Become a Teacher in Florida

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Teaching in Florida Snapshot

$54,120Secondary School Teacher Salary
$55,210Elementary School Teacher Salary
$9,075Public School Spending Per Student

All career and salary information pulled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 pupil expenditure information was provided by Governing


Turlington Building, Suite 1514
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
(850) 245-0505

Explore Sponsored Degree Options in Education

Sponsored Online programs
University Name Type of Program Learn More Program Description
University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching Learn more about USC Rossier The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.


Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Florida

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information 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 update: 04/22/2020)


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 specialty areas. Florida has diverse coursework requirements, with different prerequisite coursework for dozens of different subjects.

Although there are more detailed specifications listed on its department of education 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 be used to qualify for a temporary certificate or as an addition to a certificate. 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 in Florida, visit the state's department of education website.



Florida Teacher Certification Programs

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 on the Florida Department of Education website.



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 Teach.coms' Guide to the Praxis Exams and read more about teacher certification tests on

Initial Teaching Certifications

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. Visit the Florida Department of Education Educator Certification page for more information on 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 on

Discover an 8-week Online Teaching Short Course from Harvard's Bok Center

Learn more about an 8-week short course from Harvard's Bok Center

Earn recognition of your ability to develop and deliver a memorable teaching experience when you receive a premier certificate from Harvard’s Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX, upon successful course completion.


Alternative Certification in Florida

Anyone with a Bachelor’s degree in the state is eligible for Florida Education Preparation Institutes, a form of alternative certification. A list of these programs can be found on the Florida Department of Education website.

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 the Florida Department of Education Steps to Certification page

Educator Preparation Institutes (EPIs), offered by many community and state colleges, are another alternative route for mid-career professionals or non-education majors. Students with a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university may enter an EPI program. More information can be found on the Florida Department of Education Educator Preparation Institutes page.

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.

Florida Teacher Certification Information & Links

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Transferring Your Certification

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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Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Florida

Florida Teaching Jobs

The Recruitment section of Teach In Florida website 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 on

Florida Teacher Salary and Incentives

According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average teacher in Florida makes $54,000 to $55,000 per year, depending on grade level taught. Florida provides differential pay as an incentive to get teachers into high needs schools and shortage subjects. Florida teacher salaries vary by school district.

Learn more about teacher salaries on

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 8 years of service, or at any age after 33 years of service, if entered into the system after July 2011.

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

Learn more about benefits for teachers on

Florida Teacher Shortage Areas

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 an academic subject other than their area of preparation. According to a report by the US Department of Education, Florida has the following Teacher Shortage Areas:

  • Career and Technical Education
  • English as a Second Language
  • Language Arts
  • Math
  • Science
  • Special Education

Financial Aid in Florida

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 on

Career Advancement

Professional Development for Florida Teachers

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 link student 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 on the Teach in Florida website.

Benefits of a Master's Degree 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 degree in the field of education 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.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

Explore Sponsored Program Options in Education

Sponsored Online programs
University Name Type of Program Program Description
University of Southern California Master of Arts in Teaching The online Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from the USC Rossier School of Education prepares you to become a transformative K–12 teacher. Through live online classes and enriching field experiences in your community, you can earn your MAT in less than 18 months without relocating.
Harvard University Advanced Certification in Teaching The 8-week Teaching and Learning Strategies for Higher Education online short course is delivered by Harvard’s Bok Center for Teaching and Learning, in association with HarvardX. Students in this course will engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective teaching methods in the higher education context, while refining their own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy.


Last Updated May 2020