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Choose the Right Licensure Area

Decide what you want to teach, and choose the teaching license that’s right for you. Read this page or download our guide.

Get the Licensure Guide

Before you can enroll in a teaching program, you’ll need to decide what teaching license you want to earn. Your licensure area will depend on the age group and subject you want to teach. 

On this page, we’ll go over your choices for licensure. 

You’ll have more job opportunities — and make a bigger impact — teaching in a high-need area. The greatest need for teachers is in state-designated shortage areas, many of which are at the middle and high school levels. 

Expand Your Opportunities

You can earn a teaching license for almost any subject and grade level. You may have more job opportunities if you get licensed to teach in a high-demand area or a K–12 subject.

Remember, you can add licenses in different grade levels and subject areas throughout your teaching career. You don’t have to get all your licenses at once!

Explore Your Licensure Options

Once you know the subject and grades you want to teach, you can choose your licensure area. Click the tabs below for a full list of teaching license options. (2)

Get more from TeachNC

Explore more FREE tools to shape education in North Carolina.
  • Talk to a Coach

    Not sure which licensure area is right for you? A TeachNC coach can help you narrow down your options and choose the right fit. Sign up for your free advising session today!

    Get Started
  • Learn About Residency Licensure

    If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to start teaching (and earn a salary) right away through a residency licensure program.

    Learn more


  1. North Carolina Teacher Shortage Areas, 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 Reports. U.S. Department of Education. https://tsa.ed.gov/#/reports 
  2. Areas of Licensure, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.  https://www.dpi.nc.gov/educators/educators-licensure/areas-licensure