The steps required to become a teacher in Florida largely depend on which subject and educational level you want to teach. In Florida, like other states, there are multiple options for teachers, from teaching preschool to teaching grad school. Alternative routes to the classroom exist as well.

Though there are a few different ways to get a teaching certificate in Florida, a common path is through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Plus, for out-of-state educators, Florida offers a way to become credentialed in the state.

Areas of Specialization for Teachers in Florida

You'll likely need to specialize in one or two areas of interest to become a teacher in Florida. Unless you're working with preschool or elementary level students, to which you may teach a larger variety of subjects, you'll likely need to specialize. This may mean earning a college degree in a certain subject and then teaching only that subject at a middle school, high school or college. Or it may mean specializing in a few related subjects, such as:

  • Speech
  • Health
  • Music
  • Exceptional Student Education
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Gifted Education

Regardless, unless it's a private school or college, you'll likely also need to take education courses in addition to studying your desired subject. For more information on specializations, you can learn more on the educator certification page on the Florida Department of Education website.

Florida Teacher Licensing Requirements

To become certified as a teacher, a common route is to earn a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and achieve passing scores on the General Knowledge Test, Subject Area Examination and the Professional Education Test.

Requirements depend on what and where you want to teach. Private schools often have more lenient requirements, while colleges usually require a graduate degree when hiring teachers. If you are focused on a specific subject, you will likely need to demonstrate that knowledge through an undergraduate or graduate degree and a passing test score.

Out-of-State Educators

There are two reciprocity routes for out-of-state educators who want to earn a certificate to teach in Florida: One is for people who have been issued a teaching certificate by a state other than Florida, and the other is for those who have had their teaching certificate issued by the NBPTS. Educators will then have to complete a CG-10 application form, and send in copies of all their transcripts, as well as a copy of their current teaching certificate. For more information, you can visit the alternative and traditional certification page on the Florida Department of Education website.

Alternate Paths to Teaching in Florida

There are multiple alternative routes to become a K-12 teacher in Florida. One way is through teaching two semesters of full-time college and having passing scores on the Subject Area Examination. Another is by having 15 credits in education courses, an approved Professional Education Competence (PEC) demonstration, one year of full-time teaching and passing scores on the three tests mentioned above.

Becoming a professor or college instructor often requires a master's or Ph.D. in a specific subject. It depends on what you want to teach and where, but more information can be found with a bit of browsing on the alternative and traditional certification page on the Florida Department of Education website.


  1. "Florida Certification Subjects," Florida Department of Education, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/subjlist.asp
  2. "Educator Preparation," Teach in Florida, http://www.teachinflorida.com/Preparation/tabid/60/Default.aspx
  3. "National Board for Professional Teaching Standards," http://www.nbpts.org/
  4. "Routes to a Florida Professional Certificate," Florida Department of Education, http://www.fldoe.org/core/fileparse.php/5423/urlt/Routes2014Chart.pdf
  5. "Alternative and Traditional Certification," Florida Department of Education, http://www.fldoe.org/edcert/pathways.asp

Teaching Schools in Florida

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MS in Education (for Existing Teachers Grades K-12)
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
  • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
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  • Online Courses
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Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Ranked 21st among the Best Education Schools in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Established in 1918 with the mission, “to improve learning in urban education locally, nationally, and globally.”
  • The first major research university to offer an online M.A.  in teaching program.
  • Offers certificate through doctoral programs in teaching, counseling, and more.
  • All programs taught with the guiding principles of leadership, learning, accountability, and diversity.
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  • Online Courses
Master of Science in Education, Online Teaching and Learning
Keiser University Campus , New Port Richey
  • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
  • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
  • Its student-faculty ratio is 12:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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Doctor of Management – Higher Education Teaching and Learning
  • Its Fast Track program enables qualified students to save up to 30% on tuition and graduate up to 30% faster.
  • Its online MBA program was named by the International Graduate Forum as a top 10 Online MBA Program in 2012.
  • Listed as a military friendly school by G.I. Jobs magazine in 2014.
  • Lets students watch, view, read, or hear content through its program, My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.).
  • Has additional campus locations near military bases in Colorado Springs and Denver.
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  • Online Courses
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Early Childhood Education (Certificate Only) - Online
  • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
  • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
  • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
  • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
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  • Accredited
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