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Become a Teacher in New Mexico

New Mexico Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $58,410
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $54,590
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

 

 

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. CertificationMap.com makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 10/19/2016

This page is sponsored by our partner Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in New Mexico.

To become a certified teacher in New Mexico, you will need to fulfill these requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor's degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a New Mexico teaching credential application.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating CertificationMap.com with new information on a regular basis.

Step One: New Mexico Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Here are New Mexico’s undergraduate prerequisites for some of the most popular specialty areas:

  • Elementary Education:
    • 30–36 semester hours in an Elementary Education program inclusive of student teaching
    • 6 semester hours in the teaching of reading (for those who first entered a college or university on or after August 1, 2001)
    • A minimum of 24 semester hours in one teaching field such as mathematics, science, language arts, reading, history, etc.
  • Middle-Level Education (5–9)
    • Minimum of 30–36 hours in a Middle-Level Education program including student teaching
    • 3 semester hours of credit in the teaching of reading (for those who first entered a college or university on or after August 1, 2001)
    • Minimum of 24 semester hours in at least one teaching field such as mathematics, science, language arts, reading, history, etc., 12 semester hours of which must be in upper-division courses

  • Secondary Education (7–12)
    • Minimum of 24 semester hours in a Secondary Education program including student teaching
    • 3 semester hours of credit in the teaching of reading (for those who first entered a college or university on or after August 1, 2001)
    • Minimum of 24 semester hours in at least one teaching field such as mathematics, science, language arts, reading, history, etc., 12 semester hours of which must be in upper division courses

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Click to learn more about getting your MAT online with our partner USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: New Mexico Teacher Preparation

Teacher preparation in New Mexico includes the completion of an accredited teacher education program.

Typically, teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design, and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship.

While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more teacher scholarships specific to the State of New Mexico, visit our New Mexico Teacher Scholarships page.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Visit our New Mexico Alternative Certification page for more information.

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Step Three: New Mexico Required Tests

To become a New Mexico state-certified teacher, teaching candidates must complete and pass all testing requirements through the National Evaluation Series (NES). All applicants, regardless of certification, must take the Essential Academic Skills Subtests I, II, and II: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics.

New Mexico Required Tests
Required Tests Area of Licensure

NES Essential Academic Skills (Subtests I, II, and III)
NES: Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood (Birth-Grade 3)

NES Essential Academic Skills (Subtests I, II, and III)
NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary
NES Elementary Education (Subtests I and II)
NES Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction

Elementary Education (K-8)

NES Essential Academic Skills (Subtests I, II, and III)
NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary or Secondary
NES K–12 or Middle Grades Assessment in appropriate area of endorsement

Middle Level Education (5–9)

NES Essential Academic Skills (Subtests I, II, and III)
NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Secondary
NES K–12 or Secondary Assessment in appropriate area of endorsement

Secondary Education (7–12)

NES Essential Academic Skills (Subtests I, II, and III)
NES Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary or Secondary
NES K–12 Assessment: Special Education

Special Education (Pre K–12)


Visit the NES website for a complete list of all available assessments.

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Step Four: New Mexico Application Requirements

All applicants obtaining their initial New Mexico teaching license are required to submit to fingerprinting for a state and federal background check. Fingerprints must be submitted through a 3M Cogent site. Fingerprint cards will be accepted from out-of-state applicants only. To find out more about how to apply for a background check through the NMPED, contact the Educator Ethics Bureau at (505) 827-6649 or via email.

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New Mexico Certification Reciprocity

The New Mexico Public Education Department will accept some teaching credentials from other states based on certain stipulations. Contact the New Mexico Public Education Department to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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New Mexico Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: The New Mexico Higher Education Department sponsors a program to help teachers at high-needs schools with repayment of education loans.
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: New Mexico has limited induction policies in place.
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $58,410
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $54,590
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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New Mexico Certification Resources & Links

Jerry Apodaca Education Building
300 Don Gaspar Avenue
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
505-827-5821

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