How to Become a Teacher in Nebraska

Learning how to become a teacher in Nebraska is easy if you know what to look for. Read on for key tips that will get you on your way to launching a Nebraska education career.

The two main requirements to apply for a teaching certificate in Nebraska are a bachelor degree and completion of a state-approved teacher preparation course. The Nebraska Department of Education maintains a list of colleges that offer state-approved teaching programs. In many cases, you can meet the requirements for a bachelor degree at the same time you complete the teaching program.

Statutory Requirements for a Teaching Certificate

In addition to having a bachelor degree and completing a teacher-preparation course, applicants for a teaching certificate must also meet the following requirements:

  • Finish human-relations training.
  • Submit fingerprints for a criminal background check with the certificate application.
  • Pass a basic-skills competency exam.
  • Complete a course in special education.
  • Document that you’ve worked as a teacher or taken a teacher-approved certification program within five years before the application.

Types of Certification in Nebraska

There are the varieties of certification for the state’s teachers:

  • Regular: Issued when all requirements have been met.
  • Temporary: Issued when all requirements have been met except for human-relations training.
  • Provisional: Issued if a school district has offered somebody a job but the person does not meet all of the qualifications for regular certification.
  • Transitional: Issued to allow people who have a bachelor degree to complete their teacher preparation course. The two certificate tracks apply to:
  • Prospective teachers who maintain their regular employment while completing their education for teacher certification, often via online degree programs.
  • High school teachers who have a bachelor degree in the subject matter they will be teaching. The teacher is allowed to hold a regular teaching position while completing the requirements for a regular teaching certificate.

Pass Competency Tests

All credentials require the applicant to pass the basic competency test administered by Praxis. Middle and secondary teachers must also pass the subject matter competency exam for their specific subject area.

The state’s Department of Education (NDE) maintains a website packed with more information for teachers.

Financial Resources for Aspiring Teachers

Nebraska has a number of scholarships available for potential teachers. Some are full scholarships and some provide tuition assistance for teachers of certain subjects.

In subject areas where Nebraska has a shortage of qualified teachers or for those who agree to teach in high-need schools, Nebraska offers a student loan forgiveness program.

Reciprocity for Teaching Credentials from Other States

Whether or not to grant reciprocity is decided on an individual, case-by-case basis and is not automatic. Typically, however, reciprocity is granted.

Job Availability and Salaries

The average salary for an elementary school teacher in Nebraska is $50,100 and the average for a secondary teacher is $48,080, below the national average of $53,280. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that teaching jobs will grow by 7 percent between now and 2020, a slower job growth than predicted for other jobs. The job growth varies by geographical location.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, Nebraska had 1,127 schools, 298,500 students and 22,345 teachers as of 2011. That means the state has student-to-teacher ratio of 13.36, well below the national average of 15.97.