Become a Teacher in Georgia

Choose the statement that best describes you to jump to applicable information.

I AM...

Teaching in Georgia Snapshot

$59,860Secondary School Teacher Salary
$58,190Elementary School Teacher Salary
$10,205Public School Spending Per Student

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


205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-2800

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 Georgia

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: 04/28/2020)


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.


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 on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission website.


Required Tests for Georgia

Those looking to apply to a Georgia teacher preparation program must pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) program admission assessment. Georgia requires the completion of the in your desired subject area to qualify to teach, as well as passage on the edPTA pedagogy exam.

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 Georgia, you will need to complete the appropriate number of college credit hours, a teacher preparation course, and the standardized tests specified above. 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 multiple levels of certification – the Induction Certificate can be upgraded to a Professional Certificate after 3 years of service or passage of GACE exams.. The Advanced and Lead Professional certificate is available for those with 10 years of teaching experience and who hold either an advanced degree, certificate in curriculum and instruction or instructional technology, or NBPTS certification.

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 Georgia

The Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (GaTAPP) helps would-be teachers who did not complete a teacher certification program to join the profession. Each candidate receives the support of a group of mentors and coaches who help train them over a one- to three-year internship. A list of more alternate routes to certification in Georgia can be found at the Georgia Professional Standards Commission website. Members of the military may be eligible for Georgia’s Troops to Teachers Program.

Georgia Teacher Certification Information & Links

Return to the top

Transferring Your Certification

Certification Reciprocity in Georgia

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 reciprocity page. For more specific questions about your situation, contact the Georgia Department of Education.

Return to the top

Jobs, Benefits, and Opportunities for Teachers in Georgia

Georgia Teaching Jobs

The Georgia Public School System runs Teach Georgia, a site where teachers can search for employment by school district and job title. Learn more about finding a teaching job.

Georgia Teacher Salary and Incentives

According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average teacher in Georgia makes around $58,000 per year. A 2018 Georgia Department of Education study reported that teacher salaries ranged from $35,217 for first-year teachers with just a Bachelor’s degree to $76,980 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

Georgia Teacher Benefits and Retirement

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

Georgia 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, Georgia has the following Teacher Shortage Areas:

  • Georgia is not currently reporting any shortage areas.

Financial Aid in Georgia

Georgia residents are eligible for the Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship, as well as the TEACH 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 Georgia Teachers

In 2017 Georgia adopted a professional learning system called Professional Learning Communities (PLC). A PLC consists of members of a school who follow agreed upon norms to focus collaborative work on teaching and learning. The cycle of work is described as,

  • Examining evidence of student performance
  • Analyzing possible instructional strategies that address student strengths and weaknesses
  • Developing common assessments that will provided data as new strategies are used
  • Implementation of agreed upon strategies
  • Analyze changes in student learning
  • Incorporating changes in student learning

More information on Professional Learning can be found at Georgia Professional Standards Commision.

Georgia also follows the Learning Forward standards for staff development. This Professional Learning Association council is widely recognized as a leader in the field of professional development. The standards are based on three questions: What are the students expected to know and be able to do? What are teachers expected to know and be able to do to ensure student success? Where must staff development focus to meet both of these goals? Teachers work in a cohort style method based on their subject areas and grade levels. Upon completion a Mentor Teacher distinction from the Department of Education.

Benefits of a Master's Degree in Georgia

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 have the potential 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