Requirements & Certifications for Florida Teachers (2024)

Florida offers two types of certificates, a Professional and Temporary certification. Florida educators must be certified to teach in our public schools and in many of the private schools. Educators include classroom teachers, school administrators, and other support professionals, such as guidance counselors and media specialists.

Educator Preparation Routes

The Routes to a Florida Professional Certificate Chart shows all of the educator preparation options, traditional and alternative, leading to the full Professional Certificate. The chart is separated into three distinct route types – teacher preparation programs, certificate reciprocity, and other alternative routes. It also includes details for each preparation option with links to websites that provide additional information on each route.

Professional Certification

The Florida Professional Certification is the highest certification level you can receive. It is valid for five school years and is renewable. Requirements for obtaining this type of certification are listed below:

• Complete all application process requirements
• Hold at least a bachelor’s degree
• Demonstrate Mastery of Subject Area Knowledge for a requested subject
• Demonstrate Mastery of General Knowledge
• Demonstrate Mastery of Professional Preparation and Education Competence

The Florida Professional Certificate is issued after the individual’s fingerprints have been cleared. The individual seeking employment in Florida will be assisted in completing the fingerprint process by his/her employer. A U.S. citizen who is not seeking employment in Florida or has an immediate need for issuance of the Professional Certificate can contact the Bureau of Educator Certification for assistance.

Please note: If a United States citizen chooses to have his or her fingerprints processed prior to Florida employment for issuance of the Professional Certificate, it may be necessary to have the fingerprints reprocessed, and the individual may have to pay a second processing fee as a condition of employment in a Florida public school.

Temporary Certification

A Florida Temporary Certification is valid for three school years and is nonrenewable. The purpose of a Temporary Certification is to provide time to complete all the requirements for a Professional Certificate while teaching full-time. Requirements for obtaining this type of certification are listed below:

• Complete all application process requirements
• Hold at least a bachelor’s degree
• Demonstrate Mastery of Subject Area Knowledge or meet Subject Specialization with a 2.5 GPA for a requested subject
• The Florida Temporary Certificate is issued after the individual is employed in a Florida school and his/her fingerprints have been cleared.

Statement of Status Eligibility

When you send a complete application package for consideration of becoming a certified teacher to the Florida Department of Education, your complete package is evaluated to determine your eligibility for a Florida certificate. The result of that determination is mailed to you as an Official Statement of Status of Eligibility.

The Official Statement is valid for three years and has two functions:

• to officially state whether or not “you are eligible” for a Temporary Certificate or a Professional Certificate in the subject area you requested, and
• to provide you with a customized list of the requirements you must complete to be issued full state certification in Florida.

If Your Official Statement Shows that “You Are Eligible” for a Certificate

1. Your Florida Temporary Certificate is issued when:

  • your Official Statement states that “you are eligible” for at least a Temporary Certificate, and
  • you are employed as a teacher and your fingerprints are processed before your Official Statement expires.

2. When your certificate is issued, the list of requirements on your Official Statement must be completed before the expiration date of your Temporary Certificate.

3. If your Official Statement expires before you are employed in a Florida school, you may re-apply for a new Official Statement. You will be then evaluated for eligibility based upon the certification laws and rules in effect at the time your next application is received.

Steps to Take If You Are “Not Eligible” for a Certificate

1. You must qualify for at least a Temporary Certificate to be employed as a teacher. If your Official Statement indicates that you are “not eligible” for a Florida certificate, it will provide you with options for completing requirements for certification.

2. When you have completed the requirements listed on your Official Statement for the Temporary Certificate, send official documentation to the Bureau of Educator Certification. Then, your application package will be scheduled for a re-evaluation, and you will receive a “revised” Official Statement indicating that “you are eligible” for a Florida certificate.

3. Once you receive your Official Statement indicating you are eligible for a Temporary Certificate, you may then seek employment in a Florida elementary or secondary school.

Direct Pathway to a Professional Certificate

Many applicants go directly to the full Professional Certificate by following one of these pathways:

  • Valid Standard Certificate Issued by another State (See Reciprocity)
  • Valid Certificate Issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
  • Teacher Education Degree Program and Passing Florida Certification Examinations
  • 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).

Please note that a graduate level subject requires the graduate degree/coursework specified in the governing State Board Rule in addition to Passing the Florida Subject Area Examination.

Moving from a Temporary to a Professional Certificate

The individual who has been teaching under a Temporary Certificate can move to the Professional Certificate with one of these pathways:

  • Valid Certificate Issued by American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence (ABCTE) and Demonstration of Professional Education Competence in the Classroom
  • Florida Professional Development Certification Program and Passing Florida Certification Examinations
  • College Professional Training Option, Teaching Experience, Demonstration of Professional Education Competence in the Classroom, and Passing Florida Certification Examinations
  • Professional Preparation College Courses, Teaching Experience, Demonstration of Professional Education Competence in the Classroom, and Passing Florida Certification Examinations

Certification Examinations

Visit Certification Examinations (FTCE/FELE) for detailed information on Florida’s certification examinations.

Contact Information

Educator Certification
Turlington Building, Suite 201
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
U.S. Toll-Free: 800-445-6739
Outside U.S.: 850-245-5049

Requirements & Certifications for Florida Teachers (2024)
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