially, you will observe the teacher and help as needed. Over the course of your time working with the teacher, you will become more hands-on. By the end of your student teaching experience, you should be planning and delivering lessons.
Pass the Nevada Certification Exams
There are three tests that you will need to pass to earn your standard teaching license in Nevada, depending on what grade level you seek to teach. To find out which test you will need to pass, read the test descriptions below.
Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: This exam must be taken by all teaching certification candidates. This exam is made up of three tests, you can take them all in one sitting or individually, however, all must be passed to earn certification. The tests cover reading, writing and math.
Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT): There are two different PLT exams offered. The exam you take should correspond with the grade level that you are trained to teach. One exam is for grades K-6 and the other is for grades 7-12. You must pass one of these tests to earn your Nevada standard teaching license.
Praxis II Content Area Tests: Not all teacher candidates will be required to pass a content area test. These tests are designed to test your knowledge in a specific subject area. Teachers interested in teaching at the higher grade level often teach in specific-subject classrooms, which require the teacher to be qualified to teach one subject. Those teachers must pass a content area test in the subject they seek to teach in order to be a qualified teacher. Teachers for the early grade levels often do not need to take a content area test.
To ensure that you are taking the right exams to earn your Nevada teaching license, contact the NDE.
Once you have completed all the necessary requirements, applying for your Nevada standard license is simple. First, make sure all of the required documents are submitted and that all of your test scores have been sent to the NDE. To officially apply you will need to complete an application form and submit a fee. If you meet all requirements you will be awarded a standard license. If the NDE indicates that you do not sufficiently meet the requirements, you will be awarded a non-renewable license and given a three-year period to fulfill all requirements.
How Much Do Teachers in Nevada Make?
You can use the chart below to estimate the average salary you may make as a teacher in Nevada. Your exact salary will vary depending on where in the state you teach, the school you teach in and even your training and experience level. For a more exact representation of the salary, you can make teaching in Nevada, contact the school district or school that you seek to teach in.
|Early Childhood Educator||$32,270|
|Elementary School Teacher||$54,810|
|Secondary School Teacher||$55,740|
|Special Education Teacher||$51,610|
Job Growth for Teachers through 2028
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics; *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
To teach in Nevada, your teacher certification must be specific to a certain age range or subject matter. You can find information on some of the certification areas below.
Early Childhood Education
In Nevada, early childhood education teachers work with students from birth up to second grade. To teach this age range, you must complete all NDE requirements that lead to earning a standard license. Your training and education should be geared towards early childhood education and should include coursework specific to teaching students under the age of six. Additionally, you must pass the Praxis “Early Childhood Education” and “Education of Young Children” exams to earn this certification.
Elementary – Middle School Teacher
Elementary school teachers in Nevada are certified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade (K-8). To earn certification for K-8, you must meet all NDE requirements and ensure that your training and education are specific to the K-8 age range. The exam that qualifies you to teach K-8 is the Praxis “Elementary Education: Instructional Practice and Applications;” you must pass it to earn certification.
A middle school license covers grades seventh to ninth. To teach middle school in Nevada, you must become qualified in a specific area of concentration. There are four concentration areas available for middle school teachers, and each has a corresponding Praxis exam: English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. You must pass one of these exams in addition to the “Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12” to become a certified middle school teacher in Nevada.
In addition to passing the required exams, you must complete all NDE standard license requirements mentioned at the beginning of this article. All of your teaching education and training must be focused on the middle school grade range and subject that you seek to teach.
Secondary School Teacher
Nevada secondary school teachers are certified to teach grades seven to twelve. If you seek licensure in this grade range, make sure all of you training and education has been geared towards this level. Along with completing all NDE licensure requirements, you must pass the PLT for 7-12 and a content area test. The content area test will qualify you to earn a specific endorsement. There are many endorsements available at the secondary level, from art to physical science. Before taking the test, make sure it is in the subject that you are trained to teach.
Substitute Teacher Certification
There are two options for those seeking to become a Nevada substitute teacher. You can earn a substitute teaching license or an emergency substitute teaching license.
Substitute Teaching License: This is awarded to any U.S. citizen or lawful permanent residence who has completed at least 60 semester hours or earned an associate’s degree. You must also complete a background check and pass the competency testing. This license permits you to substitute teach for any grade from K-12. To apply for a substitute teaching license, you must complete the appropriate NDE form and submit a $161 fee.
Emergency Substitute Teaching License: These can only be awarded by a school district. To qualify you must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent residence, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and submit a written request from the school district who seeks to employ you. With this license, you can teach K-12. The emergency substitute license is valid for three years and is nonrenewable. However, if you meet the requirements you can apply for a traditional substitute teaching license.
Physical Education (PE) Certification
PE teachers earn their standard license just like all other Nevada teachers do. However, to specialize in PE, you should make sure that all of your education is specific to PE. You will then earn a PE endorsement. Endorsements are earned by passing the specific content area test that corresponds to your area of concentration. For PE, you will take “Physical Education: Content and Design” Praxis exam. After passing this exam and meeting all NDE requirements, the NDE will review your application and determine if you are qualified to teach PE.
Special Education Certification
To teach special education in Nevada, you must earn a standard teaching license that is endorsed in a specific special education area. You can do this by completing all NDE licensure requirements in addition to training and earning an education specific to special education. Nevada has many special education endorsements and each has different requirements. Check with NDE to make sure you are meeting all requirements specific to your endorsement. Special education endorsements include:
|Adapted Physical Education||Alternative Education|
|Autism||Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)|
|Hearing Impairments||Intellectual Disabilities (Moderate to Intense)|
|Orientation and Mobility||Speech and Language Impairments|
|Visual Impairments||Early Childhood – Developmentally Delayed|
English as a Second Language Certification
English as a Second Language (ESL) is considered an endorsement in Nevada. To earn this endorsement, you will need to complete all NDE requirements towards earning a standard teaching license mentioned at the beginning of this article. The education, training and Praxis test that you complete should be geared towards teaching English as a Second Language.
Certifications for School Administrators
Becoming a school administrator in Nevada will require you to hold a valid teaching license, most commonly a professional teaching license. Candidates must also have a master’s degree and complete 24 graduate semester hours specific to administration of a school. An additional 12 graduate semester hours specific to an administrative program for educators should be completed, unless you hold a master’s degree or higher in educational administration. NDE also requires those seeking a school administrator endorsement to have at least three years of teaching experience.
Teaching Reciprocity Agreements in Nevada
Although teachers moving to the state of Nevada cannot automatically begin teaching prior to earning a Nevada teaching certification, the NDE does have reciprocity agreements that make the process of earning a certification relatively simple. The drive to create reciprocity between states started with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). They have worked with many states to create the Interstate Agreement. Within this agreement, each state creates a reciprocity statement that lays out what out-of-state teachers must do to earn reciprocity in their state. The basic guidelines laid forth by Nevada are as follows:
|NASDTEC Interstate Agreement||Yes, Nevada is a participating state.|
|State Grants Full Reciprocity||Yes. Regulations are in place that allow out-of-state teachers to earn full reciprocity.|
|Coursework Requirements||Certain teachers may need to complete additional coursework before earning a Nevada teaching certification. While completing the coursework you may be eligible to teach under a Non-Renewable license for one year.|
|Test-out or Exemption||There are no test-out-exemptions for coursework requirements.|
|Assessment Requirements||There are no additional assessment requirements for out-of-state teachers. If you have a valid teacher certification from your current state, it will be honored as proof that you passed all required examinations.|
|Different Requirements Based on Experience||There are no additional requirements based on your experience level as a teacher. As long as you hold a valid teacher certification and meet all requirements, you will earn reciprocity.|
|Performance Requirements||No proof of your performance as a teacher is necessary to transfer your out-of-state teaching license into a Nevada teaching license.|
|Special Reciprocity for Advanced Credentials||There are three licensing levels in Nevada: Non-Renewable, Standard and Professional. If your out-of-state license is comparable to the Professional NDE level or if you have a National Board Certification, you may be able to gain special reciprocity for a Professional teaching certification.|
Information reported by the Education Commission of the States.
Alternate Teaching Certification
While the traditional route to teaching in Nevada is a great option for those who start college knowing they want to teach, it isn’t always an option for those who find their passion for teaching later in life. Whether you’ve just graduated college or are looking to change your career, alternative pathways to earning your Nevada teaching certification could fit your lifestyle better than the traditional pathway.
Teach for America
One of the most sought-after pathways to teacher certification for recent graduates is Teach for America (TFA). Although this is a popular option for individuals in their early twenties, there are no age restrictions, and many career changers also earn their teacher certification through TFA.
TFA works all across the nation within specific regions. In Nevada, TFA places teachers throughout the Los Vegas Valley. Joining TFA does not automatically grant you a teaching license. Like most programs, you must apply to be accepted. If they are interested in you, you will go through a series of interviews. If you are accepted into the program, you will indicate that you are interested in working within the Los Vegas area, although there are many more regions you can choose from. You will then go through an intensive orientation that will prepare you to teach in the area.
To earn your teacher certification, you will serve a two-year commitment within a high-needs school. While you teach, you will complete all required NDE steps towards earning your license. When your two-year commitment is over and all requirements are met, you will be a licensed teacher for the state of Nevada. You will then have the option of staying with the same school or relocating to a different school anywhere in Nevada.
Troops to Teachers
For military members or veterans who feel called to teach, but aren’t sure how to transition into a Nevada teaching career, Teach for America (TTT) is there to help. They work throughout the state of Nevada and work to guide you through the teacher certification process.
To become a member of this program, you will need to apply. If you are accepted, you will be paired with a TTT staff member. They will know all about the NDE requirements that you will need to complete to earn your teaching license. Throughout the process, they will give you advice and keep you on track towards completing your goal. They will even work with schools on your behalf to find you employment opportunities.
Transition into Teaching for Career Changers
The NDE has state approved Alternative Routes to Licensure (ARL) for those transitioning careers. In fact, many Nevada school districts offer approved ARL programs. Check with your school district to see if you are eligible to apply for their ARL.
Certain state standards apply to all ARL candidates. These include being accepted by an approved ARL program, holding a bachelor’s degree, passing the Praxis “Core Academic Skills for Educators” exam and having a major or minor in the subject area you seek to teach or passing the Praxis II “Content Area Test” that corresponds to the subject you intend to teach. Currently, all ARL applications are overseen by Nevada’s Commission on Professional Standards in Education.