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New Jersey Art Teacher Certification and Job Requirements

New Jersey has made a commitment to arts education. The state has adopted core curriculum content standards for the visual and performing arts that emphasize making sure students can synthesize the skills, media, methods, and technologies appropriate to creating, performing, and/or presenting works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art. All students in K-12 must take classes that meet these standards. New Jersey’s Office of Certification and Induction, which works under the authority of the State Board of Examiners, is the educator licensing agency in New Jersey.

To become an art teacher in New Jersey, complete the following steps.

Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program
Complete Testing
Apply for a License
Maintain and Upgrade Your License
Pursue Graduate Work

 


 

Step 1. Complete a Bachelor Degree and Teacher Prep Program

The first step to becoming an art teacher in New Jersey is to earn a bachelors degree from an accredited college or university and complete an approved teacher prep program or district training program. You will be required to maintain a GPA of at least 2.75, although GPA and Praxis test scores are linked in the state; see the education department website’s table for details.

State law requires that art teachers complete a minimum of 30 credits in a “coherent sequence” in the subject field of art. A coherent sequence requires that at least 12 credits are completed at the advanced level of study (junior, senior, or graduate level). Within your 30 credits, you must complete a study in drawing, painting, and sculpture or ceramics. Related courses may be accepted, depending on the course description/content. Note that courses in pedagogy or education are not accepted toward the art requirements.

 


 

Step 2. Complete Testing

To become an art teacher in New Jersey, you must pass the Art: Content Knowledge Praxis II test (5134), a two-hour exam that measures basic knowledge of art-making and the historical and theoretical foundations of art in the Western tradition and worldwide. A passing score in New Jersey is 158, although as noted above the score may need to be higher depending on your GPA. Consult the table here for details.

You will also be required to pass an examination in physiology and hygiene administered at the county offices of education. You can waive this requirement by presenting evidence of basic military training or college-level study in areas such as biology, health, or nutrition.

If you are applying for a license after September 2015, you will also be required to have achieved a minimum score on the SAT, ACT, or GRE. Passing scores are at least 1660 on the combined SAT critical reading, writing, and mathematics core, at least a 23 on the ACT, or at least a 4.0 on the analytical writing section and a combined score of 310 on the quantitative and verbal sections of the GRE.

 


 

Step 3. Apply for Your License

All teachers in the state employed in public schools, charter schools, or any institution under the supervision of the state Department of Education must be certified to teach.

The first license to apply for is an Art K-12 Certificate of Eligibility, which you can complete once you earned a bachelors degree and passed the testing requirements. You can complete part but not all of the application online. The fee is $170.

The next level of license you may apply for is the Certificate of Eligibility with Advanced Standing, which requires completion of a professional teacher prep program and student teaching. You can complete part but not all of the application online. The fee is $170.

Both certificates of eligibility allow you to seek and accept offers of employment as a teacher in public schools. Once hired, the district or school must register you into a Provisional Teacher Program, which includes mentoring and evaluations, and issue a two-year provisional certificate. (Note that you can’t apply for this certificate yourself.)

 


 

Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your License

Once hired as a new teacher in New Jersey, you will go through a Provisional Teacher Program in which you are supported and supervised by experienced professionals. The program includes both mentoring and several assessments.

After completion of the PTP, you will be recommended for a standard certificate, which is the state’s permanent certificate. An applicant checklist is available here, and the fee is $115. Standard certificates do not need to be renewed.

 


 

Step 5. Pursue Graduate Work

Graduate work can deepen your skills as an art teacher, expand your practice, and nurture your commitment. Post-baccalaureate programs in the state, many of which are directly relevant to arts education, include the following:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching Art
  • Master of Arts in Teaching Art & Disabilities
  • Master of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Master of Arts in Secondary Education
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction
  • Master of Education in Educational Leadership
  • Master of Education in Educational Administration and Supervision
  • Master of Arts in Educational Psychology
  • Master of Fine Arts in Media Production
  • Master of Arts in Studio Art
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certification in Art

 



 


New Jersey Art Teacher Salaries

According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers in New Jersey (as of the 2012-2013 school year) is $48,631, significantly higher than the national average of $36,141.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide data on art teacher salaries as a separate unit, but tracks salaries for elementary, middle, and secondary school teachers as larger categories. The department reports the following annual mean wages and employment numbers as of May 2013:

Occupation Title Employment Mean Annual Salary
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 44,410 $66,600
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 23,120 $67,220
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 33,900 $70,870

However, teacher salaries can vary significantly by location. A sample of the median salaries and employment figures as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for some major cities appears below:

Occupation Title Employment Mean Annual Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 4,880 $62,090
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 2,130 $61,350
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School Estimate not released $69,550
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 3,450 $59,710
 

 

Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 1,630 $68,160
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 710 $66,110
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,130 $68,240
 

 

Camden, NJ Metropolitan Division
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 5,520 $64,120
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 3,940 $66,010
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School Estimate not released $77,960
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 4,400 $69,160
 

 

Edison-New Brunswick, NJ Metropolitan Division
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 11,040 $64,140
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 6,790 $66,230
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 9,980 $69,880
 

 

Newark-Union, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 11,410 $66,690
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 4,930 $68,410
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 8,030 $71,480
 

 

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 80,590 $74,650
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 41,990 $76,500
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School 780 $87,980
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 63,600 $79,220
 

 

New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 46,190 $73,380
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 23,450 $74,940
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 33,560 $77,750
 

 

Ocean City, NJ
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 370 $67,980
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 260 $67,150
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 370 $64,360
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School 40 $68,590
 

 

Trenton-Ewing, NJ
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 1,990 $65,200
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,010 $68,120
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,740 $68,780

Salary schedules vary by school district and are developed after negotiations with the union. A listing of school districts with starting salaries above $40,000 and above $50,000 may be found here.

The mean wage for postsecondary art, music, and drama teachers as of May 2013 was $90,110, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. Information on postsecondary art, music, and drama teacher salaries in various areas of the state and related areas can be found in the following table provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area Name
Employment
Annual Median Salary
Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton PA-NJ
310
68070
Camden NJ Metropolitan Division
140
86040
Edison-New Brunswick NJ Metropolitan Division
270
Estimate Not Released
Newark-Union NJ-PA Metropolitan Division
Estimate Not Released
75990
New York-White Plains-Wayne NY-NJ Metropolitan Division
7590
112560

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