Florida Teaching Certification Overview: Become a Certified Teacher

A certified teacher in Florida will enter a vibrant, strongly connected group of qualified educators. To be successful, it’s important to know the process needed to earn your Florida teaching certification.

Requirements for Certified Teachers in Florida

The first step in becoming a certified teacher in Florida is completing a state-approved teacher preparation program. The state has approved the bachelor degree programs at multiple colleges and universities as thorough enough for its teachers. Completing this training earns you a Temporary Certificate.

In order to attain full certification, the state of Florida requires its teachers to take the Florida Teacher Certification Examination. This test is broken down into three portions: general knowledge, professional education and educational leadership. To become a certified teacher in Florida, you must pass all three.

In addition, some teachers may be required to take subject area examinations. Most teachers, regardless of their specialty area, will fall into one of the subject area examination categories. When you apply for your Temporary Certificate, the Florida Bureau of Educator Certification will tell you which subject area tests you need to complete.

Florida Jobs for Licensed Teachers

Your Temporary Certificate is valid for three school years. This gives you the chance to take the required certification tests while you are teaching and earning an income. It allows you to get a job as a classroom teacher before finishing the certification process. This initial certificate is not renewable, so you will need to complete the certification process within the three years allotted for the Temporary Certificate.

Upon successful completion of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination and background check, you will receive a Professional Certificate. This is the highest available certificate for teachers in Florida, and it is valid for five years.

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When you are ready to renew your certificate, you will need to show proof that you have taken six semester hours of college credit, or something equivalent. Teacher in-service points can be traded in for credit hours if you are not interested in pursuing another degree.

If you are interested in becoming a certified teacher in Florida, you may want to look into the various grants and loan forgiveness options available to teachers in this state. For instance, certain subject areas are considered Teacher Shortage Areas (TSAs) throughout the state. Because there is a shortage of teachers in these fields, the Department of Education offers grants to those studying education who are willing to teach these subject areas in the state of Florida. While the teacher shortage areas change annually, they commonly include autism teachers, deaf/hearing impaired educators and special educators for students with intellectual disabilities.

If you are planning to study in one of these disciplines and are willing to commit a period of your professional career to a teacher shortage area, Florida has options for you. This could allow you to receive a federal grant for a portion of your education expenses through the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program. In addition, up to 100 percent of your Federal Perkins Loan may be cancelled in return for teaching full time in one of these shortage areas.

Teachers in Florida find it to be an excellent state in which to work, and your Florida teaching certification offers you this chance. The state has higher-than-average graduation rates of over 70 percent, with an average dropout rate of just 3.5 percent. The state also has a vibrant online community of educators led by the Deputy Director of Educator Relations, which makes staying connected with other teachers easier. Access to the Florida Teacher Community is free if you hold a Florida teaching certification.

Teaching License Reciprocity in Florida

If you’re licensed to teach in another state and move to Florida, you  may be able to take advantage of teaching license reciprocity. This makes it easier to transfer the license from one state to the next. To learn more about reciprocity, visit Teaching License Reciprocity Explained.

Disclaimer: Licensing requirements are subject to change. Please visit your state board of education to check for recent revisions to teaching license requirements.

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