How To Become A Teacher In Florida (2024)

How To Become A Teacher In Florida

How To Become A Teacher In Florida

August 4, 2023 Morgan Greenberg

How To Become A Teacher In Florida (1)

How To Become A Teacher In Florida (2)

By Morgan Greenberg

If you’ve ever considered a career in education, Florida might just be the place for you. The Sunshine State is facing the worst teacher shortage it has ever seen, with a whopping 5,294 teaching vacancies reported in January 2023.

Given the need for educators throughout the state, there’s no better time for you to start your teaching journey. Like many states, the pathway to teaching in Florida requires specific steps and processes.

You will need to acquire your teacher certification, which involves:

  • Obtaining a bachelor’s degree
  • Completing a state-approved teacher education program
  • Passing relevant exams
  • Obtaining a temporary license
  • Qualifying for a professional license

In this article, we’ll break down what’s required to become a certified educator in Florida, from initial prerequisites to the acquisition of your teaching license. Let’s dive in and unravel the steps to starting your teaching career in the Sunshine State.

Get Your Florida Teacher Certification

Becoming a certified teacher in Florida involves meeting educational prerequisites, completing a teacher certification program, passing required exams, and submitting an application. Here’s how you can achieve each of these steps:

1. Meet Educational Background Requirements

The first step in your journey to becoming a Florida teacher is earning a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This is a crucial requirement to be eligible for certification and begin your teaching adventure.

Not sure if your institution is approved? You can check the list at the Florida Department of Education Website.

2. Complete a Teacher Certification Program

Once you have your bachelor’s degree, the next stage involves applying to a state-approved teacher education program, also known as Educator Preparation Institute (EPIs). EPIs are designed specifically for people with a baccalaureate degree who desire to become educators.

If you’re an aspiring teacher with a bachelor’s degree in a non-education-related field, alternative programs like iTeach’s Online Teacher Certification program offer a more efficient pathway to teacher certification. These affordable solutions allow you to complete your coursework on your own schedule and start your teaching career sooner.

3. Pass Required Exams

Next up in your Florida teaching quest is studying for and passing the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE). Success in these exams will bring you a step closer to your Florida Professional Certificate, marking a significant milestone in your career journey.

These exams are designed to measure your understanding of the subjects you’ll teach, as well as your pedagogical knowledge – your understanding of teaching methods and student learning strategies. Test information guides are available online on the FTCE website.

4. Submit Your Initial Application

Upon fulfilling the requirements above, you must submit an initial application package. This includes paying the necessary fees, sending transcripts, and providing any out-of-state or international certificates.

You’ll then receive an Official Statement of Eligibility (SOE), valid for three years, which serves as a formal declaration of your eligibility for a Temporary Certificate or a Professional Certificate.

It’s important to note that when issued a Florida Temporary Certificate, you must secure employment in either a public school or a nonpublic school that has a state-approved program for demonstration of professional education competence.

Be aware that all prospective teachers in Florida must undergo fingerprinting and screening. These fingerprints are submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for criminal records checks.

Renewing Your Teaching License

If you want to know how to renew your teaching certificate in Florida, there are a number of conditions you need to meet:

  • Complete six semester hours of college credit, with at least one hour focused on teaching students with disabilities.
  • Finish all renewal requirements and submit your application during the final validity period of your certificate.
  • Late renewal applications can be submitted before July 1 of the year following your certificate’s expiration, provided all requirements were met prior to expiration.
  • Make sure you achieve a grade of “C” or higher in your renewal courses.
  • If a subject is removed from your certificate, you must meet all current requirements to add it back.

Remember, it’s your responsibility to stay updated on renewal requirements, either via your school district or the Bureau of Educator Certification. Also, be aware that out-of-state certificates do not count toward renewal.

Teaching Careers in Florida

Teaching in Florida is an excellent career choice. With the current teacher shortage, there are many opportunities for new educators. Furthermore, starting salaries for teachers in Florida are just under $30,000, with the average salary being around $50,000 per year.

With the severe need for educators in the Sunshine State, coupled with iTeach’s alternative to the traditional accreditation process, there’s no better time to become a teacher in Florida.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I get a teaching certification in Florida?

To get a teaching certification in Florida, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. This is the foundational requirement for eligibility for certification. Then, you can enroll in an Educator Preparation Institute (EPI), which is state-approved and tailored to different educational and professional backgrounds. For those with non-education-related degrees or professionals considering career shifts, there are alternative pathways available such as the iTeach Online Teacher Certification program, which allows coursework completion at your convenience. Once you meet the academic requirements, passing the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) will be necessary to evaluate mastery of the subject matter along with your pedagogical knowledge.

After this, an initial application package must be submitted, including academic transcripts and proof of FTCE success. On approval, you will receive an Official Statement of Eligibility (SOE) for either a Temporary or Professional Certificate. Finally, all aspiring teachers in Florida must undergo fingerprinting and screening as part of a comprehensive background check before obtaining their teaching certification in the Sunshine State.

2. Do I need a degree in education to become a teacher in Florida?

No, you don’t need a degree in education to become a teacher in Florida. The state’s education system embraces a variety of educational backgrounds and gives aspiring teachers the chance to pursue teaching without a traditional degree in education. You just need a bachelor’s from an accredited institution, no matter what field it is in. Afterward, you would join one of the Educator Preparation Institutes (EPIs), which provide all the skills and knowledge required for successful teaching.

If you don’t have an education-related bachelor’s or are transitioning into teaching from another profession, there are alternative programs like iteach’s Online Teacher Certification program, which can be taken flexibly and affordably at your own pace. With iTeach, you can get your teacher certification quickly so you can start your teaching career. So, while an education degree may seem like the only way to become a teacher in Florida, that’s not necessarily true. With the right qualifications and successful completion of the certification process, individuals from many different backgrounds can enjoy a rewarding career teaching in The Sunshine State.

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

The time it takes to become a teacher in Florida can vary. It usually takes five to six years if you are starting from the beginning with your four-year bachelor’s degree. This includes finishing your degree, going through a certification program (which could take one to two years), and passing the FTCE and applying for certification. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another field but want to transition into teaching, that process can be quicker. Programs like iTeach Online Teacher Certification allow for self-paced study, so you could start your classroom training as early as six weeks and potentially be fully classroom-ready within one year. The timeline may change based on how fast you go through the steps of certification and your personal circumstances.

4. What is the fastest way to become a teacher in Florida?

The fastest way to become a teacher in Florida is with alternative paths like the iteach program. This process is for applicants with a bachelor’s degree and a minimum 2.50 GPA. The journey begins by applying to iteach, submitting documents for acceptance, completing an introductory course, and paying the $99 fee. After that, candidates have access to pre-hire online courses, which will equip them with the necessary skills and confidence and provide practice in passing state pre-hire exams.

Then comes finding a teaching position – during this time, individuals can continue developing their abilities through an iTeach mentor while also completing the final coursework needed. During this phase, there is also one year of full-pay teaching residency available. Finally, you must pass licensure exams in order to become a fully certified teacher. To help with this, the iTeach program offers online courses, personalized supervision and mentoring throughout the year, and test preparation classes. Additionally, support is available for those looking to get certified in their desired subject areas. This is an efficient, convenient and cost-effective option taking up as little as one school year.

5. How long does my teacher certification last in Florida?

Your teacher certification in Florida is valid for a specific duration based on its type. Initially, if you obtain a Temporary Certificate, it’s valid for three years and is non-renewable. During this period, educators must complete the necessary coursework and training to transition to the next stage: the Professional Certificate. The Professional Certificate, once achieved, boasts a validity of five years and is renewable. To successfully renew it, teachers need to fulfill certain conditions. For instance, they’ll need to complete six semester hours of college credit, with a special focus of at least one hour dedicated to teaching students with disabilities.

Because educational standards and requirements change often, it’s imperative for educators to stay updated on these renewal conditions. This can be done either through regular check-ins with your school district or by frequently visiting the Bureau of Educator Certification website. By staying informed and proactive, teachers can ensure their certification remains active, letting them continue their passion for educating Florida’s youth.

6. How do I renew my Florida teaching certification?

To renew your Florida teaching certification, there are specific steps and requirements to follow. First and foremost, you’ll need to complete six semester hours of college credit. It’s essential to note that at least one of these hours should exclusively focus on teaching students with disabilities. After fulfilling the educational prerequisites, you should finish all the renewal requirements within the final validity period of your certification. It’s possible to submit late renewal applications, but they must be in before July 1 of the year following your certificate’s expiration.

Meet all renewal requirements prior to your certificate’s expiration date. Regarding the courses you take for renewal, ensure you achieve a grade of “C” or higher to qualify. If, for any reason, a subject is removed from your certificate during this period, you would have to meet all current criteria to have it added back. Lastly, it’s your responsibility to find out about the renewal requirements. Achieve this by regularly liaising with your school district or checking in with the Bureau of Educator Certification.

7. Can I teach in Florida without certification?

No, you cannot teach in Florida without certification as a standard practice. The state emphasizes the importance of educators meeting specific prerequisites. However, given Florida’s pressing teacher shortage, alternative pathways are available. One notable alternative is the iteach Online Teacher Certification program. With iteach, even if your degree isn’t in education, you’re provided with a pathway to teaching. After applying to iteach and completing an introductory course, candidates can quickly access pre-hire online courses. Pre-hire courses equip them with essential teaching techniques and knowledge. This efficient, self-paced nature of the program can have candidates prepared for classroom teaching in as little as six weeks.

One of the standout features of iteach is that before achieving full certification, candidates can engage in a year-long, full-pay teaching residency. This invaluable experience lets candidates immerse themselves in real-world teaching scenarios. Allowing them to also benefit from the guidance and mentorship of an iTeach guide. Although you’ll get to step into the classroom faster, it’s important to remember that completing the licensure exams remains essential. iteach ensures candidates are well-prepared for these exams. Even with accelerated paths like iteach, securing official certification remains crucial for a sustainable teaching career in Florida. Check with the Florida Department of Education or local school districts for the most current requirements.

8. What if I’m a certified educator from another state?

Florida offers two reciprocity routes to help educators with certification from another state qualify for their Professional Certificate. The first route is for those with a valid standard educator’s certificate that comes from a state other than Florida. This certificate must be valid, be issued in a subject similar to a Florida certification subject, and require the same or higher level of training as that needed for the corresponding subject certification in Florida.

The second route caters to educators with a certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). If you hold this certificate and it’s currently valid, the Florida certificate you’ll receive will match the subject that is comparable to your NBPTS subject. To begin the process, if you meet the requirements for either of the reciprocity routes, you can initiate the ‘Steps to Certification.’ Apply for a Florida Professional Certificate in the subjects shown on your valid out-of-state or NBPTS certificate.

However, if you no longer possess a certificate from another state or the NBPTS, you can start the ‘Steps to Certification’ and apply for a Florida Temporary Certificate in your bachelor’s or higher degree major or the subject area of your teacher education program. As always, consult the Florida Department of Education when considering transferring your certification to ensure you’re up-to-date with the latest requirements and guidelines.

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About Morgan Greenberg

Morgan is the Content Marketing Manager at iteach. She is passionate about giving educators the tools to be successful in this ever-changing world of education.

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How To Become A Teacher In Florida (2024)

FAQs

How To Become A Teacher In Florida? ›

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.

What is required to be a teacher in Florida? ›

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.

How many questions are on the Florida Teacher Certification Exam? ›

The format for each of the 39 FTCE Subject Area Tests is similar. They are all computer-based tests that feature approximately 100 multiple-choice format questions, which testers must complete within the 2-hour and 30-minute session. Each Subject Area Test has a unique set of competencies and skills they assess.

Can I teach in Florida without a teaching certificate? ›

Florida educators must be certified to teach in our public schools and in many of our private schools. Educators include classroom teachers, school administrators, and other support professionals, such as guidance counselors and media specialists.

How long does it take to get fl teaching certificate? ›

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.

How much is a teachers salary in Florida? ›

The average Public School Teacher salary in Florida is $54,090 as of July 25, 2023, but the range typically falls between $45,165 and $65,969.

How can I teach in Florida without an education degree? ›

You're still eligible to become a teacher if your degree is not education-related. This is as long as you complete an approved teacher preparation program and pass the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE) Subject Area Exam.

Is the Florida teaching exam hard? ›

The FTCE General Knowledge Test is hard for candidates who don't know what to expect. However, the difficulty of the exams depends entirely on the preparedness of the test-taker.

Is Florida teacher certification test hard? ›

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.

What is the easiest FTCE test to pass? ›

FTCE Passing Scores and Pass Rate

On the other hand, the two least difficult test subjects are the General Knowledge sub-level Reading Test, and Engineering and Technology Education 6-12 test, with passing raw scores of 75% or higher.

Does Florida have a teacher shortage? ›

"Florida is dealing with, if not the worst, one of the worst teacher shortage situations in the nation," said Spar. "While beginning teacher pay has improved significantly over the last few years, you can't bring people in and not continue to allow for growth in pay because they will leave.

What is the new law for teacher certification in Florida? ›

This law extends the validity of a temporary teaching certificate from three years to five years. It will take effect on July 1. "It eliminates the unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape with respect to certification. Sometimes the certification is keeping good people out," DeSantis said.

What is the new bill for teachers in Florida? ›

House Bill 1035

Creates Chapter 1015 in Florida Statutes to codify the “Teachers' Bill of Rights.” Gives teachers the benefit of the doubt when breaking up fights, preventing assaults, and giving teachers the presumption of acting lawfully, acting on behalf of their personal safety, and the safety of their students.

How much does it cost to take the Florida Teacher Certification Exam? ›

Florida Teacher Certification Exam Cost
TestInitial Fee
Three subtests$97.50
Two subtests$65
One subtest$32.50
Professional Education Test$150
9 more rows

What is the first time pass rate for the FTCE exam? ›

FTCE Pass Rate

The pass rate for retakes was 44%. The first-time pass rate for all of the general knowledge subtests combined was 62%. The pass rate for retakes was 33%. The first-time pass rate for the professional education test was 78%.

How do I study for the Florida Teacher Certification Exam? ›

Complete practice tests and respond to Florida Teacher Certification Exam sample questions. Test-takers can refer to their test scores to determine their strengths and areas that require additional study. Take notes on the topics for each subtest and use flashcards.

What is required for a Florida educator certificate? ›

Educator Preparation Institute Program and Passing Florida Certification Examinations. Two Semesters of Full-Time College Teaching Experience, Passing the Florida Professional Education Test, and Passing the Florida Subject Area Examination (for a bachelor's level subject).

What do you need to teach in a private school in Florida? ›

A bachelor's degree, 3 years teaching experience at public or private schools, or. Special skills, knowledge, or expertise that qualifies the individual to provide instruction in specific subjects.

What are the requirements to be a pre K teacher in Florida? ›

To become a preschool teacher in Florida, you must complete an approved teacher education program, which consists of a bachelor's degree or higher and all necessary requirements to become a licensed teacher in Florida, including a 10-week field experience in a preschool setting.

How much do sub teachers make in Florida? ›

The average substitute teacher salary in Florida is $115. This translates to $33,812 annually. The highest-earning substitute earns $46,865 per year. The varying wages depend on the school district, subject of specialization, and years of experience as a substitute teacher.

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