Become a Teacher in Florida

Florida Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $48,340
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $51,800
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics External link  report

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 updated: 08/09/2018

This page is sponsored by our partner Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in Florida.

To become a certified teacher in Florida, you will need to fulfill these requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Florida teaching credential application.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating with new information on a regular basis.


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Step One: Florida Prerequisite Coursework

The first step to getting certified as a teacher is choosing a specialization and/or grade level and earning your bachelor’s degree.

All states require that certified teachers at a minimum have a Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. The Florida Department of Education has information on prerequisite coursework for over 40 different subjects.

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Learn more about getting your MAT online with USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: Florida Teacher Preparation

Next, you’ll need to complete an approved teacher preparation program. Florida’s Department of Education provides a list of state-approved teacher preparation programs in Florida.

Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often include instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (the art and science of teaching), and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching, and an internship. While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more scholarships for teachers exclusive to the state of Florida, visit our Florida Teacher Scholarships page.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose Bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Read more information about alternative certification on Florida Alternative Teacher certification.

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Step Three: Florida Required Tests

Next, you’ll need to to take the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations. The FTCE is administered to educators seeking initial certification in the K-12 system. Educator candidates take one of 42 subject area examinations, as well as the General Knowledge Test and Professional Education Test.

By completing these exams, you will:

  • Demonstrate Mastery of General Knowledge
  • Demonstrate Mastery of Subject Knowledge for a requested subject
  • Demonstrate Mastery of Professional Preparation and Education Competence

Visit the Florida Department of Education for more information on state testing requirements and registration dates.

Florida Required Tests
Subject Area Exam Certification
Pre-Kindergarten/Primary; Preschool Education Early Childhood (PK-3)
Elementary Education Elementary (K-6)
Middle Grades English; Middle Grades General Science; Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum; Middle Grades Mathematics; Middle Grades Social Science Middle (5-9)
Agriculture; Biology; Business Education; Chemistry; Dance; Earth Science; English; Family & Consumer Science; Journalism; Marketing; Mathematics; Physics; Social Science; Speech; Technology Education Secondary (6-12)
Art; Computer Science; Educational Media; ESOL; Exceptional Student Education; French; German; Guidance & Counseling; Health; Hearing Impaired; Humanities; Latin; Music; Phys. Education; Reading; School Psychologist; Spanish; Speech-Language Impairment; Visually Impaired All Grades (K-12)

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Step Four: Florida Application Requirements

Finally, submit a completed licensure application to get the show on the road! To begin your license application, visit the Florida Department of Education website to apply online or request an application by mail if you do not have a valid Social Security Number (SSN).

Make sure you have all your supporting documents! The Florida Department of Education website provides a checklist of things you need to submit along with your license application for first-time applicants:


  • A completed CG-10 application form
  • Appropriate processing fee for each subject you request
  • Official transcripts showing all degrees and credits
  • If applicable, copies of teaching certificate(s) you hold from U.S. states or territories

Official Statement of Status of Eligibility

  • After your application has been submitted and evaluated, you will receive this document. This statement is valid for three years. The purposes of this document are twofold:
    • To officially state whether or not you are deemed “eligible” by the state of Florida to obtain a temporary or professional certificate in your requested subject area.
    • To provide you with a customized list of requirements, tailored to your subject area, which must be completed to receive full state certification.

Employment in A Florida Elementary or Secondary School


Individuals who wish to be employed in Florida public schools are fingerprinted through the school district’s personnel office. Individuals who are employed through non-public Florida schools are required to complete a fingerprint card clearance. The completed card and a processing fee are to be submitted to the school’s administrator. Background checks are done on a state and federal level by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the FBI, respectively.

Submit all application documentation to the Bureau at the following Office Mailing Address:

Florida Department of Education
Bureau of Educator Certification
Room 201, Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400

Florida Certification Reciprocity

In most situations, Florida will accept teaching credentials for all states and United States territories. Contact the Florida Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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Florida Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Florida provides differential pay for teachers teaching in high needs schools and for teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Florida has limited/weak induction policies in place
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $48,340
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $51,800
  • Average Public School Teacher Salary: $48,215. District- and level-specific Florida public school teacher salaries, along with more precise vacation information, are available through the Florida Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development, and Retention.
  • Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Florida Certification Resources & Links

Educator Certification
Room 201, Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
(800) 445-6739 – Email the Florida Department of Education

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