The state has several criteria that must be met by candidates seeking a Nevada teaching license. Educators need to complete both an accredited bachelor's degree program and an educator preparation program. A number of tests must be taken for licensure, including the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, PLT or Principles of Learning and Teaching, and exams focused on the subject area they wish to teach.
It is important to note that Nevada offers several types of educator licenses to teachers depending on the level of education and experience they have.
These types of licenses include:
A Non-Renewable/Provisional license is issued to those who have not met all of the requirements for teacher certification.
Standard certification is given to those who have met all of the requirements for certification in the state of Nevada but do not hold a graduate degree.
Professional certification is given to those who have earned a master's degree or higher, or who have earned their National Board Certification.
Retiree certification is for those who have served for at least 15 years and have retired.
A Nevada Substitute Teaching License is for those wishing to become a substitute in the state.
Nevada Teacher Certification Programs
The State of Nevada Department of Education requires all candidates for educator certification to complete their bachelor's degree as well as an educator preparation program from a regional institution that is fully accredited. When looking for the program that meets your needs and the criteria of the state, there are many listed on the Nevada DOE website.
Additionally, it is also recommended that candidates look for accreditation from the CAEP, or Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, which is a nationally recognized organization that is highly regarded. While there are many educational institutions that a candidate can choose from in the state of Nevada, there are some that come highly recommended by state organizations.
Here are a few colleges and universities that have teacher preparation programs for Nevada teacher certification:
University of Nevada, Las Vegas offers a teacher preparation program with a variety of paths to a teaching certificate that is based on the most current research with support for students every step of the way.
Sierra Nevada University in Tahoe provides the opportunity for students to earn a bachelor of arts degree in teacher education in their educator preparation program. This program has been supporting students on their path to earning their Nevada teaching certification for more than 30 years.
Nevada Teacher Education Requirements
As mentioned previously, the foundation of becoming a teacher in Nevada is earning an undergraduate degree through an accredited educator preparation program in the region. This typically includes credit hours in both courses concerning working with students with learning differences and parental involvement.
Additionally, depending on the level at which a candidate desires to teach, other coursework may be required. For example, potential elementary teachers need to take additional courses in reading and elementary methods. For those wanting to teach in the secondary setting, professional coursework for the level is required.
Student teaching is also required for individuals who want to teach in the state of Nevada. This experience typically includes observation of an experienced teacher and eventually changing roles from planning to delivery of instruction.
Nevada Teacher Testing Requirements
In addition to the educational criteria, individuals who wish to earn a Nevada teaching certificate are required to pass specific exams before being cleared to apply for certification. These exams allow candidates to demonstrate their understanding of the knowledge and skills it takes to teach students in a classroom setting.
To earn a teacher certification in Nevada, applicants must pass the Praxis Series of exams to test for proficiency. These exams are conducted by the Educational Testing Service and are the required tests for the state.
The exams that are required by the Nevada State Board of Education are:
The first test candidates must complete the Nevada Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators. This Praxis test assesses test-takers on their competency skills in core subject areas. Passing this exam means that applicants have the basic knowledge necessary to be entry-level teachers.
Candidates must earn a passing score on each of the Nevada Praxis Core areas of the exam. These areas and scores are outlined below.
Candidates can either take all three area exams simultaneously or register for each one separately. Each exam has a different exam code if taken individually or one exam code for the combination test. Test-takers are encouraged to do what suits them best for a better possible outcome.
Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT)
The Principles of Learning and Teaching exams are the next category of tests that candidates who wish to earn a teaching certificate in Nevada must complete. For this exam, test-takers must take the one that is most appropriate for the grade level they want to teach. Candidates will choose from either the K-6 or the 7-12 grade band when determining which one to take.
This exam focuses on four primary areas to determine a candidate's competency for teaching in the grade level they wish to teach. They are also required to answer a number of constructed-response questions over these areas.
These four areas include:
Students as Learners
Professional Development, Leadership, and Community
The passing Praxis score for the Principles of Learning and Teaching test is determined by the grade level area of the test. For example, the passing score for the PLT for the K-6 grade band is 160, but for grades 7-12 it is 157.
Content Area Tests in Nevada
Also required for teacher certification in Nevada are subject-area exams in the discipline candidates desire to teach. For this set of exams, test-takers will most likely take multiple exams depending on the grade level they are applying for.
For Elementary candidates, the tests are given in each of the four core areas, which can be taken individually or simultaneously. Each subtest is given an individual score and a different passing score.
Mathematics Subtest - Passing Score - 157
Reading and Language Arts Subtest - Passing Score - 157
Science Subtest - Passing Score - 159
Social Studies Subtest - Passing Score - 155
For Secondary candidates, the subtests rely on the content area they will be teaching. For example, if a test-taker plans to teach Chemistry, they must take the Chemistry Content Knowledge exam. It is important to note that the passing scores for secondary candidates will vary depending on the content area.
In addition to educational and testing requirements, applicants are also required to consent to an FBI and Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History background check.
Candidates must also have two Form FD-258 fingerprint cards on file along with an authorization form turned in with their application for certification. LiveScan is available to those applicants who live in Nevada.
Nevada Teacher Licensing Application Process
The application process for Nevada teacher certification can be started once all of the other requirements have been met. To apply for their initial certification, applicants must create an account on OPAL and submit the following information.
Application in the appropriate area
Proof of completion of an educator preparation program
Form FD-258 fingerprint card or the receipt of LiveScan
Test Score reports
The application process typically takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks or longer depending on the time of the year the application is submitted. The cost of the application for new candidates is $180 and is paid through the OPAL system.
Alternative Paths to Certification for Nevada Teachers
For many individuals, finding their way to the education industry sometimes comes after they have graduated from college and have spent time in another career. For these candidates, there are alternative routes they can take to earn a certification in Nevada.
The Nevada alternative teaching certification, commonly referred to as ARL or Alternative Route to Licensure, is a way for candidates who have at least an undergraduate degree in another subject area can earn their license to teach.
The Commission on Professional Standards for the State of Nevada Department of Education has outlined several criteria for Nevada alternative teaching certification.
Acceptance into a qualified provider of alternative certification
Completion at least an undergraduate degree program
Nevada also participates in several other programs designed to help individuals who wish to earn a teaching credential in the state. Teach for America and Troops to Teachers are other routes candidates can take to become a teacher in Nevada.
Certification in Nevada for Out-of-State Educators
Educators who hold a teaching credential in another state must meet certain requirements before earning a teaching license in Nevada. Specific reciprocity agreements between states have made this much easier over the years. The NASDTEC, or National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, created an Interstate Agreement where each state develops reciprocity guidelines for educators moving to another state.
Reciprocity standards for Nevada are:
NASDTEC Interstate Agreement
Nevada is a member of this agreement
Nevada currently offers full reciprocity for out-of-state educators
No additional assessments are required
There may be coursework required for some educators depending on the area they wish to be certified in.
Proof of Performance?
There is no proof required as long as the candidate holds an active certification from another state.
Nevada Teacher Salary and Employment Outlook
Nevada currently has at least 700 public schools, 90 charter schools, and 600 private schools. For public schools in the state, there are approximately 500,000 students and 25,000 teachers, bringing the student-to-teacher ratio to about 20:1.
Statistical information provided by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates that there will be more than 1,000 job openings in Nevada between 2016 and 2026.
The chart below gives information about the average Nevada teacher salary by category and the number of employees in the state as of May 2020.
It is important to note that these average salaries only apply to those teachers who have completed all requirements to be licensed in the state including taking and passing the Nevada Praxis Series exams.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get certified to teach in Nevada?
Getting certified to teach in Nevada includes going through a teacher preparation program from an accredited university as well as taking and passing a series of Praxis exams. Once requirements have been met, candidates can apply for certification.
How long does it take to get a teaching license in Nevada?
The length of time to get a teaching license in Nevada depends on the path you take. For example, the traditional route requires a 4-year degree, student teaching that lasts 12 weeks, and then the length of time it takes for the application process, which is about 4-6 weeks.
Can you teach in Nevada without a license?
Teaching in Nevada requires a teaching license. Many who have a degree in an area other than education can take the alternative path to certification. There are also other paths, but all require having a degree and then earning a license.
Does Nevada have teaching license reciprocity with other states?
Yes. Nevada honors full reciprocity in conjunction with the NASDTEC Interstate agreement. This applies to all states within the United States.
How much does a Nevada teaching license cost?
Application fees for initial certification are $180. This is for teachers who have never applied for certification in the state.
How long is a Nevada teaching license good for?
A non-renewal license is good for three years and is given to those who may be missing some criteria.
A standard license is issued for five years and is typically renewed as long as teachers have taken the time to earn their professional development credits.