Areas of Licensure

Do I Need a Professional Educator's License To Work in NC Public Schools?

student on benchAll North Carolina teachers, student services personnel and administrators must be licensed to serve in the public schools.  Completion of an approved educator preparation program (EPP) whether traditional or alternative is the route to licensure.  See Beginning the Process for an Educator's License for more detailed information on the licensure process and the specific documentation required to apply.

Apply or Update Your License Online Now!

If you have completed either an in-state or out-of-state approved EPP you may access the NCDPI Online Licensure System to apply for or update a current license.  Instructions and more information are available within the online licensure system to guide you through the application process.

Current Professional Educator's License Categories Issued by the State of North Carolina

Tab/Accordion Items

This category covers grades Birth-6
Birth-Kindergarten (B-K) Elementary (K-6) Science Add-on**
Preschool Add-on* Reading (K-6)
Elementary (K-6) English as a Second Language [ESL] (K-6)
Elementary (K-6) Second Language++   Exceptional Children: General Curriculum (K-6)
Elementary (K-6) Math Add-on** Exceptional Children: Adapted Curriculum (K-6)

* Available only to teachers with current licenses in elementary education, special education, or family and consumer sciences.

** Available upon completion of NCSBE approved educator preparation programs offered by approved NC universities.

++ May be added only to an Elementary (K-6) license and is valid for full-time assignments in grades 6 and below

This category includes grades 6-9
Middle Grades Language Arts 
Mathematics Middle Grades Mathematics
Mathematics Middle Grades Science
Middle Grades Social Studies
Middle Grades Literacy Coach**

** Available only to teachers who complete the NC 
Teacher Academy Middle School Literacy Coach Training Program

This category includes grades 9-12
English Anthropology
Mathematics French
Science Spanish
Earth Science German
Biology Japanese
Physics Russian
Chemistry Latin
Social Studies Bible
Political Science Journalism ++
Geography Psychology ++
History Italian
Economics Chinese

++ Issued only to individuals fully licensed in another area.

This category includes grades K-12
Art American Sign Language Hebrew 
Music French Hindi
Dance Spanish Italian
Theater Arts German Korean
Health Specialist Japanese Latin
Physical Education Russian Portuguese
Health and Physical Education Arabic Swahili 
Safety and Driver Education* Cherokee Turkish
Speech Communication Chinese Computer Education Endorsement++ 
ESL Greek (Ancient) Junior ROTC 
Reading Greek (Modern) Other Second Languages

* Issued only if individual is fully licensed in another state or upon completion of NCSBE approved alternate route program.

++ Issued only to individuals fully licensed in another area.

This category covers all K-12 exceptionalities. In other states, this category may also be called Special Education.
Specific Learning Disabled Cross Categorical (mildly/moderately disabled)
Academically Gifted Severely/Profoundly Disabled
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Mentally Disabled
Special Education: General Curriculum Visually Impaired
Special Education: Adapted Curriculum Behaviorally/Emotionally Disabled

This category includes grades 6-12.  Vocational Education is a term used in other states for this group of license areas.
Agriculture Education Health Science Education – Registered Nurse Trade and Industrial Education-Collision Repair
Business, Finance and Information Technology Education Health Science Education –Non-RN Trade and Industrial Education- Automotive Service
Career Development Coordinator Health Science Education –Biotechnology Trade and Industrial Education-Construction
Curriculum and Instructional Management Coordinator Information Technology Education Trade and Industrial Education-Drafting
Family and Consumer Sciences - General Marketing Education Trade and Industrial Education-Welding
Family and Consumer Sciences - Apparel­ Special Populations Coordinator (Handicap/Disadvantaged) Trade and Industrial Education- Manufacturing
Family and Consumer Sciences -Child Development & Family Studies Technology Engineering and Design Education Trade and Industrial Education-Digital Media
Family and Consumer Sciences -Foods and Nutrition/Culinary Arts Technology Engineering and Design Education-Sci Vis & Game Art Trade and Industrial Education-Public Safety
Family and Consumer Sciences -Interior Design Career and Technical Education Director Special Populations Coordinator

This category includes K-12 school and district level Administrative roles.
Curriculum Instructional Specialist**
Instructional Technology Specialist - Computers**
Media Supervisor**
Exceptional Children Program Administrator**

* Initial license is issued only at Educational Specialist or Doctoral levels

** Initial license is issued only at master's level or above


This category includes K-12 student services personnel who provide support services to school-aged children.
School Counselor*
School Social Worker
School Psychologist**
Instructional Technology Specialist - Telecommunications*
Media Coordinator*
Speech-Language Pathologist***

*    Initial license is issued only at master's level or above

**  Initial license is issued only at Educational Specialist (sometimes called Advanced) or Doctoral levels

*** Effective July 1, 2011, the NCSBE will accept only a current and valid North Carolina Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists license as the qualifying credential for service in public schools.