Did you know that career and technical educators are in high demand? In New Jersey and across the nation, high schools are expanding CTE programs and need experienced professionals from all types of industries to train the next generation.
Becoming a CTE teacher is simpler than you may think. New Jersey has an “alternate route” to teacher certification that is based on industry experience rather than a college degree. Professionals with at least four years of work experience can become “provisional” CTE teachers, fully paid and supported with a mentor and training in teaching essentials.
The best thing about becoming a CTE teacher is seeing the positive impact on students, and helping them explore and launch careers in your field. CTE teachers change lives by engaging young people in career-focused learning, enabling them to build technical skills, apply academic knowledge, and develop essential career-readiness skills like teamwork, problem-solving, and communication.
Teachers are needed in all career areas, especially:
- Agriculture and life sciences*
- Automotive technology
- Construction trades (carpentry, electrical, plumbing, HVAC)
- Health care
- Information Technology
Opportunities also exist in:
- Business *
- Culinary Arts
- Digital media and design
- Law and public safety
- Logistics and supply chain
- Performing arts
* A four-year degree is required to teach in this area.
The first step to becoming a CTE teacher is to apply for a Certificate of Eligibility (CE) from the NJ Department of Education. This certificate is based on:
- Four or more years of industry experience (no college degree required), or
- A bachelor’s degree in the occupational field of the title for which the applicant is applying such as agriculture, business, engineering, computer science, supply chain management, nursing, performing arts, and more.
Once you determine that you meet the requirements for eligibility, you can begin looking for a teaching position. Hiring will be contingent on your receipt of the certificate of eligibility (CE).
You will need to complete a background check and demonstrate knowledge of basic health and hygiene.
Complete pre-employment training
To help you succeed from day one, provisional teachers complete 50 hours of pre-professional training in classroom basics, offered online by William Paterson University, Brookdale Community College, or NJ City University.
Once you are hired and complete the initial training, you are eligible for a provisional teaching license.
Start teaching while continuing your training
In addition, provisional teachers receive extensive support from mentors and supervisors in their school districts.
Become a fully licensed CTE teacher
After completing the two-year provisional teacher program, demonstrating proficiency in basic academic skills, and being recommended by your school district, you will be eligible to apply for a permanent teaching certificate from the NJ Department of Education.
For more information on NJ teacher certification requirements:
NJ Department of Education: https://www.nj.gov/education/license/cte/
To find a CTE teaching position:
- Contact the county vocational-technical schools in your region. Even if your local school is not advertising a current vacancy, introduce yourself to the CTE supervisor, share your qualifications, and express interest in becoming a teacher.
- Search NJSchoolJobs.com.
- Visit Applitrack: http://www.njpublicschooljobs.com/all-counties/.
- Contact NJ Department of Education, Office of CTE: Express interest in CTE Teacher Pathways by emailing CTETeacher@doe.nj.gov.
You can try out teaching:
Become a CTE substitute teacher:
View the State of NJ’s Guide for Applicants.
A background check is required.
Become a CTE Industry Teaching Fellow:
Potential teachers who co-teach with an experienced CTE teacher can receive a stipend to support the cost of their certification training.