Pathways to Teaching
There are two primary pathways to becoming a teacher in North Carolina, either through a Traditional Education program or an Alternative program. No matter your route to teaching, we require that all Beginning, Out of State, & International Teachers become licensed by the state of North Carolina.  There are multiple license types including: Professional Educator’s Initial License, Professional Educator’s Continuing License, Residency License, Career and Technical Education (CTE) Restricted License, and an Emergency License.  More information on License types can be found on the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) website.

Professional educators are able to apply for and update their North Carolina licenses online. Instructions and more information are available within the online licensure system.

CMS has a variety of teaching, facilitator, specialist and student services vacancies posted throughout the year. Individuals can always complete an application and then apply to specific job postings of interest. 


​Emergency License

The Emergency License is defined as a one-year license, that is requested by the local board of education for an individual who meets the following requirements:
  • Holds a bachelor's degree
  • Has 18 hours of coursework relevant to the requested licensure area but has not completed a recognized educator preparation program, and;
  • Does not qualify for a Residency License

Residency License

The Residency License as defined as a one-year license, renewable twice, that meets both of the following requirements:
  • Is requested by the local board of education; and
  • Accompanied by a certification of supervision from the recognized educator preparation program in which the individual is enrolled.
The individual for whom the license is requested meets all of the following requirements:
  • Holds a bachelor's degree;
  • Has either completed coursework relevant to the requested licensure area or passed the content area examination relevant to the requested licensure area that has been approved by the State Board;
  • Is enrolled in a recognized educator preparation program; and
  • Meets all other requirements established by the State Board, including completing pre-service requirements prior to teaching.

CMS Teaching Residency

The CMS Teaching Residency is an accelerated, affordable path to becoming a full-time CMS teacher.  To be eligible for the Residency, you must hold a bachelor’s degree, meet all legal requirements to work in the United States, have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.7, and plan to take all state-required certification tests.  We train residents to work in the grades and subject areas where they’re needed most.  Click here to learn more or click here for application notifications.

CTE Restricted Licenses

CTE Restricted Licenses require that teaching candidates have related work experience for the CTE program area as well as the related degree.  CTE Restricted Licenses allow candidates to obtain an Initial Professional Educator license based primarily on the candidate’s work experience. An associate degree or high school diploma is the minimum education requirement in some CTE licensure areas as long as the candidate meets the required work experience for the CTE Restricted route.

Partner Programs

Educational Partners International, LLC (EPI)

Educational Partners International, LLC: Designated by the US Dept. of State as a J-1 exchange visitor program sponsor, EPI provides highly-qualified international teachers with the visa sponsorship and support needed to teach critical needs subjects in NC. EPI assists teachers and schools with visa processing, licensure, professional and cultural development, and more. They provide a unique cultural exchange program with emphasis on support.

Global Teaching Partners

Global Teaching Partners, LLC provides the recruitment, placement, and ongoing support of highly qualified K-12 international teachers. Global is committed to supporting their teachers in all aspects of life for the duration of their time on the program, which results in a retention rate of approximately 96.5% for the organization. Global teachers are highly motivated and will work hard to ensure their successful transition to living and teaching in the United States.


Participate: Since 1989, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has worked with Participate (formerly VIF) to welcome teachers from around the world to our state. Today, hundreds of North Carolina schools host about one thousand Participate international teachers from 48 different countries.

Teach for America

Teach for America (TFA) is one of our teaching partnerships.  They recruit outstanding and diverse leaders early in their careers and ask them to make a commitment that begins with two years of teaching in a public school, partnering with children and families most impacted by educational inequity.

Troops to Teachers

At Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), we believe military personnel make great employees and we invite you to apply to both our instructional and non-instructional career opportunities. There are many reasons we look to hire veterans but at the heart of all our hiring decisions is our students. Are you ready to serve our youth?

All current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible to participate in the Troops to Teachers (TTT) program. The last period of military service must be characterized as honorable. TTT provides counseling and, for those who are eligible for hire as teachers, referral services to assist with the transition to the classroom. Counseling includes discussion of path options considering education level, referral to appropriate IHEs that offer teacher education programs applicable to the individual’s interest and geography. Additionally, unofficial transcript, résumé and cover letter reviews are available in North Carolina. We also have
volunteer mentors available in many areas for observational experiences.

For Information on the Troops to Teachers program, please contact your TTT 
State Office
P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website ( is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.