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Home » Certification » National Board Certified Teachers » Become a National Board Candidate

Become a National Board Candidate

Contact Information

National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs)

Steven Mueller

About Certification

National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in education and provides numerous benefits to teachers, students, and schools. It was designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide.

National Board Certification is achieved upon successful completion of a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards based on what teachers should know and be able to do.

  • The Certification process takes between one and five years.
  • Candidates complete 4 components that are reviewed by trained teachers in their certificate areas.
  • The assessments include four portfolio entries that feature teaching practice and six constructed response exercises that assess content knowledge.
  • The estimated time commitment is between 200 to 400 hours to complete the certification process.
  • Certification is not a guarantee; the national certification rate hovers around 40 percent from year to year.

While the Washington state system of support for National Board Certification means our state rate is higher, there is still a chance that a candidate may go through all five years of candidacy and still not certify with NBPTS. While this is not meant to discourage a teacher or counselor from going through the process, it is important information to have before entering the process.

Guide to National Board Certification

Produced by NBPTS, the guide covers the assessment process, fields of certification, scholarships and rewards, how to apply, and who to contact for more information.

Download guide


Among the benefits, National Board Certification offers higher salary potential, strengthens teaching practice, and helps students succeed. In WA state, teachers holding National Board Certification:

  • Will be paid, on an annual basis and in a lump sum a bonus of $5,000 and an additional “challenging schools” bonus of up to $5,000 (subject to the legislative conditions and limitations).
  • Are exempt from the 150 clock hour requirement to maintain their Washington State teaching certificate.
  • Are eligible for 45 clock hours upon “completion” (completion is determined by OSPI and NBPTS verification of candidates submitting 4 scorable components) of the National Board process and an additional 45 clock hours upon certification.
  • National Board Certification and Your Washington State Teaching Certificate


To seek National Board Certification you must meet the following requirements prior to applying:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (CTE teachers are not required to hold a Bachelor’s Degree unless it is required for their state’s licensure)
  • Have completed three full years of K-12 teaching/counseling experience
  • Possess a valid state teaching or counseling license


A non-refundable annual registration fee of $75 is required when you submit your yearly application. Each of the four components is $475 for initial submission. Retake fees vary based on component.

Financial Support

There are a few options if you need financial support to cover the fees:

  • A conditional loan from OSPI funds $1,425 of the $1,900 fee for beginning the National Board Certification process.
  • Through the generosity of corporate and foundation partners, the National Board is periodically able to offer a limited number of scholarships. If scholarship funding is available, NBPTS will post a scholarship application to your National Board account.


Ready to Become a Candidate? Go to the NBPTS Web site to get started!