Become a Teacher in Florida


Florida Department of Education

Turlington Building, Suite 1514 325 West Gaines Street Tallahassee, Florida 32399

(850) 245-0505

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    Become a teacher in Florida

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            Earn Your Florida Teaching Credential

            Important Note: Education licensure requirements and salary statistics (for teachers and administrators) are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 1/06/2015

            To become certified as a teacher in Florida, you will need to complete the appropriate number of college credit hours, a teacher preparation course, and the standardized tests specified below. If you have a teaching credential from another state, you may be able to use an interstate reciprocity program to become certified in Florida. Learn more here about getting your Teaching Credential in Florida.

            Florida offers two levels of certification: a Temporary certificate for beginning teachers and a Professional certificate for teachers who have met additional competency requirements.

            Learn more about getting your teaching credential.

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            Prerequisite Coursework in Florida

            All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have certification credit hour requirements for in specialty areas. Florida has diverse coursework requirements, with different prerequisite coursework for over 40 different subjects . Although there are more detailed specifications listed on the site, Florida requires a major in elementary education or 30 semester hours in Elementary Education related-coursework to work as an Elementary School teacher, and a major or 30 semester hours in the desired subject area for Secondary Education. Visit the subject page for more specific requirements. A passing score on the Florida Subject Area Subject Examination or a valid American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) certificate can suffice in place of the specified coursework. There are a number of ways to move from a Temporary to a Professional Certificate, most of which involve additional courses from a teacher preparation program. For more information about prerequisite coursework to teach in florida, click here.

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            Required Tests for Florida

            Certification testing in Florida is run by FTCE (Florida Teacher Certification Examinations). Teachers are required to complete the Florida General Knowledge Test and the Florida Subject Area Examinations. Applicants for the Professional Certificate may need to take the FTCE Professional Education Test.

            You can learn more about the Praxis exams by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep.

            Read more about teacher certification tests.

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            Florida Teacher Certification

            To earn your teaching credential you will have to complete the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs in Florida can be found here.

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            Alternate Teacher Certification in Florida

            Anyone with a bachelor’s degree in the state is eligible for the Florida Alternative Teacher Certification Program. This program provides certification through a combination of on-the-job training and a support system that includes an online curriculum, peer-to-peer mentoring and “survival instruction” in effective teaching and classroom management techniques. The program involves four levels of assessment to determine a trainee’s mastery of the required competencies. The trainee’s support team will include a building-level administrator who will verify that competencies are being put into practice. The team must also include an outside educator, either from the school district or a university program, as a “collaborative partner.” You must obtain a temporary teaching certificate and secure employment with a school district in order to be eligible for the alternative certification program. The process for temporary certification can be started here.

            Educator Preparation Institutes (EPIs), offered by many community and state colleges, are another alternative route for mid-career professionals or non-education majors. The EPI program requires completion of seven courses and two field experiences for a total of 21 credits.

            Additionally, the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence has an online program that can lead to a temporary teaching certificate in Florida.

            The Troops to Teachers program helps members of the military transition to a teaching career.  In order to participate, you must have or earn a four-year college degree. Participants can receive a stipend to cover certification expenses if they teach in a high-needs school or in a district where a high percentage of students live below the poverty level.

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            Certification Reciprocity in Florida

            Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Florida, visit the reciprocity page . Or, for more specific questions about your situation, contact the Florida Department of Education.

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            Benefits of a Master’s in Education in Florida

            It is no longer enough to just have years of experience for teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, the careers of teachers increasingly depend on their results in the classroom. A Master’s in Teaching will give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor. After a Master’s program, you will be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay.

            A Master’s degree generally leads to a pay increase, although the increase in pay varies by school district. This table of Average Teacher Salaries by Degree Level for Florida school districts shows teachers holding a Master’s earning $2,000 -- $8,000 more than teachers with a Bachelor’s degree.

            Learn more about the Benefits of a Master's in Education.

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            Masters in Education Financial Aid

            Florida residents are eligible for the  Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

            Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree.

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            Florida Teacher Salary and Incentives

            The average teacher in Florida makes $51, 230 per year, which is 133% of the state average income. Florida provides differential pay as an incentive to get teachers into high needs schools and shortage subjects. Florida teacher salaries vary by school district. To get a better idea of what pay is like in each school district, click here.

            Learn more about teacher salaries.

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            Florida Teacher Benefits and Retirement

            Teacher retirement benefits are provided via the Florida Retirement System. Florida teachers can retire with full benefits at age 65 after at least 6 years of service, or at any age after 33 years of service.

            Florida’s benefits differ from district to district, so contact your district representative to learn more.

            Learn more about benefits for teachers.

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            Professional Development for Teachers in Florida

            School Principals establish the guidelines for  Florida’s professional development. However, there are a few statewide rules that each principal must abide by that are outlined in the Florida Professional Outline Evaluation Protocol. Florida aims to analyze student achievement and link this achievement to teacher quality.  Florida has some limited induction policies to provide professional development and mentoring to new teachers. Links to Department of Education professional development and support resources can be found here.

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            Florida Teaching Jobs

            The ‘Recruitment’ section of compiles job postings and teaching job initiatives such as the Troops to Teachers program for returning military personnel.

            Learn more about finding a teaching job.

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            Florida Teacher Certification Information & Links

            Florida Department of Education Required Coursework by Subject Area Florida Retirement System TeachInFlorida – Educator Certification