How to Become a Teacher in Florida | BestColleges (2022)

This guide can help those wondering how to become a teacher in Florida. The Florida Department of Education issues teacher certifications for all educators in the state and sets clear guidelines about who qualifies and what it takes to become a teacher.

Any person hoping to teach in a public K-12 Florida school must earn a teaching certificate. Florida teachers can earn between $57,000 and $63,000 in median annual wages, depending on what grade level they teach. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs for elementary and high school teachers will grow by 7% and 8%, respectively, from 2020-30. This is about as fast as the average growth rate for all occupations.

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Ready to start your journey?

Whether a first-time student looking for online colleges in Florida or a career changer thinking about going back to college to get a teaching degree, keep reading to get answers to common questions about teaching in the Sunshine State.

How Do I Become a Teacher in Florida?

Becoming a teacher in Florida involves meeting several requirements mandated by the Florida Department of Education (FDE). Anyone planning to teach K-12 in a Florida public school must seek a Professional Florida Educator's Certificate. The FDE currently offers two different types of certifications: temporary and professional. The temporary certification supports those completing student-teaching requirements.

The FDE also maintains separate requirements for applicants educated in Florida and those who attended an out-of-state program. It is important to review the requirements for each carefully.

Meet Minimum Education Requirements

Anyone applying for teaching certification in Florida must complete a bachelor's degree and an educator preparation program. First-time college students can select from a list of state-approved educator preparation programs throughout the state that offer both in-person and online learning options.

In the case of individuals who already hold a bachelor's degree in an unrelated subject but now want to change careers, Florida's Professional Development Certification Program helps prepare future educators through on-the-job training and competency-based evaluation.

Educators who completed their training out-of-state do not need to complete additional coursework. They will receive a temporary license while passing certification exams and demonstrating their teaching competencies.

(Video) Becoming a Teacher in Florida When You Were Not An Ed Major in College

Gain Student Teaching Experience

Learners typically gain teaching experience during the fall or spring semester of senior year. Student teaching typically lasts the entire semester. Requirements can vary from school to school: At Florida Atlantic University, learners must hold a 2.5 or higher GPA and receive passing scores on each Florida Teacher Certification Exam section.

Student-teachers work under the direct supervision of certified teachers, gaining skills in areas such as classroom management, lesson planning, individualized learning, developing small group work, and liaising with other teachers and administrators.

Pass Required Certification Tests

The Bureau of Educator Certification manages testing requirements for teaching certification in Florida. Those who graduated from an approved educator program and passed all three sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) qualify for a Professional Florida Educator's Certificate. Those who do not pass all three sections qualify for a temporary certificate.

Individuals who plan to teach specific subject areas may need to pass additional examinations to qualify for certification. Most of these apply to teachers in secondary school settings. Common K-12 certification subject area exams include:

  • Art (K-12)
  • Computer Science (K-12)
  • Elementary Education (K-6)
  • English to Speakers of Other Languages (K-12)
  • World Languages (K-12)
  • Health (K-12)
  • Music (K-12)
  • Physical Education (K-12)

Apply for Certification

After graduating from an approved educator preparation program, completing student-teaching experience, and passing all required exams, individuals can apply for certification. This includes filling out an online application for educator certification. In addition to providing demographic information such as full name, address, and social security number, applicants must also provide official transcripts.

As of 2022, initial Florida certificates cost $75, with each additional subject or endorsement costing an additional $75. Those moving from temporary to professional certification also incur a $75 fee. Applicants with required documentation at their fingertips can usually complete the application in less than an hour. Wait times for certification approval vary.

How Do I Maintain Teaching Certification in Florida?

Temporary certificates remain valid for three years and are non-renewable. Professional certificates last five years. Teachers must complete the renewal process at the end of the fifth year. Applicants for renewal must get a certificate renewal district application from their school district and submit it directly to the FDE.

To qualify for renewal, teachers must also complete six hours of college credit in each of their certified subject areas. One of these credits must also focus on teaching students with disabilities. Teachers without access to approved college credits can also choose from several equivalencies, including in-service hours, subject area exam passing scores, or a certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Career Outlook for Teachers in Florida

Jobs for those who obtain teaching certification in Florida can look forward to projected education career expansion in the coming years. Data from O*NET OnLine shows that jobs for kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school teachers, as well as those for special education teachers, are projected to grow by 7-8% in Florida between 2018-28.

Teachers in Florida can expect to earn median salaries between $57,000 and $63,000, depending on the grade level they teach. Because many districts use ladder systems, those with more experience tend to earn more. Additionally, earning a master's degree in education can help individuals earn more if they decide to attend graduate school. The following section looks at some career routes available to educators in Florida.

In-Demand Teaching Careers in Florida

Kindergarten Teachers

Kindergarten teachers work with young students, teaching them the basics in math, science, reading, and spelling. Rather than teaching individual subjects, kindergarten educators keep the same students all day and rotate through subjects. They also teach social-emotional skills such as sharing, getting along with classmates, and time management.

Median Annual Salary: $57,920

(Video) How to Become a Teacher in Florida | Online Teacher Certification Program

Elementary School Teachers

Elementary school teachers work with students in grades 1-5 and build on the foundational skills learned in Kindergarten. They still teach all subjects rather than individual topics, creating lesson plans appropriate to key learning requirements. They communicate with parents, other teachers, and administrators about student progress.

Median Annual Salary: $57,520

Middle School Teachers

Middle school teachers work with students in grades 6-8 and prepare them for high school. They teach individual subjects such as math, science, English, history, and specialty subjects such as world languages or physical education. They also help prepare students for state-mandated standardized tests.

Median Annual Salary: $59,820

High School Teachers

High school teachers educate students in grades 9-12, preparing them for entering the workforce or starting a higher education program. In addition to teaching regular, subject-specific classes, they may also teach AP coursework. They work with students to determine the next steps. Some write recommendations and reference letters for graduating learners as they take their next steps.

Median Annual Salary: $61,530

Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers work with K-12 students with emotional, learning, intellectual, or physical disabilities. In addition to developing and implementing individualized education programs (IEPs) for each learner, they also update these regularly to reflect performance and progress. They work closely with other teachers and administrators to ensure IEPs get implemented properly.

Median Annual Salary: $63,950

Frequently Asked Questions About Teaching Certification in Florida

How do I get teaching certification in Florida?

Earning a teaching certification in Florida requires candidates to earn at least a bachelor's degree and complete a state-approved educator preparation program. They must also participate in a semester-long student-teaching experience that allows them to build the skills required to lead classrooms.

After graduating, individuals must pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination and any additional subject-specific exams required for their certification. They must then apply to the Florida Department of Education by completing an application, paying a non-refundable fee, and submitting all required documentation.

(Video) How to Become a Florida Certified Teacher | Part 02 | Kathleen Jasper | NavaED

Can I teach in Florida without certification?

Anyone who wants to teach at a public K-12 school in Florida must earn certification through the Florida Department of Education. That said, some private schools may allow individuals with appropriate education and training to bypass the certification requirement. Because these schools do not receive state funding, they do not have to follow the same requirements as public schools.

Many private schools still require teaching applicants to hold certification, as this demonstrates to students and parents alike a commitment to best practices and high standards.

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

The amount of time it takes to meet the requirements for teaching certification in Florida depends on where the student is in the process. First-time college students typically spend four years earning their bachelor's degree and completing student-teaching requirements.

(Video) How To Become A Teacher In Florida?

Those who already possess a bachelor's degree in an unrelated subject can go through the Professional Development Certification Program or pursue a master's degree in education. This second option usually takes about two years. The remaining time, which varies based on individual applicants and processing times, depends on passing exams and submitting certification applications.

What can I do with teaching certification in Florida?

Earning a teaching certification in Florida qualifies individuals to pursue a variety of jobs, depending on their certification and subject areas. Jobs commonly taken by those who go through the certification process include kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school teachers and special education teachers. These jobs can be found at public and private schools throughout the state.

Some individuals may decide to update their credentials with a master's degree and pursue more advanced jobs as principals, instructional coordinators, or other high-level administration roles.

How do I become a substitute teacher in Florida?

Each county sets substitute teaching requirements, so those interested should carefully view local requirements.

For instance, at Seminole County Public Schools, applicants must hold a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old when applying. They must also complete digital fingerprinting as part of a background check and pay a non-refundable fee of $81.25 to apply for a substitute teacher certificate.

Substitute pay rates are commensurate with educational levels, meaning those with higher degrees -- or specialized teaching experience -- tend to earn more.

Feature Image: SolStock / E+ / Getty Images

(Video) Understanding The Florida Teacher Certification Process

FAQs

Is it hard to become a teacher in Florida? ›

In order to be eligible for certification, the Sunshine State requires all teachers to hold a bachelor's degree and complete a state-approved teacher education program. Furthermore, candidates must complete the content examinations appropriate to the subject and grade level to be taught.

How do I prepare for the Florida teaching exam? ›

Visit the Florida Teacher Certification Exam website to take a practice test. Test Information Guides are provided by the Florida Department of Education for self-study test preparation. These guides include a practice test, which allows you to utilize your score to determine what areas you need to study.

How many questions are on the Florida teacher certification exam? ›

You will also want to make sure you are prepared to answer the questions in the time allowed. The Professional Education (PEd) exam and most Subject Area Exams (SAE) have one or two sections contain between 75 and 120 questions. FTCE exams with multiple subtests generally contain 120 to 220 questions.

What disqualifies you from teaching in Florida? ›

Allegations of grand theft, certain drug offenses, assault charges and many other criminal offenses can preclude you from retaining your Florida educator certificate or receiving it when you apply. It is important to review the law and determine if your pending charges fall into one of the many prohibited categories.

Is Florida facing a teacher shortage? ›

Florida's shortage is part of a teacher deficit nationwide, as stresses from the pandemic, low pay and the micro-management of campuses has led many teachers to retire early or pursue other job opportunities.

Are teachers well paid in Florida? ›

The fact is, Florida is one of the states with the lowest average salary overall for teacher pay. The state ranks 48 for teacher pay. The state devoted $2 million to raise teacher pay, and last month Gov.

How hard is the Florida education test? ›

In particular, the FTCE General Knowledge test is hard due to its multiple subtests. While other exams, like the FTCE Professional Education Test or any of the FTCE Subject Area Exam, likely consist of only one section, the General Knowledge exam requires candidates to prepare for four different content areas.

How many times can you take the FTCE exam? ›

Retake Limit

Fortunately for students who need to take an FTCE test again, there is no limit on the number of times you can take any one test.

Is the FTCE test hard? ›

The answer is yes. The FTCE does cover a lot of information and is challenging. You will need to review the information from your teacher prep courses and study materials to prepare. Information on each exam can be found on the FTCE website.

How do I pass the teacher licensure exam? ›

So to guide you in your LET journey, here are a few LET tips that will tell you how to pass the LET.
  1. Register as soon as possible.
  2. Enroll in a review center and gather your review materials.
  3. Create a study plan.
  4. Be consistent.
  5. Study wisely.
  6. Take a break.

Is the FTCE easy? ›

FTCE General Knowledge Test: Exam Difficulty. The FTCE General Knowledge Test measures the same core academic skills you've been using in college, so the exam shouldn't be particularly difficult, especially if you've been doing well in your studies.

Is Florida in need of teachers? ›

Florida needs teachers in many subject areas and grade levels. Critical teacher shortage areas are identified each year and can be accessed here. Our public school districts are defined by county boundaries; therefore, each school district is unique with respect to its hiring procedures.

Do they drug test teachers in Florida? ›

Do teachers in Florida get drug tested? The answer is a simple no. Not every teacher is drug tested. But, teachers under suspicion and observable abnormalities may attract a drug test.

Can felons teach in Florida? ›

An applicant has to meet academic qualifications, be at least 18 years of age, be of good moral character, and must not have been convicted of a disqualifying offense.

Why are teachers leaving in Florida? ›

In Florida, controversial laws are making it worse. Advocates say low pay and a hostile climate toward educators, particularly around LGBTQ+ issues and race, are pushing people out of the profession in droves.

What part of Florida pays teachers the most? ›

Some Florida counties pay their teachers, on average, as low as $41,000. This comes after Gov.
...
Which Tampa Bay teachers make the most money?
CountyManatee
Average Salary$51,102
Number of Teachers Employed3,179
Average Years of Experience9.9
9 more columns
4 Jun 2021

Why are teachers quitting? ›

Researchers polled more than 4,600 TK-12th grade teachers across the state between May 24 and June 6. The findings show that while many teachers find their work rewarding, a majority said they felt exhausted and stressed — with burnout cited as the top reason for leaving the profession.

What kind of teacher pays the most? ›

Professor. When you are looking for the best-paid teaching jobs for your area of interest or specialized skill, then you may consider working as a professor in a college or university. A college professor prepares course material, teaches students in a classroom environment, and grades student work.

How much do beginner teachers make in Florida? ›

How much does an Entry Level Teacher make in Florida? The average Entry Level Teacher salary in Florida is $39,857 as of October 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $33,291 and $48,602.

What state pays teacher the most? ›

Pennsylvania, California and New York have the highest average teacher salaries in the country, compared to all other occupations.

Is Florida getting rid of state testing? ›

Florida's standardized testing system will be replaced with progress monitoring tests starting with the 2022-23 school year. This spring will mark the final time that public-school students will have to take tests known as the Florida Standards Assessments, as Gov.

What happens if you fail the Florida knowledge exam? ›

After you register for the exam, you have one attempt to pass. If you fail the exam because of your score, an incorrect response to a security question or a course timeout, you will need to pay the fee to register again. The DHSMV allows you to attempt the online exam up to three times.

Are FTCE exams still free? ›

Planning Your FTCE Test Registration

For the FTCE General Knowledge Test, the testing fee is $130 for your first attempt and $150 for any subsequent attempts. It costs the same, no matter how many subject areas you intend to complete, so for most test-takers, it makes sense to attempt all four subtests in one sitting.

What is a passing score on FTCE? ›

What is the minimum passing score for the FTCE and FELE? The minimum passing scale score for tests, subtests, or sections consisting of only multiple-choice questions is 200.

Can I use a calculator on the FTCE? ›

While examinees are not authorized to bring their calculators, some sections of the FTCE will have an on-screen calculator for the duration of the testing session. In the following tests and subtests, you will be able to use an on-screen calculator: General Knowledge Subtest 4: Mathematics.

How long is a Florida teaching certificate valid? ›

If you have passed all the required examinations and are issued a Professional Certificate, it is valid for five school years. When it comes time for renewal, request a district application form for certification renewal from your school district office.

How hard is the class E knowledge exam in Florida? ›

The Class E Knowledge Exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions about Florida traffic laws, safe driving practices and identifying traffic controls. To pass, a customer must answer 40 out of 50 questions correctly, or score 80 percent.

How many questions do I need to get right on the FTCE professional exam? ›

The Professional Education test has approximately 120 multiple-choice questions. You need to get 71% of the answers correct to earn a scaled score of 200. Assuming there are exactly 120 questions, you'll need at least 85 correct answers to pass the assessment.

How do I pass FTCE elementary education? ›

You must obtain a scale score of 200 per subtest and pass all subtests to pass the Elementary K-6 exam. You will obtain an immediate pass/non-pass status at the conclusion of the exam. Score reports are released within four weeks of testing.

How do I pass the FTCE professional education test? ›

How Do You Pass the Professional Education Test? To get a passing score of 200, you'll need to answer at least 71 of the 100 questions correctly. Due to the scaled scoring system, this number may be slightly lower for different versions of the exam, but it gives you a goal to work towards.

Is licensure exam for teachers hard? ›

Tips to Pass (or even Top) the Licensure Exam for Teachers

The LET is not a difficult exam, in fact, it is considered as among the easiest Government exam, just a bit more difficult than the Midwifery board exam.

What is the passing rate of LET exam? ›

Considering the consistently low passing rate in the past ten years, there may be a need to review the LET exam and process.
...
Overall Passing Rate in Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET)
YearElementarySecondary
201630%34%
201726%46%
201820%48%
201931%40%
8 more rows

How long do FTCE scores take? ›

All FTCE and FELE scores will be released within 4 weeks of the test date.

How long is the FTCE math test? ›

The FTCE Middle Grades Math 5-9 exam contains about 75 multiple-choice questions. You will have two and a half hours to complete the exam. Scoring: A scaled score of at least 200 is needed to pass the exam.

What month do most new teachers get hired? ›

April/May:

This is one of the best times to apply for teaching jobs, as many openings are posted during the spring. Job fairs are often held during this time, which are a great opportunity to network and learn more about schools you might like to teach at.

How many teachers in Florida quit? ›

Even before the Covid pandemic, 40 percent of Florida's new teachers left the classroom within their first five years in the profession, state records show. This is 15 to 20 percent above the national average, depending on the year.

Where are teacher shortages in Florida? ›

FDOE has released an analysis of which areas are most in need of teachers. According to the report, released in February 2022, most of the shortage areas are in English and Reading, and Science.

What disqualifies you from being a teacher? ›

Educators or teacher candidates who have jeopardized the safety of others and been convicted of related crimes will not be allowed to receive certification in many states. Making a terrorist threat, kidnapping a child or adult, and stalking someone can also result in the denial of teacher certification.

Can Florida teachers use medical Marijuanas? ›

The Bottom Line. Medical cannabis use is prohibited for most public school teachers in the United States because medical marijuana products are considered illegal drugs at the federal level, leading most schools to restrict their use.

What happens if a teacher fails a drug test? ›

The practice is common with other professionals, and some believe teachers fall into a similar category because they work directly with students all day long. They argue that teachers who fail random drug tests could either be fired on the spot or sent for drug counseling when appropriate.

Can you be a teacher in Fl with a DUI? ›

As previously stated, getting a DUI does not automatically make you ineligible to have a teaching certificate in the state of Florida. However, when filling out the legal page on your application, you must disclose if you have a criminal history (which includes a DUI).

Is Florida a felon friendly state? ›

5. Florida. While Florida has recently made some progress on voting rights for felons, they still fall short of other states when it comes to giving felons a second chance.

How long does it take to get teacher certification in Florida? ›

The Bureau of Educator Certification will not begin to process your application until all the above items have been received. Once your file is complete, it will take approximately 90 business days to receive your Official Statement of Status of Eligibility, depending on the time of year.

Are teachers in demand in Florida? ›

Florida needs teachers in many subject areas and grade levels. Critical teacher shortage areas are identified each year and can be accessed here.

Is Florida a good state for teachers? ›

In our study, the lower the score, the better the state is for teachers.
...
Overall ranking of best and worst states for teachers in 2022.
StateFlorida
Overall score8.60
Overall cost of living rank27
Student/teacher ratio rank39
Average annual wage rank22
49 more columns
31 May 2022

What is a teacher's salary in Florida? ›

How much does a Public School Teacher make in Florida? The average Public School Teacher salary in Florida is $52,673 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $43,991 and $64,223.

How much do Florida teachers make? ›

She said Florida's estimated starting salary for the 2022-2023 school year is more than $48,000 per year, which would rank 9th in the nation according to NEA data.

How much does a certified teacher make in Florida? ›

As of Nov 10, 2022, the average annual pay for a Teacher in Florida is $24,940 a year.

What states are teachers happiest? ›

Best States for Teachers
  1. Washington. Washington's overall score of 56.28 makes it the best state in the U.S. for teachers, ranking second for Opportunity & Competition and tenth for Academic & Work Environment. ...
  2. Utah. ...
  3. New Jersey. ...
  4. Delaware. ...
  5. Pennsylvania. ...
  6. North Dakota. ...
  7. Virginia. ...
  8. Maryland.

What is the lowest paying state for teachers? ›

Mississippi has the lowest average teacher salary of $45,574, followed by West Virginia with $47,826. The other states with average teacher salaries under $50,000 a year are New Mexico, Florida, South Dakota, Kansas, and Arizona.
...
Teacher Pay by State 2022.
StateTeacher Salary
Mississippi$47,162
49 more rows

Which teachers get paid the most? ›

Some move into more specialized teaching roles; some of the best-paid teaching jobs include special education and gifted education.
...
  1. Superintendent. ...
  2. School Principal/Assistant Principal. ...
  3. University/College Administrator. ...
  4. Professor. ...
  5. Instructional Coordinator. ...
  6. High School Teachers.

Do teachers get paid in the summer in Florida? ›

No, technically, teachers do not get paid in the summer if they are not actively teaching. However, most teachers have the option to spread their pay for ten months of work over an entire 12 month period.

How much does a kindergarten teacher makes in Florida? ›

The average salary for a kindergarten teacher in Florida is $43,500 per year. Kindergarten teacher salaries in Florida can vary between $18,500 to $56,500 and depend on various factors, including skills, experience, employer, bonuses, tips, and more.

Do teachers get paid weekly? ›

Teachers are paid monthly .

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