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Every person wanting to teach in Florida must apply with the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). If you have a 4-year degree from an accredited college you can begin the application process to become a teacher in the state of Florida. This information will go over the following:
- Foreign Credential Evaluation Links - If you graduated from a college outside of the US. You need to have your college transcripts evaluated in order to be able to apply to be a teacher. The link will take you to approved agencies.
- Military Waivers - If you are currently or have previously served in the military you can apply for waivers to waive first-time application fees and exam fees.
- Applying w/ the FLDOE for Teaching - In order to become a teacher, you have to apply with the state through the FLDOE and receive your Statement of Eligibility. Links and info to apply are included.
- Statement of Eligibility (SOE) – After you apply with the FLDOE you get a document called your SOE. Why do you need this? What does it mean to be “eligible” or “not eligible?”
- FTCE Exams - In order to be eligible for the subject area you are applying for you may need to take and pass the Subject Area Exam (SAE). If you are further in the process you may want to prepare and take the General Knowledge Test (GKT) or Professional Education Test (PET).
Foreign Credential Evaluations
If you have graduated from a college outside of the United States you will need to have your transcripts evaluated by an approved Foreign Credential Evaluation Agency. You must submit this evaluation with your application to the FLDOE for an Educator’s Certificate. See below to be directed to a list of approved agencies by the FLDOE.
Waivers are provided for members of our military for first-time exam fees (GKT, SAE, and PET) as well as the application fee to the FLDOE.
Applying with the FLDOE to Teach
Every teacher needs to go to the FLDOE website and complete their online application for a Florida Educator’s Certificate so the can determine if you are “eligible” or “not eligible” to teach in Florida. At a minimum, you must have a 4-year bachelor's degree from an accredited college in order to apply. Once your application has been reviewed, the FLDOE will send you a formal response called the Statement of Eligibility (SOE). To apply you must:
- Create an account with the FLDOE
- Fill out the online application form for Educator Certification Application
- Payment of $75 per subject area you apply for will be due upon applying; you can apply for any subject area, but keep in mind ESOL and Reading certification areas have special requirements.
- Submit all necessary documents including all your OFFICIAL college transcripts or your credential evaluation. You may also submit your valid out-of-state teaching certificate (if applicable) or any other required documentation the state is requesting to:
Bureau of Educator Certification
Room 201, Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400
- It takes a minimum of 4 weeks (right now it’s taking about 2-4 months) to receive your SOE once your application, transcripts, and application fee are received by the FLDOE.
Statement of Eligibility (SOE)
Upon receiving your completed application package, the FLDOE will review your application package to and email you a formal response called your SOE. This document defines if you are “eligible” or “not eligible” to teach and will outline any additional requirements you will need to complete to earn your Temporary Certificate and your Professional Certificate. This document lets school districts know they can hire you as a teacher. Please keep in mind with your SOE:
- This document is valid for 3 years from the initial processing date.
- This is NOT a teaching certificate. This document only defines eligibility to teach. You will be issued a teacher certificate after you are hired as a teacher.
- Contact a Florida Teachers Program Advisor to go over the SOE with you and answer any questions you may have regarding the requirements listed.
Eligible or Not Eligible
One of the most frequently asked questions is how do I know if I’m going to eligible or not eligible when I apply? An individual can be eligible to teach in the subject area they want to teach in ONE of three ways:
- A bachelor’s degree or higher in the same subject area you are applying for
- A bachelor’s degree in any area AND have taken the specified number of college courses listed on the FLDOE website. This applies to most subject areas except Reading and ESOL certification areas
- A bachelor’s degree in any area AND have taken and passed the Subject Area Exam for the subject area they are applying for. Please look under the Florida Teacher Certification Exams (FTCE) section for more information. This applies to most subject areas except Reading and ESOL certification areas
Florida Teacher Certification Exams (FTCE)
FTCE includes up to 3 state exams Subject Area Exam (SAE), General Knowledge Test (GKT), and Professional Education Test (PET).
If you do decide to pursue a subject area unrelated to your degree it is very likely that the FL DOE will ask that you pass the SAE for the subject you wish to teach in so you can be eligible for your Temporary Certificate. In order to earn a Professional Certificate, you will most likely need to take the GKT and PET in the process.
- You will register to take the exam on the FTCE website – you can use this link to register for all state exams. You can register to take this exam at any time. You do not need to wait for your SOE to take exams if you anticipate needing them.
- You may retake the exam every 31 days.
- Review the resources page – there is a resource page made for each exam. It provides valuable information on how the exam is broken down and the competencies you will need to know.