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How to Become a Teacher in Florida

how to become a teacher in Florida

Now is the time to become a Florida teacher. In five easy steps, you can transition into a new career. Teaching is a unique profession because it allows you to change the lives of others. Even if you did not earn a bachelor’s degree in Education, it does not mean your opportunity to become a teacher in Florida is over. You can complete an alternative teaching program in less than a year and be on your way to making your dream of becoming a Florida teacher a reality.

This is not a journey to take alone. Organize your steps and find partners along the way. We have started the work for you and outlined the steps below to become a Florida teacher. Use the links in this guide and contact the suggested resources and organizations. There are many opportunities in teaching, and we want to help you. So, let’s get started!

Becoming a Teacher in Florida

1. Obtain a Teaching Degree

To become a teacher in Florida, you must hold a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher education program. If you have a bachelor’s degree but did not complete a teacher preparation program, there are other pathways to earn a teaching license. If you major in education, your university will guide you through the steps to becoming a certified teacher in Florida.

2. Complete a Teacher Preparation Program

Candidates must complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. In Florida, approved preparation programs are called Educator Preparation Institutes (EPIs). You can view a list of approved teacher training programs through the Florida Department of Education website.

3. Take Required Testing

Candidates in Florida must take the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations FTCE). Test registration is available on the FTCE/FELE website. All candidates seeking a Florida Standard Teaching Certificate must take at least two initial exams:

  • FTCE General Knowledge Test
  • FTCE Professional Education Test

4. Apply for Certification

Once you have completed a state-approved teacher preparation program and passed the required Florida Teacher Certification Examinations, you can apply for certification through the Florida Department of Education website. Each person seeking certification in Florida will need to be fingerprinted and screened in accordance with Florida statutes. Find more information on submitting fingerprints and passing a required background check can be found on the FLDOE website.

5. Apply to a Teaching Position

Once you have completed your certification application requesting a Florida certificate, the Bureau of Educator Certification will review your application and determine your eligibility for a Florida certificate. Once you receive your official Statement of Status of Eligibility, you can begin to apply for a teaching position. There are various teaching positions in Florida, including teaching in a public, charter, private, or virtual school. To have a successful job search, you must write a resume and cover letter tailored to your desired position. Also, think of at least two professors, colleagues, or supervisors who can serve as references for you during your job search.

Learn more about getting your teacher certification in Florida in our full Florida teacher certification guide. 

How to Become a Teacher at Various Grade Levels

After you pass your Florida General Knowledge and Professional Education tests, you must choose a subject & grade level-specific test to gain initial certification. There are currently 39 Florida Subject Area Examinations.

  • K-12 Subject Area Exams:
    • (001) Art K-12
    • (005) Computer Science K-12
    • (020) Deaf or Hard of Hearing K-12
    • (047) ESOL K-12
    • (061) Exceptional Student Education K-12
    • (015) French K-12
    • (017) German K-12
    • (019) Health K-12
    • (022) Humanities  K-12
    • (024) Latin K-12
    • (028) Music K-12
    • (063) Physical Education K-12
    • (035) Reading K-12
    • (039) Spanish K-12
    • (042) Speech-Language Impaired K-12
    • (044) Visually Impaired K-12
  • Early Childhood-6:
    • (060) Elementary Education K-6
    • (053) Prekindergarten/Primary PK-3
    • (007) Preschool Education Birth-Age 4
  • 5-9 Subject Area Exams:
    • (014) Middle Grades English 5-9
    • (004) Middle Grades General Science 5-9
    • (025) Middle Grades Mathematics 5-9
    • (038) Middle Grades Social Science 5-9
  • 6-12 Subject Area Exams:
    • (054) Agriculture 6-12
    • (002) Biology 6-12
    • (051) Business Education 6-12
    • (003) Chemistry 6-12
    • (006) Drama 6-12
    • (008) Earth/Space Science 6-12
    • (055) Engineering and Technology Education 6-12
    • (013) English 6-12
    • (052) Family and Consumer Science 6-12
    • (057) Marketing 6-12
    • (026) Mathematics 6-12
    • (032) Physics 6-12
    • (037) Social Science 6-12
  • Other Subject Area Exams:
    • (018) School Counseling PK-12
    • (036) School Psychologist PK-12

Renewing Your Teaching Certification

Once you obtain your Florida Professional Teaching Certificate, you must renew it every five years. To renew, educators must complete the required continuing education hours and complete a renewal application during the last year of the certificate’s validity. Complete steps to renew your teaching certificate are on the Florida Department of Education Website.

Teaching Job Outlook and Salary in Florida

Florida is the 4th largest public school system in the United States. It comprises over 4,000 traditional and charter public schools. According to the Florida Education Association, the largest teacher union in Florida, there is a severe shortage of teachers, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and other support staff. In 2020 the average starting salary for a Florida teacher was $40,000 but increased to $47,000. The average salary will continue to increase each year with the Freedom Budget. Be sure to research district pay scales before filling out your job applications. These pay scales vary and will be on each district’s website.

Florida Counties With the Highest Salaries

According to the 2020-2021 Teacher Salary Data, the following school districts offer the top pay for Florida teachers. The average pay for teachers in these school districts ranged from about $54,000 to $61,000 annually.

Sarasota County ($61,640)

Monroe County ($58,960)

Collier County ($58,200)

Florida Virtual ($55,999)

Okaloosa County ($54932)

Can You Be a Teacher Without a Degree in Florida?

The short answer is no. A bachelor’s degree and completion of a state-approved teacher preparation program are required to be a fully-certified classroom teacher in Florida. However, you can become a teacher’s aide by earning an associate’s degree or completing at least 60 college semester hours. A teacher’s aide provides additional help and instruction to students. Another option for becoming a teacher’s aide in Florida is to take and pass the Praxis ParaPro Exam.

Frequently Asked Questions about Teaching in Florida

Which teaching positions are in-demand?

The Florida Department of Education publishes a list of Florida shortage areas each year. High-demand teacher needs are identified each year and can be accessed on the FLDOE website. Consistent areas of need year after year can be found in the Archived Critical Teacher Shortage Reports from 2010-2023 in PK-12 public schools. Exceptional Student Education, Science- General and Physical, Reading, English to Speakers of Other Languages, and Math teachers were on the state-wide list for the greatest need for the 2022-2023 school year.

What is the average salary for teachers in Florida?

The average salary for an entry-level teacher in 2020 was $40,000 in the state of Florida. With the new legislation of the Freedom Budget, teachers saw the average salary increase to $47,000 and will continue to grow yearly. This increase moved Florida from 26th to 9th in the nation regarding teacher salary.

How long does it take to become a teacher in Florida?

Once you complete your bachelor’s degree, which takes approximately four years, you must complete a teacher preparation program or other approved professional training program like the Professional Development Certification Program, which can take as little as 12 months. When you finish your teacher preparation program, you will take your initial FTCE examinations and apply for a Florida teacher certification. Once the Bureau of Educator Certification has received your completed application, it can take up to 90 days to receive your official Statement of Status of Eligibility.

How much does it cost to become a teacher in Florida?

Becoming a teacher in Florida requires a financial commitment. The main initial cost of obtaining a bachelor’s degree will vary widely from person to person. If you are majoring in education or are going directly into the field upon graduation, look into grant and loan programs. There are several resources available to help teachers pay for their degrees. You can find a list compiled by the Florida Department of Education here.

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, other costs are associated with becoming a teacher. Some potential costs are a teacher preparation program (about $2,600 plus fees), state certification tests (about $130-$150 per exam), state application fee ($75 per exam), and fingerprinting fee (about $50-$80). Plan for the financial costs, and your teaching career will be off to a great start.

What other certifications can teachers in Florida obtain?

Many! Once certified to teach in Florida, you may apply for additional certifications by submitting a completed application package. Once you submit your application package, you will receive a Statement of Status Eligibility stating your requirements, adding the subject or endorsement to your certificate.

Closing: 

Are you ready to be a Florida-certified teacher? 240 can help! 240Tutoring.com offers FREE FTCE exam resources to help you master your certification tests. When you subscribe to 240 Tutoring, you will gain access to every 240 FTCE Study Guide for one monthly price. With the 240 Tutoring Pass Guarantee, it is no wonder so many are choosing 240 to pass their FTCE exams. We wish you the best on your journey to becoming a Florida-certified teacher!

Interested in becoming a teacher in a different state? Check out these additional articles:

How to Become a Teacher in Texas
How To Become a Teacher in North Carolina
How to Become a Teacher in Illinois
How to Become a Teacher in Ohio
How to Become a Teacher in Tennessee
How to Become a Teacher in Virginia
How to Become a Teacher in Wisconsin
How to Become a Teacher in Colorado
How to Become a Teacher in Arkansas

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