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How to Get a Teaching License in New Hampshire
Discover the pathways you can pursue for earning your teaching license in New Hampshire with this helpful guide.
New Hampshire offers teaching opportunities in a wide range of communities, with about half the state’s students in city or suburban schools and the other half in rural schools. Getting a teaching license in New Hampshire gives you the chance to pursue a teaching position in a community that fits your lifestyle, where lower class sizes can allow you to make an impact on a more personal basis.
The traditional pathway to New Hampshire teacher certification includes obtaining a bachelor’s degree from a post-secondary institution that has a state-approved professional educator preparation program. After completing the program, you are qualified to earn a recommendation for certification from the program chairperson for a Beginning Educator Certificate. This credential is valid for three years and is awarded to teaching candidates with less than three years of teaching experience.
To progress to a three-year Experienced Educator Certificate, you must acquire a minimum of three years of full-time experience as a teacher at the elementary through secondary levels and achieve a designation of effective or above for two consecutive years based on the local evaluation system. Completion of professional development requirements provided by the local school district also is required.
Requirements for Master Teacher Certificate, the highest level of New Hampshire teacher certification, include a minimum of seven years of full-time teaching experience in your area of endorsement within the preceding 10 years and fulfillment of additional qualifications regarding graduate level coursework and administrative assessments. A Master Teacher Certificate also can be earned with national certification.
Minimum Education Requirements for New Hampshire Teachers
The minimum education requirement for New Hampshire teachers is a bachelor’s degree. The traditional pathway to teacher certification includes earning a bachelor’s degree as a component of a professional educator preparation program approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education (DOE). If you have a bachelor’s degree, you can complete a post-graduate professional educator preparation program and earn a certificate or master’s degree as part of the program’s coursework.
Student teaching is a necessary component for all New Hampshire teacher certifications. Approved professional educator preparation programs in New Hampshire are required to provide multiple and varied field experiences throughout your program. These experiences include interaction with diverse learners in diverse educational settings as well as in grade levels and subject areas specific to your area of certification.
Student teaching includes a culminating field experience in which you will assume the range of teaching roles and responsibilities of a beginning educator under the supervision of an experienced teacher. The time frame required for your culminating experience may vary according to the type of certification you are pursuing and your educational institution. If you are pursuing a single subject area or grade level of certification, you can expect to fulfill a full semester of teaching experience in your area of certification.
Pass New Hampshire Certification Exams
You must achieve passing scores on New Hampshire certification exams to earn a Beginning Educator Certificate in both traditional and alternative pathways. All candidates must fulfill a requirement to pass a basic academic skills assessment. To do this, you have to pass the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators tests in Reading, Writing and Mathematics. ACT, SAT or GRE scores in mathematics, reading and writing soared at or above the 50th percentile can be used to meet this requirement.
At the completion of your professional educator preparation program, you must pass the Praxis Subject Assessment that correlate with the type of certification you are pursuing. If you are applying for certification in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Reading and Writing Teacher or Reading and Writing Specialist, you also must pass the Foundations of Reading test administered by Pearson Education.
To apply for New Hampshire teacher certification, you must start by setting up an online account with the DOE. Here is where you will receive an online recommendation for certification from the institution where you completed a professional educator preparation program. This qualifies you to apply for certification in the area indicated.
You must contact the certifying officer of the institution from which you are receiving a certification recommendation for specific instructions on the process to ensure all your requirements for certification are met. Required transcripts are sent directly to the DOE from your institution. Educational Testing Services (ETS), which administers the Praxis tests, submits your test scores electronically to the DOE. If you are responsible for submitting any transcripts or additional test scores, they must be sent in a sealed envelope.
How Much Do Teachers in New Hampshire Make?
Teachers in New Hampshire earn salaries that differ based on the amount of education and years of experience they possess. The demand for a specific certification and the finances of a specific school district also affect the amount of money a teacher earns. Examples of some teacher salaries in New Hampshire are provided here.
Job Growth for Teachers through 2026
|Early Childhood Educator||$30,000|
|Elementary School Teacher||$56,390|
|Secondary School Teacher||$57,570|
|Special Education Teacher||$57,910|
You can earn specialty certifications by subject area and age/grade level with a Beginning Educator License. As you progress through your teaching career, you can add endorsement areas to a valid certificate by fulfilling the educational, experience and examination requirements specific to the type of certification you are pursuing. Educators often add specialty certifications to expand their career opportunities and increase earning potential.
Early Childhood Education
You can obtain Early Childhood Education (N-3) certification in New Hampshire to teach the state’s babies and young students. The traditional route to this certification requires a bachelor’s degree and completion of a state-approved early childhood professional educator preparation program. You can do this by completing a program that incorporates a bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s degree based on your academic experience.
To qualify for an Early Childhood Education certificate, you must fulfill the requirement to pass a basic skills assessment or meet state-established minimum scores from an accepted alternative test. In addition, the Praxis Education of Young Children subject test and the Foundations of Reading Test for New Hampshire assessment also are required.
Elementary School Teacher
For certification as a New Hampshire elementary school teacher, you can obtain the Elementary Education (K-6) certificate. The traditional pathway to this certification requires a bachelor’s degree and completion of a state-approved elementary school professional educator preparation program. Your bachelor’s degree requires content concentration in mathematics, English/language arts, social studies or general science. Based on your credentials, you can meet your education qualifications in by earning a bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s degree as part of your educator preparation program.
To qualify for an Elementary Education certificate, you must fulfill the requirement to pass a basic skills assessment or meet approved scores from an accepted alternative basic skills test. In addition, you have to pass the Praxis Elementary Education: Multiple Subjects Assessment, including the Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Reading and Language Arts sub-tests. You also must pass the Foundations of Reading Test for New Hampshire to qualify for certification.
Secondary School Teacher
To qualify as a New Hampshire secondary school teacher, you must earn a content area certification for grades 7-12. If you pursue a traditional pathway, you’ll require a bachelor’s degree with a major in your subject area that includes coursework in the knowledge and competencies defined by the DOE for your certification. You also must graduate from an approved professional educator preparation program. You can do this by enrolling in a program that includes a bachelor’s degree, post-graduate certificate or master’s degree upon graduation.
To qualify for a subject area certification at any license level, you must pass a basic skills assessment or provide minimum scores from an accepted alternative basic skills test. In addition, you have to pass the Praxis Subject Assessment that aligns with the subject area in which you are pursuing certification.
Substitute Teacher Certification
Substitute teacher certification is not a requirement in New Hampshire. School districts screen and hire their own substitute teachers. They also have the option to establish credential requirements. For most school districts, the minimum education for a substitute teacher is a bachelor’s degree, but individual districts can establish requirements and time limits as their needs demand.
Physical Education (PE) Certification
Physical Education (PE) certification in New Hampshire authorizes you to teach students from kindergarten to grade 12. The traditional pathway to this certification requires a bachelor’s degree in physical education and completion of a state-approved physical education professional educator preparation program. Depending on your experience, you can meet your education qualifications in a program that offers a bachelor’s degree or post-graduate certificate or master’s degree.
To qualify for a Beginner Educator Certificate in Physical Education, you must fulfill the requirement to pass the Praxis basic skills assessment or meet state-established minimum scores from an accepted alternative test. In addition, you must pass the Praxis Physical Education: Content and Design subject assessment.
Special Education Certification
You can qualify for Special Education certification in New Hampshire in General Special Education for age five to 21 years or Early Childhood Special Education (N-grade 3). These certifications authorize you to teach students who are placed in general education for more than 50 percent of the school day.
The traditional route to either of these certifications requires a bachelor’s degree in special education and completion of a state-approved special education professional educator preparation program. Student teaching with students who have a wide range of disabilities is part of the clinical experience. You can enroll in an educator preparation program that includes a bachelor’s degree or post-baccalaureate certificate or master’s degree based on your credentials. You also must pass the Praxis basic skills assessment or meet state-established minimum scores from an approved alternative test and the Praxis Special Education subject assessment that applies to your certification.
You also can earn New Hampshire special education certification in defined areas if you want to teach students a certain category of disabilities. You can pursue specialized certification in Emotional and Behavior Disabilities, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Physical and Health Disabilities, Specific Learning Disabilities, Blind and Vision Disabilities or Deaf and Hearing Disabilities. The same requirements and assessments as those needed for the Generalist Special Education certification apply to Special Education specialist certifications.
English as a Second Language Certification
You can earn English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher certification in New Hampshire with the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) special area certificate. This allows you to teach English to students from kindergarten through grade 12 who come from different home language backgrounds. To qualify for this certificate, you need a bachelor’s degree in ESOL, a comparable subject major, or completion of coursework that includes the basic skills, competencies and knowledge required for this certification.
Completion of an ESOL professional teacher educator program also is needed for certification. You can enroll in a bachelor’s degree ESOL professional teacher education program or a post-graduate certificate or master’s degree program, according to your educational qualifications.
In addition, you also must fulfill the requirement to pass a basic skills assessment or provide adequate scores from an accepted alternative test. Passing the Praxis English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) (K-12) subject test also is required.
Certifications for School Administrators
Certifications for school administrators in New Hampshire can be pursued in nine different categories based on education and professional experience. You can earn certification as a Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Business Administrator, Principal, Assistant Principal, Curriculum Administrator, District Administrator, Special Education Administrator, or Career and Technical Education Director.
Requirements for each administrator certification vary, but each includes at least a specified number of years of teaching experience and/or experience as an administrator in a level immediately below the new level of certification. Completion of a state-approved educational administration college program at the master’s or post-master’s level also is required, depending on the type of certification required.
Teaching Reciprocity Agreements in New Hampshire
If your professional education and experience was earned in another state, reciprocity agreements in New Hampshire can assist you in obtaining state teaching certification faster. You can save time and training expenses by using the credentials you accrued with a valid out-of-state license to meet certification requirements here.
|NASDTEC Interstate Agreement||New Hampshire participates in the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement.|
|State Grants Full Reciprocity||New Hampshire does not offer full reciprocity.|
|Coursework Requirements||Teachers with out-of-state licenses do not have additional coursework requirements.|
|Test-out or Exemption||New Hampshire does not offer test-out or exemptions.|
|Assessment Requirements||Teachers licensed in another state must pass the Praxis Core or an approved basic skills test. Teachers with a full teaching license or certificate from another state are exempt. Certification in some subject areas requires passing the appropriate Praxis Subject Assessment. Candidates for some certifications must pass the New Hampshire Foundations of Reading test or an approved equivalent.|
|Different Requirements Based on Experience||Out-of-state teachers who have completed a state-approved teacher preparation program are exempt from having to show teaching experience to qualify for certification. Out-of-state teachers who earned licenses via an alternative pathway must show proof of three or more years of regular full-time teaching experience with that license in the seven years preceding their New Hampshire application to qualify for an equivalent certificate.|
|Performance Requirements||Out-of-state teachers can qualify for an Experienced Educator Certificate if they have proof of a minimum of three "successful" years of full-time teaching in elementary or secondary schools in which they were determined to be effective for two consecutive years per the approved evaluation system in that state.|
|Special Reciprocity for Advanced Credentials||Teachers who have a valid out-of-state license obtained by earning a bachelor's or higher degree and also have taught a minimum of three years full time in the preceding seven years may qualify for an Experienced Educator Credential. An out-of-state candidate can earn a Master Teacher Certificate with national certification.|
Alternate Teaching Certification
New Hampshire offers five alternatives for teacher certification. Alternative 1 is a traditional pathway. Alternatives 2, 3, 4, and 5 are alternate pathways that consider prior experience, out-of-state licensure and/or work experience in meeting the requirements for a Beginning Educator Certificate or higher. Depending on your experience and the type of certification you are pursuing, an alternate teaching certification pathway in New Hampshire may allow you to bypass certain requirements or work full-time in a teaching position while you complete the credentials necessary for New Hampshire teacher certification.
Teach for America
Teach for America recruits, trains and places teachers in 53 communities across the country to facilitate education equality. This national organization works to increase students’ life opportunities by improving schools and classroom experiences. Teach for America corps consists of promising college graduates who live and work in low-income school districts. While Teach for America does not place corps in New Hampshire, graduates of New Hampshire colleges can apply to make an impact in communities where there are established programs.
Troops to Teachers
Troops to Teachers offers individualized guidance to active or retired U.S. military personnel who want to transition into second careers as teachers. This DANTES-managed Department of Defense program helps participants choose the best pathway to New Hampshire teaching certification and employment. The process helps to remedy teacher shortages by helping qualified veterans fill positions in high need areas such as math and science. Participants may qualify for financial assistance toward certification expenses or a grant for accepting a position in a high-need subject area or in a school building categorized as low income.
Transition into Teaching for Career Changers
If you are interested in transitioning into teaching in a critical shortage area as a career changer, you may be eligible for teacher certification under New Hampshire certification Alternative 4. You can qualify if you have a bachelor’s degree and passing scores for a basic skills assessment. This option allows you to earn certification in elementary and secondary teaching areas while you teach in a school. Once hired, the superintendent or designee develops an Individualized Professional Develop Plan (IPDP) for your full certification. Mentoring and completion of additional coursework for certification are included in your PDP.
Student Loan Forgiveness for Teachers in New Hampshire
You may qualify for partial or complete student loan forgiveness by teaching in specific situations in New Hampshire. If you teach in a school that has a high number of low-income families or in content areas in which New Hampshire has a critical shortage, you may benefit from loan forgiveness offered by the Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation Program. If you are employed by a government or non-profit organization, you can qualify for loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Loan forgiveness varies depending on the type of student loan you have and the amount borrowed and repaid.
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