Find an Education Path For Teaching in Florida, FL

Choose Your Highest Level of Education

Look over the information below and discover steps you should take to become a teacher in Florida.

For Those With a High School Diploma or GED

Having a high school diploma or a GED opens doors to many institutions of higher learning that can lead you to a teaching career in Florida. Bachelor’s degree programs typically require applicants to earn a high school diploma or a GED.

  1. Learn about accredited schools that offer Associate degrees or Bachelor’s degrees that focus on education, specific academic content areas or student populations.
  2. Decide what grade level and subject area you are interested in teaching.
  3. The Florida Department of Education recommends that, once you decide what you want to teach, the next step is to earn a Bachelor’s degree with a Teacher Education Major in that subject area.
  4. Contact colleges that fit your needs, and request information to help with decision-making about what school to attend and what degree program to pursue.

If You Have Completed Some College or Earned an Associate’s Degree …

Attending a community college and earning an Associate’s degree is a valuable step toward becoming a teacher in Florida. Taking certain college classes before entering a Bachelor’s degree program may provide some necessary prerequisites for required courses in the four-year program.

  1. If you have earned an Associate in Arts (AA) degree or an Associate in Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree from a community college in Florida, you may qualify to enter certain four-year colleges as a Junior and pursue a Bachelor’s degree that will lead to teacher certification.
  2. Investigate various state-approved Bachelor’s degree programs to find out which ones will accept transfer credits from the college you attended. Contact schools of interest to request more information.
  3. Aspiring teachers who complete a certificate or degree program at an Florida community college may be qualified to transfer credits and continue on to a four year university to earn a Bachelor’s in Education degree, which will eventually lead to an initial teacher’s license. Transfer of credits will be evaluated on an individual basis. All credits from a previously earned Associate Degree will be applied as appropriate toward a Florida Bachelor’s degree program.
  4. Florida’s Early Childhood Education Associate Degree program is designed to prepare students for careers in early childhood education. An Associate degree in Early Childhood Development and Education is one prerequisite to earning an Early Childhood Education Certificate, which qualifies early childhood educators to work in preschools, childcare centers and school-age programs.

If You Have a Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution is essential to qualification for an Initial Teaching Certificate in Florida. If you want to teach in Florida and already have a Bachelor’s degree, the next steps toward teacher certification will often depend on your undergraduate major.

  1. A Bachelor’s Degree in Education that included an accredited Teacher Preparation Program will fulfill academic and teacher preparation requirements. Student teaching is an important aspect of any Bachelor’s in Education program, and successful completion of all degree and teacher preparation requirements will qualify you to apply for Initial Teacher certification.
  2. All prospective teachers in Florida are required to take and pass the appropriate section(s) of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination (FTCE). These include the General Knowledge Test, the Subject Area Exam and the Professional Education Test.
  3. Majoring in Liberal Arts and receiving a Bachelor’s degree is a major step toward certification as an Elementary level teacher. Many certification programs recommend the Liberal Arts major, because it prepares educators to teach in the many different subject areas taught in Elementary schools.
  4. If you received your Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in the specific subject you wish to teach, you may have already satisfied the academic requirements recommended by many certification programs. Majoring in a specific subject commonly taught at the secondary school level (high school and middle school) prepares individuals to become endorsed or qualified to teach classes in that content area.
  5. Florida teaching candidates who have earned a Bachelor’s degree in a major other than Education, or who have not finished a Teacher Preparation requirement, must complete a Teacher Preparation Program at a regionally accredited institution. Some of these are Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Preparation programs and some are combined with Master’s in Education programs.
    Step Six
  6. Once all academic and experiential requirements have been completed, the next step is the application process that will lead to your certification as a Florida educator.

If You Have a Master’s Degree or Are in a Master’s Degree Program

If you have a Master’s degree in Education, your major coursework may have included a Teacher Preparation Program. If your Master’s degree major is not Education, a Teacher Preparation Program must be completed. You can move forward in a few different directions once you have a Master’s degree.

  1. Some universities offer Master’s of Arts in Teaching programs, which can lead to certification in secondary education and post-secondary education. Master of Education programs are also available in Early Childhood Special Education and Special Education. Other Master’s degrees available to prospective educators, who want to teach in Florida, include Master’s in Education (M.ED.) a Master’s in Teaching (M.I.T.) or Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)
  2. If you want to begin your teaching career shortly after completing all of the coursework, passing all required tests, and fulfilling the student teaching requirement, the next step is to apply for your teaching certificate. Contact the Florida Department of Education and request information and an application.
  3. Some people who have earned a Master’s degree in Education may decide to continue their education and pursue a doctorate degree. Educational Doctoral Programs available in Florida include: Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) and a range of Ph.D.s, such as Elementary Education, Exceptional Education, Higher Education and Science Education.