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Teaching Programs in Nebraska

If you want a rewarding teaching opportunity in an area with a low cost of living, you may want to consider teaching in Nebraska. Teaching jobs in Nebraska are growing faster than the national average at a rate of 6% as opposed to the national prediction of 4%, according to projections for all teachers from Career One Stop. Further data suggests higher-paid teaching jobs, especially for middle schools in and around central Nebraska, may increase in coming years.


How Can I Get a Teaching Degree in Nebraska?

To become a teacher, you will first need to earn a bachelor’s degree in education and teaching certification. According to the Nebraska Department of Education, there are three types of teaching certificates you can pursue to become certified to teach in Nebraska, and most teacher certification programs in Nebraska are The certification path you take will depend on your education and experience:

  • Initial Certification: For new graduates from a teacher program; valid for five years
  • Standard Certification: Available after two years of full or part-time teaching; valid for five years
  • Professional Certification: For master’s degree in education holders; valid for ten years

All future teachers must pass two exams in the process of becoming certified to teach: The Praxis I Skills Test and the Praxis II Content Test specific to the subject or grade you want to teach. Nebraska then requires teachers to complete fingerprinting, background checks, and training in human relations and special education. You’ll also need to complete ongoing professional development courses to validate your teaching certificate.

Traditional Path

The traditional way most people take to become a teacher is to earn a bachelor’s degree in education, which uses instruction and hands-on training to prepare you to teach. Expect to complete at least 100 student teaching hours for each subject, earn endorsements for the subject or grade you plan to teach, and take the Praxis exams upon graduation.

Teacher preparation programs set you up for initial certification shortly after graduation, which is valid for five years. To earn your standard teaching certificate, you will be required to teach in an approved school for two consecutive years, either full- or part-time.

Alternative Certification

The alternative way to become a teacher in Nebraska is to acquire your transitional teaching certification. This option is available for mid-career professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree in a subject other than education and want to transition into teaching.

Eligible non-education graduates can become Nebraska teachers by taking a transitional certification program before finding a job. Programs often consist of around 18 credit hours of relevant coursework and six credit hours of student teaching. You may also need to earn endorsements if you teach a specific subject.

If you have a bachelor’s degree in the area you want to teach, and a Nebraska school wants to hire you, you can also start teaching with a transitional teaching permit. However, the school must put together a plan to observe you, and you’ll still need to complete a pre-teaching seminar. You will also still be required to complete additional coursework in human relations and special education training, and will still need to pass certification exams for your initial teaching certificate.

Teachers Moving to Nebraska from Another State

If you’re already a teacher in another state, you can move to Nebraska and transfer your teaching certification.

Teachers can move their existing licensure to states with reciprocity agreements through the NASDTEC Interstate Agreement, which allows you to become certified without going through the licensing requirements. Nebraska has agreements with most states except:

  • Alaska
  • Minnesota
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • New Jersey

Any licensed teacher with an accredited education can obtain teaching certification in Nebraska. You should expect to supply transcripts and Praxis exam results, and possibly complete several credit hours of additional professional development as well as courses in human relations and special education. Similar exams from other states may transfer to Nebraska. You can apply for a temporary or provisional certificate if you need to complete further coursework or testing requirements.

Career Outlook for Educators in Nebraska

The state of Nebraska offers a low cost of living, making teaching jobs highly competitive in high-paying areas. Teachers in Nebraska are in high demand, and job opportunities are growing faster in Nebraska than the rest of the nation. CareerOneStop predicts a 6% increase in education jobs across the board through 2026.

Average salaries vary based on what subject you teach and where you work. Urban areas tend to pay higher salaries to reflect the higher cost of living, but salaries in nonmetropolitan areas also vary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), for example, elementary teachers in Nebraska make the following mean salaries based on location:

  • South nonmetropolitan area: $53,850
  • Northeast nonmetropolitan area: $55,330
  • Northwest nonmetropolitan area: $55,400
  • Lincoln: $55,380
  • Omaha-Council Bluffs: $58,450
  • Grand Island: $68,160

The highest mean salary in Nebraska (Grand Island) is more than the mean annual nationwide salary for elementary teachers, which is $62,200. What’s more, middle school teachers in Grand Island earn a mean salary of $80,790, according to the BLS.

Nebraska Mean Teaching Salaries (2018)
Elementary:$57,490 per year
Middle School:$60,280 per year
Secondary:$57,500 per year
Post-Secondary:$73,750 per year (averaged from all mean salaries)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher Training Programs in Nebraska

If you want to get a teaching degree in Nebraska, check out the following programs:

Chadron State College

Chadron State College is highly affordable, and offers degrees in early childhood, elementary, middle school, and secondary education. Graduate programs are available either in-person or online. Chadron also offers you the opportunity to earn endorsements in various subjects. Online tuition starts with flat rates of $296.50 per credit hour for undergraduates or $370.75 per credit hour for graduate students. On-campus rates begin at $181.50 per credit hour for undergraduate residents or only a dollar more for non-residents. Graduate residents pay $227 per credit hour, while non-residents pay $454 per credit hours.

College of Saint Mary

The College of Saint Mary offers a wide selection of degrees, including early childhood, elementary, middle school, secondary, special education, and a variety of graduate certificates and endorsements. You can even earn your Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree online. Full-time undergraduates pay $10,685 for tuition for one semester, while the Doctor of Education program is $700 per credit hour. Online tuition varies.

Concordia University-Nebraska

Concordia offers one of the best online education programs for graduate students in Nebraska. You can pursue an on-campus undergraduate education degree in early childhood, elementary, and middle school education, and there are online options for secondary and special education. The Master of Education degree is available entirely online. Tuition for the 2020-2021 academic year is $34,200 for undergraduate students, but the college provides financial aid to 100% of students, so the actual cost of attendance may be lower.

University of Nebraska

Ranked one of the best education programs in the state, the University of Nebraska has locations in Kearney, Lincoln, and Omaha. The university offers undergraduate programs in elementary education, early childhood education, and special education, as well as a wide range of graduate programs and certifications. Many classes are available fully online. Tuition is $252 per credit hour, or $7,560 for the academic year, for Nebraska residents, and $800 per credit hour, or $24,000 for the academic year for non-residents.

Wayne State College

Wayne State offers programs for students who want to become an elementary teacher, administrator, or school counselor. The school offers a wide array of on-campus bachelor’s degrees and a top-rated online master’s degree in education administration. Campus graduate programs include degrees like Education Specialist and Master of Science in Education. Tuition is $181.50 per credit hour for undergraduate Nebraska residents, and $272.25 per credit hour for non-residents. Graduate program tuition varies.

Nebraska Teacher Resources

Many resources are available for teachers in Nebraska, regardless of the grade or subject you teach. Use the following resources to advocate for your students, research licensure requirements, and find professional development courses or jobs:

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