How to Become a Certified Teacher in New Hampshire
How to Become a Teacher in NH
Achieving a New Hampshire teacher certification can be accomplished through multiple routes according to the education and background of the prospective educator. The primary method is to complete a state-approved program, including achieving a bachelor's degree, completing a teacher preparation program, and completing the New Hampshire Praxis requirements for the desired educator role, all prior to employment. Candidates may also complete a teacher preparation program and Praxis test requirements separate from a bachelor's degree program.
However, New Hampshire also accepts candidates who either:
hold out-of-state certification
have completed an out-of-state program and the New Hampshire Praxis requirements
who can demonstrate competency or prior employment in a relevant educator role
Regardless of the route, New Hampshire expects candidates to complete the necessary education for the role within three years before or after employment.
New Hampshire Teacher Preparation Programs
Teacher preparation programs are an essential step in the process of completing the New Hampshire teacher certification requirements. The state has approved twelve universities and colleges to offer programs for a selection of the various "endorsements" (that is, specific certifications) that represent different educator roles within the NH education system. There are 34 different teacher endorsements, with each offering at least 5 and at most 25 of these as approved programs. While most of these programs are attached to bachelor's degrees, many of them can be taken as a separate option, dependent upon what a specific institution offers.
The University of New Hampshire - offers the greatest selection of teacher preparation programs with 25 of the 34 programs represented. As a state university, it is a top choice for those who do not require specialized certification in those excluded programs. It uniquely offers endorsement in all four of New Hampshire's World Language teacher certifications.
Upper Valley Educators Institute - specializes in the education field, offering 17 of the 34 New Hampshire teacher certifications. UVEI's preparation programs consist of a 10-month internship focusing on student teaching with less time allotted to academic theory.
Keene State College - offers the majority of broad-reaching K-12 endorsements with 15 of the 34 certifications available. Like the University of New Hampshire, it is a traditional university environment with an emphasis on student-teaching.
Saint Anselm College - primarily offers education majors and dual majors with some limited certification-granting minor options.
Granite State College - uniquely offers all four of New Hampshire's Special Education programs, making it a great choice for those pursuing a career in special education in New Hampshire.
Required Education for New Hampshire Teachers
Part of New Hampshire teacher certification requirements is completing coursework on the theory of education and in the aspiring teacher's chosen subject area. In addition to completion of relevant college coursework, internships and student teaching are common requirements for recommendation of certification. For example, to complete the Educational Studies Dual Major at University of New Hampshire, prospective educators will take the following courses:
EDUC 402: Introduction to Educational Studies: Social Change and Education in Local and Global Contexts
EDUC 500: Exploring Teaching or EDUC 520: Education, Poverty, and Development
EDUC 605: Educational Perspectives in Critical Times
EDUC 701: Human Development & Learning: Cultural Perspectives
Three elective courses from among the areas of Instructional Methods in Schools; Language and Literacy; Special Education; Critical and Diverse Perspectives; and Law and Educational Policies
After taking these courses, a prospective graduate with a dual major in Educational Studies will complete a capstone from among the following options:
EDUC 784: Educators as Community-Engaged Researchers
Semester in the City - a cooperative internship with the College for Social Innovation
INCO 790: Advanced Research Experience and URC Presentation
A McNair Research Thesis
A capstone course from the first major and approved by university faculty
New Hampshire Teacher Testing Requirements
Prospective New Hampshire educators must complete a number of tests in the process of qualifying for New Hampshire teacher certification. There are three exam areas:
Subject Area testing - to establish that the candidate carries a well-rounded education and an understanding of the specific subject matter
the New Hampshire Foundations of Reading exam - only for the endorsements of Early Childhood, Elementary Education K-6, Elementary Education K-8, Reading and Writing Teacher, and Reading and Writing Specialist
New Hampshire Teacher Praxis Requirements
As part of the New Hampshire certification requirements, all teachers must complete the Basic Academic Skills Assessment. Every endorsement requires the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators (CASE): Reading, Writing, and Mathematics tests. These tests can also be completed together as the Core CASE Combined Test.
reading comprehension, identification of central ideas, language structures, and critical application of the presented content
word choice and sentence revision
40 multiple-choice 2 essay (argumentative and explanatory)
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, statistics, functions, and probability
In addition to the Praxis Core CASE tests, prospective educators must complete the Praxis Subject Assessments relevant to their certification.
The Early Childhood and Elementary Education tests cover education of all academic subjects for the students that the prospective educators will later instruct,
All other Subject Area tests focus on specialized subject matter, such as Middle School Mathematics for middle school mathematics teachers, or Chemistry: Content Knowledge for high school chemistry teachers.
There are 23 New Hampshire Subject Area tests. The Praxis passing scores differ, but they range from 146 to 169. The Foundations of Reading test is also considered a Subject Area test, but it is scored differently.
New Hampshire Foundations of Reading
The New Hampshire Foundations of Reading test is part of the New Hampshire certification requirements for prospective educators seeking any of the following certifications:
Elementary Education K-6
Elementary Education K-8
Reading and Writing Teacher
Reading and Writing Specialist
The test covers 11 learning objectives separated into four Subareas: Foundations of Reading Development (I), Development of Reading Comprehension (II), Reading Assessment and Instruction (III), and Integration of Knowledge and Understanding (IV). This last subarea contains two sections, Foundational Reading Skills and Reading Comprehension. These four subareas seek to test an educator's knowledge of the foundations and development of literacy in students. There are 100 multiple-choice questions distributed among Subareas I-III, with 2 essay questions for Subarea IV. The passing score for this test is a 240.
New Hampshire Teacher Licensing Application
The application process for New Hampshire teacher certification requires creating an online account with the New Hampshire Department of Education. This account will allow the applicant to pay relevant fees, upload documents, then submit the application to the New Hampshire Bureau of Credentialing. The required documents include the official transcript for a bachelor's degree, proof of completion of an approved teacher preparation programs, a completed application form, and for those applying for an Approved Educator Preparation Program, a $120 fee per endorsement.
The applicant must submit the required documentation within 30 days of beginning the application. The Bureau of Credentialing will respond within 60 days with either an approval, a denial, or a conditional approval subject to certain requirements within 120 days.
Alternative Paths for New Hampshire Teacher Certification
New Hampshire offers multiple alternative paths to complete the New Hampshire certification requirements. These include the Site-Based Licensing Plan (SBLP), which requires a bachelor's degree, the Basic Academic Skills Assessment, and approval from an employer. Candidates should create a schedule to complete the other NH requirements within three years of employment.
Then there are the four Demonstrated Competencies routes to certification:
Portfolio/Oral Board (DCPOB) - requires the same requirements as the Site-Based Plan (except for the completion of an approved teacher preparation program) and at least 4 full-time months of applicable education experience.
National/Regional Licensure (DCNR) - requires endorsement through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, the National Association of School Psychologists, or the Department of Defense Education Activity in an area related to the desired endorsement, alongside completion of any relevant testing requirements.
Transcript Analysis (DCTA) - an administrator-specific route that satisfies the approved teacher program requirement by way of completing sufficient coursework that covers all of the relevant areas (in addition to holding the required degree and having the necessary work experience for the role).
Experience under Out-of-State License (DCEX) - an option for those who have spent 3 out of the last 7 years working under an out-of-state educator license applicable to the desired endorsement.
Each of these options satisfies the requirement for a teacher preparation program.
New Hampshire Credentials for Out-Of-State Educators
An out-of-state educator can qualify for New Hampshire teacher certification either through the above DCEX method or through New Hampshire teacher certification reciprocity. New Hampshire participates in the NASDTEC interstate certification compact, and so may accept out-of-state licenses as fitting qualification. New Hampshire reciprocates with all US states as well as Guam, Ontario, DODEA, and the District of Columbia.
New Hampshire Educator Professional Development & Advancement
New Hampshire teacher recertification requires that every three years educators have 30 hours of professional development for each endorsement they hold. In addition, 45 hours of professional development are required that satisfy the requirements for Professional Education under NH administrative rule Ed 505.03 to apply for recertification.
These educators may work under an employer with a Professional Development Master Plan, in which case the employer will have set standards for their required hours, or they may development individual plans. New educators in NH hold a Beginner Educator's License, and if they perform well for two years, they may be upgraded to an Experienced Educator License as part of the renewal process.
Here are a few examples of accepted professional development in NH:
Assisting and coaching peers
Composing educational articles
Developing a curriculum
Independent research and studying
Participation in study groups
Professional training events
Serving on a committee
Travel to an education-related location
While few of these activities will lead to salary increases on their own, pursuing a master's degree can qualify educators for administration positions leading to increased salary outlooks and professional opportunities. Even education beyond a bachelor's degree but not achieving a master's degree can qualify the educator for salary increases.
New Hampshire Teacher Salary & Employment Outlook
The average minimum starting salary for New Hampshire teachers in public schools is $40,333. Depending on the school and position, this may range from $31,7000 to $59,750, an over 88% difference in salary between these highest and lowest minimum salaries. For comparison, the average New Hampshire teacher salary in private schools is around $30,000 a year, with a range between $25,000 and $37,000. There are 481 public schools in New Hampshire, with 168,620 students enrolled. There are also 16,654 students enrolled in private schools.
Employment outlooks for New Hampshire teachers in public schools are uncertain, but not optimistic, having declined slightly after the Covid pandemic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need a masters degree to teach in NH?
No, you do not need a master's degree to teach in New Hampshire. New Hampshire requires a bachelor's degree for any prospective educators.
What degree do teachers need in NH?
New Hampshire requires teachers to hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree, alongside certification in their subject area and other licensing requirements.
How much do teachers get paid in New Hampshire?
As of the 2021-2022 teaching year, the average salary for teachers in New Hampshire is $62,599. It can be as low as $30,000 or as high as $85,000 depending on the school and position.