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Earn Your NC Teaching License

To teach in North Carolina, you'll need to know the license requirements. We can help you each step of the way. Read this page or download our guide.

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To teach in North Carolina, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree and a teaching license. At least, that’s the short version.

On this page, we’ll go over all the steps to get licensed to teach in North Carolina, plus answer some commonly asked questions about licensure. Let’s dive in! 

Are you licensed to teach outside of North Carolina? Head to our FAQs for more information about your next steps.

How to earn your North Carolina teaching license

In general, you’ll need to complete the steps on this page to get licensed to teach. That said, some programs may have slight differences in how they do things. It’s a good idea to confirm the requirements with teaching programs before you apply and enroll.
  1. 1

    Earn a bachelor’s degree

    North Carolina accepts degrees from many colleges and universities, but you should confirm that yours is regionally accredited. Ideally, your bachelor’s degree will be in a field closely related to the subject you want to teach.

    Keep in mind that you can earn your bachelor’s degree and teaching license at the same time — so if you're an undergraduate, skip to Step 2.

  2. 2

    Decide what you want to teach, and choose the teaching license you want to earn

    The teaching license you earn will depend on the subject and grade level you want to teach. At any level, getting licensed in a high-demand area provides more job opportunities. (1)

    Explore your licensure options at our Areas of Licensure page!  

  3. 3

    Apply to teaching programs and enroll

    Make sure to find a program that offers your chosen licensure area. You can look for teaching programs with the TeachNC Program Explorer.

    I don’t have a bachelor’s degree

    Many programs combine a teaching license with a bachelor’s degree, so you can get licensed while you finish your undergraduate coursework. 

    If you have vocational experience, you may also be able to teach a Career & Technical Education subject without a degree. Check out the FAQs on this page to learn more.

    I already have a bachelor’s degree

    If you have a bachelor's degree, you can consider a few different types of programs. You can look into:

    To be accepted into a North Carolina teaching program, you’ll generally need an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.7. (2)

    The TeachNC Application Guide has all the info you need to complete your program application! Find out how to order your transcripts, ask for a recommendation letter, win over your interviewer and more. Visit our Fee Reimbursement page to find out how you can get $100 back for your application costs. 

    Wondering how to pay for your program? TeachNC offers $1,000 scholarships for future educators! Visit our Scholarship page to learn more. You can also find scholarships and financial resources through our Financial Aid Guide and Financial Aid Explorer.

  4. 4

    Meet North Carolina teacher testing requirements

    As a future teacher, you’ll need to pass a few assessments to show you’re ready to teach your own classroom. These include the content exam and the teaching portfolio. 

    When do I need to take the required tests?

    The timing of your tests will depend on your teaching program. For some programs, you’ll take the content exam before you enroll. Others have you take the test shortly after you begin or during your program. Check with your program to confirm when you’ll need to take your content exam.

    In general, you'll complete your teaching portfolio toward the end of your program.

    Not sure where to start with test prep? TeachNC can help! The TeachNC Testing Guide and Praxis Subject Test Guide cover everything from registration to study materials to what to expect on test day. 

  5. 5

    Submit your teaching license application to the state

    Almost there! Once you’ve completed your teaching program and passed your exams, it’s time to formally apply for your teaching license. 

    How do I apply for my North Carolina teaching license?

    First, your teaching program will need to confirm that you’re eligible to apply for your license. Once you get confirmation, you’ll create an account through the Department of Public Instruction’s online licensure system. (3)

    You’ll need to submit the teaching license application fee, as well as documentation of your education and test scores. This could include:

    • Official transcripts from all degree programs you’ve completed (bachelor’s, master’s and other post-high school programs). 
    • Official test scores from your licensure exams.
    • Verification from your teaching program that you’re eligible to apply for licensure. 

    Not sure how to get your official transcripts and test scores? Check out our Application Guide and Testing Guide for information on requesting these documents.

Get $500 for testing on us!

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Need to take a teaching test? We'll cover up to $500 in test prep and test registration fees. 

You can:

  • Get unlimited access to Praxis test prep materials through Study.com.
  • Request a Praxis voucher so you can register for the test for free. This includes retakes!
  • Get reimbursed for additional exams, like the Pearson or EdTPA, or study materials that better suit your learning style, like 1-on-1 tutoring.
Get Test Ready

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some common questions about North Carolina licensure!

Get more from TeachNC

Explore more FREE tools to shape education in North Carolina.
  • Choose a pathway

    Get info on NC teaching licensure pathways, understand the types of programs available and learn how to decide if a program is right for you.

    Learn more
  • Talk to a coach

    Need help choosing a program or licensure pathway? A TeachNC coach can help! Set up your free advising session today.

    Learn more
  • Choose a licensure area

    Not sure which licensure area to pick? Get a full list of your options, and find tips for choosing the right one for you.

    Learn more


  1. Report to the North Carolina General Assembly: 2019-2020 State of the Teaching Profession in North Carolina, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. https://files.nc.gov/dpi/report-state-of-the-teaching-profession-12.15.20.pdf 
  2. Pathways to Teaching, North Carolina Department of  Public Instruction. https://www.dpi.nc.gov/educators/troops-to-teachers/pathways-to-teaching 
  3. Educator’s Licensure, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. https://www.dpi.nc.gov/educators/educators-licensure 
  4. Approved Programs, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. https://www.dpi.nc.gov/educators/educator-preparation/approved-programs 
  5. Licensure Fees, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. https://www.dpi.nc.gov/media/1621/download 
  6. Average Local Salary Supplement for K-12 Teachers in North Carolina Traditional Public Schools, by LEA (2019-20), Best NC, Tableau Public. https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/bestnc#!/vizhome/AverageLocalSalarySupplementforK-12TeachersinNorthCarolinaTraditionalPublicSchoolsbyLEA2019-20/LEAAttrition 
  7. National Board Certification, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. https://www.dpi.nc.gov/educators/national-board-certification