Teaching Here

What You Need to Know


Salaries range from $34,000 - $37,000.




University of New Mexico and Western New Mexico University (Optional two or three year program)


1.5 to 2 years

Becoming Certified to Teach

  • Overview
  • Is there a master's degree option while I am in the corps?
  • Is it possible to complete a master's degree at the end of the two years?
  • Is a master's degree required?
  • Which universities do you partner with?
  • Reciprocity or Completion of Teacher Preparation Program

In order to teach in New Mexico, corps members who are not already certified to teach in their content area must be able to obtain a valid Alternative 1A License. To that end, corps members must:

  • Demonstrate that they have received a bachelor’s degree
  • Pass a background check
  • Take and pass the National Evaluation Series teacher exams required for their content area
  • Enroll in a state-approved teacher preparation program

Most corps members teach with an Alternative 1A License for one to two years and then, provided they have fulfilled all coursework and testing requirements, receive the state’s Level One Provisional License. Coursework for licensure can be completed as early as the end of the first semester of the second year of teaching depending on the university partner.

Through a two-year "master's plus licensure" partnership with the University of New Mexico branches in Gallup and Farmington, corps members in the Four Corners end their commitment as fully certified New Mexico teachers, with many completing their master's degrees in education.

Yes, corps members have the option. In the Four Corners area, UNM-Gallup and UNM-Farmington currently offers a master's program that can be completed in two years.

Western New Mexico University offers a three-year master's program.

Yes, depending on the subject area and whether you are located near one of the University of New Mexico branches. The University of New Mexico branches in Gallup and Farmington do not currently offer a master’s degree in special education.


  • University of New Mexico in Gallup and Farmington (main partner)
  • Western New Mexico University in Gallup
  • Santa Fe Community College online

If you have a teaching license from another state, you can apply for interstate reciprocity by providing a copy of your current teaching license, the teacher exam scores that enabled you to receive that license, transcripts demonstrating your bachelor's degree and successful completion of your teacher preparation program, and a district letter verifying year(s) of teaching experience, if applicable.

If you do not have a teaching license but have completed a teacher preparation program and all required exams, you can apply directly for your Level 1 license with similar documentation for reciprocity. It is possible that you may have to take additional exams if any of your exams do not align with those required by the New Mexico Public Education Department.

Placement School Locations

Subjects & Grade Levels

  • Elementary
  • Science
  • English
  • Math
  • Social Studies

Our Neighborhood


The totals below are estimates only.

Monthly taxes withheld includes a mandatory 10.7% retirement contribution.

Regional Expenses

Monthly Salary

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What's Left Over
Ongoing Certification Costs
You may be able to offset ongoing certification costs with an AmeriCorps education award. Learn more.
One Time Summer Start Up Costs
Estimated Start Up and Certification Costs