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North Carolina Art Teacher Certification and Job Requirements

Over the past decade, North Carolina has hired approximately 10,000 new teachers. The state has made a commitment to arts education by adopting content standards that affirm visual arts as part of the core curriculum. These standards focus on teaching visual arts at all grade levels, encouraging visual literacy, the development of critical response, an understanding of contextual relevancy, and other criteria. Detailed information on the state’s art curriculum may be found here.

The NW Department of Public Instruction Licensure Section is responsible for licensing teachers in the state. To become an arts teacher in North Carolina, 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 North Carolina is to graduate from state-approved teacher training program from a regionally accredited college or university. A directory of approved programs may be found here. Classes designed to prepare you for being an art teacher will vary by school and by the grade you are preparing to teach, but they usually cover the history of art, various art making techniques (drawing, painting, etc.), the theory and principles of arts education, critical dialogue about art, a student teaching component, and a portfolio review. More general teacher prep classes will cover the principles of effective teaching, learning how to create dialogue in the classroom, and, depending on the program, learning to teach the basics of reading, writing, and math.

If you haven’t graduated from a state-approved program, you may still be able to apply for a North Carolina license if you have followed another state’s approved alternative route to licensure, met the federal requirements to be designated as “Highly Qualified,” and earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college. For details that apply those graduating from programs in other states, see the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website.

 


 

Step 2. Complete Testing

Before becoming an art teacher in North Carolina, you must take and pass both the Core Academic Skills for Educators and the Art: Content Analysis test.

The Praxis Core tests measures basic skills in reading, writing, and math, with a combination of multiple choice questions and two thirty-minute essay questions. You may take all three tests combined, or each one individually. All tests are computerized. Passing scores in North Carolina are as follows:

  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Reading 156
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Writing 162
  • Core Academic Skills for Educators: Mathematics 150

You may be required to take the Core tests before starting a teacher prep program, although if you have a total SAT score of 1100 (verbal and quantitative) or composite ACT score of 24, you may be exempt from Core testing requirements. The following exemptions also apply:

  • If you have a total SAT score of less than 1100 (Verbal and Quantitative only), but a score of at least 550 on the Verbal test, you are exempt from the Core tests in Reading and Writing for educator preparation program admission.
  • If you have a total SAT score of less than 1100 (Verbal and Quantitative only), but a score of at least 550 on the Math test, you are exempt from the Core test in Mathematics for educator preparation program admission.
  • If you have a composite ACT score of less than 24, but a score of at least 24 on the English test, you are exempt from the Core tests in Reading and Writing for educator preparation program admission.
  • If you have a composite ACT score of less than 24, but a score of at least 24 on the Math test, you are exempt from the Core test in Mathematics for educator preparation program admission.

The Praxis II Art: Content and Analysis test is a computer-delivered, two-hour exam with 85 selected-response questions and three constructed-response questions that cover the process and techniques of art making, the historical and theoretical foundations of art in Western culture and beyond, as well as arts analysis. The analysis portion of the test asks you to write about verifiable art historical examples from memory, and to write about work you have created in two different media.

 


 

Step 3. Apply for Your License

Art teachers in North Carolina are licensed in the K-12 level inclusive, and you must have a license to teach in a public school. The first license to apply for is the Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Professional Educator’s Licenses, which is valid for three years. To be issued a SP1 Professional Educator’s License, you must have completed a state approved teacher education program from a regionally accredited college or university, or completed another state’s approved alternative route to licensure, met the federal requirements to be designated as “Highly Qualified,” and earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college.

If you are coming from an in-state teacher prep program and don’t have prior experience, the application should include:

  • An application form (Form A)
  • Form V, verification of completion of an approved Teacher Education Program. Note that Form V must be completed by the recommending official (such as the censure officer or dean of education) at the school where you completed your program.
  • Original, degree-dated transcripts for all degrees, and any coursework you have completed not listed on your transcript (community college or post-degree credits.)
  • State-approved test scores

Mail the completed forms, supporting materials and the appropriate processing fee to the address below. A new, in-state application is $55:

NC Department of Public Instruction
Licensure Section
6365 Mail Service Center
Raleigh NC 27699-6365

If you are following an alternate route to licensure (i.e., graduating from an out-of-state program), consult the licensure department website for application requirements.

 


 

Step 4. Maintain and Upgrade Your License

After three years of teaching experience, the next level of license to apply for is the Standard Professional 2 (SP2) Professional Educator license, which is valid for five years. You can follow the same steps as the ones used for an initial license to apply for a SP2 license.

North Carolina Standard Professional 2 licenses must be renewed every five years. Note that Renewal requests must be submitted April 15th through June 30th of the year that your license expires, and all renewal credit must be earned before the license expires. To renew your license, you must earn:

  • 1 renewal credit for literacy
  • 1 renewal credit in art
  • 5.5 general credits (as determined by the LEA, if employed), not to include years of experience

Activities accepted for renewal include college or university courses (transcripts are required), local in-service courses or workshops, and classes and workshops approved by an LEA. Note the following renewal criteria:

  • The DPI Licensure Section does not accept renewal credits of less than one unit.
  • A unit of renewal credit is equivalent to one quarter hour or one in-service credit from a North Carolina public school system.
  • A unit reflects ten contact hours.
  • One semester hour is equivalent to 1.5 units of credit.

To renew, complete the below:

  1. Professional Educator’s License Update Form (Form U)
  2. Collect all supporting materials, such as transcripts
  3. Verification of K-12 Educator Experience (Form E) if you have teaching experience that has not been filed with the Licensure Section.

Send the completed Professional Educator’s License Update Form, supporting materials, and processing fee of $55.00 to:

Department of Public Instruction
Licensure Section
6365 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, North Carolina 27699-6365

 


 

Step 5. Pursue Graduate Work

Continued education in graduate work or post-baccalaureate certificate can help you move up additional layers of licensure, expand your skills, and nurture your teaching practice. Post-baccalaureate programs in the state include:

  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Education
  • Master of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Master of Arts in Secondary Education
  • Master of Teaching History Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, English Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Family & Consumer Science
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Health Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Middle Grades Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Music Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Science Education
  • Master of Arts in Teaching, Technology Education
  • Master of Science in Adult Education
  • Master of Education in Communications Disorders
  • Master of Arts in Educational Technology
  • Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education
  • Master of School Administration (M.S.A.)
  • PhD in Educational Leadership
  • PhD in Curriculum & Instruction

 



 


North Carolina Art Teacher Salaries

According to the National Education Association, the average starting salary for teachers in North Carolina (as of the 2012-2013 school year) is $30,778, somewhat lower 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 Annual Mean Salary
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 40,430 $42,870
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 17,470 $42,160
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School 1,050 $45,020

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 Annual Mean Salary
Asheville, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 1,280 43,930
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 900 43,140
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School 60 41,350
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 940 43,410
 

 

Burlington, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education ** 40,910
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education ** 38,980
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education ** 41,340
 

 

Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 7,510 46,050
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 3,360 47,260
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School 140 44,350
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 6,400 46,630
 

 

Durham-Chapel Hill, NC
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 770 41,960
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School 70 46,290
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,350 44,450
 

 

Fayetteville, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 2,300 39,870
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 280 37,290
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 840 39,710
 

 

Greensboro-High Point, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 2,700 44,900
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,610 42,100
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School 130 46,430
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,290 45,290
 

 

Greenville, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 950 40,940
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education ** 41,580
 

 

Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 1,300 41,120
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 810 41,480
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School 80 45,940
 

 

Raleigh-Cary, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 5,550 44,990
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 2,550 43,080
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School 160 46,810
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 2,720 45,810
 

 

Rocky Mount, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 670 42,540
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 160 40,950
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 310 43,260
 

 

Wilmington, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 1,190 41,370
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 960 40,840
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 1,100 41,360
 

 

Winston-Salem, NC
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education 1,710 42,660
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education 630 41,820
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School 70 46,390

Salary schedules vary by school district and are developed after negotiations with the union. Breakdowns of the salaries for various public school districts in the state may be found here.

Information on postsecondary art, music, and drama teacher salaries in various areas of the state 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
Asheville NC
130
54880
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC
400
55750
Durham-Chapel Hill NC
240
74400
Fayetteville NC
60
57630
Greensboro-High Point NC
420
61970
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton NC
50
56430
Raleigh-Cary NC
Estimate Not Released
56150
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News VA-NC
290
56440
Wilmington NC
110
60720
Winston-Salem NC
190
47100
Northeastern North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
90
62620
Other North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
120
53850
Western Central North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
90
55390
Western North Carolina nonmetropolitan area
330
51290

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