The United States Department of Education defines a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) as a subject matter or grade level within a state in which there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary teachers. The shortage may be caused by teaching positions that are unfilled or are filled by teachers who have temporary certification or teach in in academic subject other than their area of preparation. According to a report by the USDE Office of Postsecondary Education, Georgia has the following Teacher Shortage Areas:
Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Georgia
Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. Teach.com 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: 11/3/2016.
To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Georgia, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:
Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
Step Four: Submit a Georgia teaching credential application.
Continue below for more information.
Earn Your Georgia Teaching Credential
To become certified as a teacher in Georgia, 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 Georgia. Visit the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to learn more about getting your Teaching Credential in Georgia. Georgia has two levels of certification – the Initial Certificate can be upgraded to a Clear Renewable Certificate after passing the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) test. Learn more about getting your teaching credential.
Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Georgia
All states require that prospective teachers have at least a Bachelor’s Degree to and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification. Some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements.
Teacher education programs generally consist of two elements—curricula and fieldwork. Curricula generally includes instruction on teaching fundamental skills, pedagogy (the science of teaching) and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Fieldwork often includes field observations, internships, student teaching or a combination of all three.
Check with your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information about specific requirements. Georgia does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information.
Step Two: Georgia Teacher Certification Programs
Teacher Certification Programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs in Georgia can be found here.
Step Three: Required Tests for Georgia
Georgia requires the completion of the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) in your desired subject area to qualify to teach. Most states also require a basic skills examination, but Georgia does not.
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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 Georgia, visit the Teach.com reciprocity page. For more specific questions about your situation, contact the Georgia Department of Education.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average teacher in Georgia makes $53,010 per year, which is 118% of the state average income. A 2014 study from the Georgia Department of Education reported that teacher salaries ranged from $31,586 for first-year teachers with just a Bachelor’s degree to $72,530 for teachers with at least 21 years of experience and the highest level of Georgia teacher certification. Georgia provides additional pay incentives for those willing to teach in high needs school districts, or in shortage subjects. Learn more about teacher salaries at Teach.com.
Georgia teachers can retire at age 60 with 10 years of service, or at any age after 30 years of service. The Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRSG) serves teachers in Georgia looking for assistance with their retirement. There are multiple plans available depending on the coverage you’re looking for. Georgia also offers additional benefits to teachers, such as health care plans and an annual number of sick days. Learn more about benefits for teachers at Teach.com.
In Georgia, a teacher must earn Professional Learning Unit (PLU) credits through professional development each year to maintain their teaching certification. Each unit of credit for a PLU is based on 10 hours of contact time with an instructor. Every five years, a certified teacher must earn 10 credits of PLU. Learn more about professional learning on the Georgia Department of Education Professional Learning page.