How to Become a Teacher in Nevada
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Do you love working with children or teenagers and inspiring the next generation to do their best? Are you passionate about learning and sharing your knowledge? If so, you may find a career as a teacher exciting and rewarding.
Teachers in all 50 states must earn a teaching certification to teach in public schools. The traditional pathway to licensure requires earning a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution, completing a teacher preparation program, and passing standardized tests.
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Nevada's requirements include earning a certain number of credits in your specialty area. The state also provides alternative routes to teacher certification and is one of eight states to offer full teacher license reciprocity for out-of-state teachers.
Due to Nevada's current teacher shortage, the Nevada Department of Education (NDE) invested $20.7 million in the Incentivizing Pathways to Teaching Grant Program. This grant provides stipends to support student teachers or educators completing their coursework. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, in May 2020, elementary school teachers in Nevada earned an average annual salary of $56,780.
How Do I Become a Teacher in Nevada?
The NDE issues four types of educator licenses, which include provisional, standard, professional, and retiree licenses. Educators with coursework or testing deficiencies may qualify for a provisional license. This license stays valid for three years and allows educators to satisfy requirements while teaching. A standard teaching license or certification remains valid for five years.
Professional licenses, valid for 6-10 years, require a graduate degree or National Board Certification and three years of teaching experience. Teachers in Nevada who retired with at least 15 years of experience may apply for a retiree teaching license. High school teachers may also add subjects to their license as major or minor endorsements. Subject examples include art, English, chemistry, mathematics, and history.
Meet Minimum Education Requirements
To apply for teaching certification in Nevada, candidates must possess a bachelor's or graduate degree from an accredited school. The NDE lists institutions that offer approved traditional teacher education programs. You may also earn your degree online. Applicants require a minimum GPA of 2.5.
A specific number of credits must apply to an applicant's field or subject area. For example, the following applies to elementary school teachers (grades K-8):
- Eight credits in supervised student teaching
- Eighteen credits in methods of teaching various elementary subjects
- Fifteen credits in curriculum implementation covering subjects that include behavior management, multicultural education, and working with children with disabilities
- Six credits in mathematics, science, and social studies, for a total of 18 content credits
These requirements vary for middle and high school teachers and people pursuing a physical education, special education, or early childhood license. High school teachers may add major or minor subject specialties to their licenses by completing a set number of credits in certain subject areas.
Complete Applicable Trainings
Applicants must complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. Requirements include a college practicum, student teaching field experience, and at least eight credits of supervised student teaching. Student teaching involves leading a classroom in the desired subject and grade level. Student teachers are supervised by a cooperating teacher and college supervisor.
Learners who earned their bachelor's or graduate degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program may qualify for Nevada's alternative teacher certification. Applicants must enroll in an approved alternative route to licensure program and receive a conditional license.
Pass Required Certification Tests
All candidates applying for teaching certification in Nevada must pass the following Praxis exams:
- Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators: Demonstrates an applicant's knowledge in reading, writing, and math.
- Principles of Learning and Teaching: These assessments measure an applicant's academic knowledge at four grade levels: early childhood, K-6, 5-9, or 7-12.
- Praxis Subject Assessments: Certification areas may include early childhood education, elementary education, and middle school education. Other options include secondary education, world languages, and special education.
Applicants who hold a valid teaching license from another state may be eligible for license reciprocity. In these cases, the NDE may waive the testing requirements.
Apply for Certification
Once candidates complete the steps for teacher certification, they can apply for the Nevada teacher's license. Required forms include an application for the correct licensing category, official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended, and verification of a completed teacher preparation program.
Applicants must also undergo a criminal history background check and submit their fingerprints electronically through Livescan or via fingerprint cards on FBI form FD-258. Additional requirements include verification of passing Praxis competency exams and test score reports.
New license applications cost $180, with additional endorsements set at $50 each. Application processing times vary.
How Do I Maintain Teaching Certification in Nevada?
The NDE allows teachers to renew standard or professional licenses up to nine months before their current license expires. Requirements include completing 15 hours of professional development each year.
Teachers may fulfill this requirement by completing online or on-campus courses at accredited colleges and universities. These classes should directly relate to education or their area of endorsement. They may also earn hours by developing, delivering, or attending in-service training.
Educators working on their National Board Certification also satisfy the professional development requirements for license renewal.
The NDE requires official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended since the last license renewal. Teachers must also undergo another background check and disclose any disciplinary actions taken against them. The renewal fee costs $150.
Career Outlook for Teachers in Nevada
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Nevada needs 3,000 more teachers to reach the class sizes recommended by the State Board of Education. The largest school district in the state, Clark County, reported over 840 licensed teacher classroom vacancies as of the last week in November 2021.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, Nevada's 2021-22 academic year reports shortages in grades preK-12 in art and music education, computer science, core subjects, English as a second language, and special education. Grades 6-12 have additional shortages in mathematics, science, and language arts.
According to the BLS, in May 2020, high school teachers in Nevada earned an average yearly wage of $58,150. Teachers pursuing a master's degree can focus on a specialty area. Depending on the school district, these teachers may also earn more for holding an advanced degree. They may also pursue administration and educational leadership roles.
The following list shows some of the in-demand teaching careers in Nevada.
In-Demand Teaching Careers in Nevada
High School Math Teacher
These teachers instruct 9-12 grade students on math fundamentals. They may teach geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, and advanced algebra at the high school level. In Nevada, in addition to the standard requirements, teachers need a bachelor's degree with a major or minor in math. They must also pass the Praxis subject assessment for secondary education.
Median Annual Salary: $62,870
Elementary Special Education Teacher
Special education teachers work with students experiencing intellectual, emotional, physical, or learning disabilities. In Nevada, these teachers must complete training specific to special education and earn endorsement in a special education area. These areas include autism, adapted physical education, generalist, and speech and language impairment.
Average Annual Salary: $56,610
English as a Second Language Teacher
These teachers may work in elementary, secondary, or adult schools. They help students whose native language is not English learn the fundamentals of reading, writing, and speaking English. Nevada requires these teachers to earn an English language acquisition and development endorsement, which involves completing three credits in several study areas.
Average Annual Salary: $49,280
Elementary School Teacher
Projections Central projects an average of 960 yearly openings for elementary school teachers in Nevada from 2018-2028. These teachers instruct students in basic subjects like science, reading, and math. Earning a Nevada elementary license enables educators to teach grades K-8.
Average Annual Salary: $56,780
Middle School Science Teacher
A middle school science teacher instructs students in grades 7-9. These teachers offer their classes an overview of physical, life, and space sciences and the basics of scientific study. To teach in Nevada, educators must pass the Praxis science subject exam for middle school teachers. They must also meet NDE standard license requirements.
Average Annual Salary: $60,060
Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching Certification in Nevada
How do I get teaching certification in Nevada?
To get teaching certification in Nevada, you must hold a bachelor's degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. Applicants must also undergo a criminal background check and state-mandated exams. After passing the exams, you may submit a Nevada teaching credential application.
If you hold a bachelor's or graduate degree but have not completed a teacher preparation program, you may be eligible for Nevada's alternative teacher certification. If you are an out-of-state teacher, follow NDE's out-of-state checklist. This list includes sending official transcripts from all attended accredited institutions, current test scores, and a copy of your valid teaching license. You must also provide teaching experience verification.
Can I teach in Nevada without certification?
Teaching in Nevada public and private schools requires certification. However, Nevada offers alternative routes to licensure that allow you to begin teaching while fulfilling the requirements for teaching certification.
For example, applicants who did not complete a teacher preparation program may start teaching while completing an approved program. You may also earn a master's degree in education or a core subject that includes a preparation program. Applicants must hold a bachelor's or graduate degree.
NDE's alternative route to licensure program allows teachers to work with a provisional license while completing coursework required for full licensure.
How long does it take to become a teacher in Nevada?
Timelines depend on where you're starting in your quest to teach in Nevada. The first step to teaching in Nevada is earning a bachelor's degree. This usually takes up to four years, though accelerated online programs can lead to faster completion. You also need to complete a teacher preparation program, which may take one year.
The NDE requires Praxis testing for all prospective teachers. You may receive your scores in about two weeks. The mandated criminal background check can take over four weeks to process. Online application processing time varies, depending on the time of year and the volume of applications the NDE receives.
What can I do with teaching certification in Nevada?
Educators can pursue many different teaching licenses for varying educational levels and subjects. The Praxis exam that you take should correspond to the grade level and subject area you are trained to teach.
You may take exams for early childhood or grades K-6, 5-9, or 7-12. If you want to teach at a higher grade level, you may also need to pass a subject area, such as math or science. Additionally, tests required for specific licensure areas include special education, world language, and career and technical education.
How do I become a substitute teacher in Nevada?
A substitute teaching license in Nevada allows educators to teach all subjects in grades K-12. To become a substitute teacher in Nevada, you must hold an associate degree or a minimum of 60 credits. You must also pass a background check and competency testing. Candidates should submit a substitute application packet and a $161 application fee.
In an emergency, a school district may request authorization to hire an emergency substitute teacher. You may receive a special license that requires a high school diploma or its equivalent in these instances.
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