Florida Teacher Certification: How to Become a Licensed Teacher in Florida
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, most teachers, regardless of their specialty area, may be required to take subject area examinations. 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.
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 equivalent. Teacher in-service points can be traded in for credit hours if you are not interested in pursuing another degree.
If you plan to teach a subject designated as a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) by the U.S. Department of Education, you might be eligible for student loan deferment or cancellation. The following TSAs have been approved for Florida for the 2015-2016 school year:
- Exceptional Student Education
- Hearing Impaired
- Visually Impaired
A full and current list of TSAs for each state is available via the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education.
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.