National Board Certifications are granted by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which announced last week that the state gave out a total of 1,260 new certifications this year, bringing the total to 3,665.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has the second highest number of certifications in the nation with 351, trailing only Los Angeles.
One reason experts say North Carolina has a large number of nationally certified teachers is the incentives it gives to apply for certification. The state pays the $2,300 application fee and provides an automatic 12 percent salary increase upon certification.
But educators applying for certification do not apply only for financial gains, said Angela Farthing, manager of the N.C. Association of Educators' Center for Teaching and Learning.
"Teachers that become certified become experts," Farthing said. "They're offered other opportunities to grow professionally without leaving the classroom."
Farthing said the certification process is extensive and that it must be completed in a certain time frame.
"It's a nine-month process," she said. This multistep process includes the preparation of a portfolio and an assessment phase.
Farthing said there are valuable aspects of getting national certification, including flexibility. "It's a portable certificate," she said. "You can teach anywhere in the United States."
Farthing said the fact that the certification lasts 10 years also appeals to teachers.