Teachers, Career Changers, Recent Graduates, Re-locators, Substitutes & More.
How to Become a Teacher in Florida
The minimum requirement to be able to apply for your certification is having a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. This can be in ANY major. Many think they need to go back to college and get another degree to become a teacher. Though this is an option, it’s really not necessary as more alternative certification options have become available over the past ten years making it very possible for you to become an educator sooner than you think. If you are an active member, a veteran, or spouse of a US military member you can qualify for military waivers that can be applied towards application costs and teacher certification exam fees. See below for more information.
Applying with the Florida Department of Education (FL DOE)
Whether you just graduated from college with your education or non-education degree, are applying from out of state, or are a career changer, the first step to getting a Florida teaching certificate is to apply with the FL DOE.
To apply you will need to complete your application package with the FL DOE. This includes:
Bureau of Educator Certification (BEC)
Room 201, Turlington Building
325 West Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FLorida 32399-0400
Please note the following when submitting documents:
If you graduated from a college or university from out of the United States you will need to submit a credential evaluation from an approved credential evaluation agency.
Once your application has been reviewed, the FLDOE will send you a formal response called the Statement of Eligibility (SOE). It takes a minimum of 4 weeks (right now it’s taking about 2 months) to receive your SOE once your application, transcripts, and application fee are received by the FLDOE. See below to learn more about what an SOE is and why it's a key document you will need as you go through the certification process.
Statement of Status of Eligibility (SOE)
A statement of status of eligiblity (SOE) is the formal response the FL DOE will send you after you have completed your application with the FL DOE for certification. This document will outline everything you will need to complete in order to be issued a Temporary Certificate and a Professional Certificate. This document is valid for 3-years from the processing date and will also define if you are eligbile or not eligible to teach in the subject area you have applied for. Think of this as your roadmap to certification success!
How do I know if I'll be eligible or not eligible?
Eligibility of a subject area can be determined one of three ways:
If you receive an SOE marked "not eligible," just review your SOE for what you can do to become eligible. Keep in mind you are issued a certifcate after you are hired with a school district as the teacher of record.
What about the requirements to earn a Professional?
Learn more about how to earn a professional certificate on our Earning a Florida Professional Certificate page.
Military Certification Fee Waivers (MCFW)
The FL DOE provides the opportunity to request of initial certification and certification examination fees for veterans and families. These are for personnel, honorably discharged veterans, their spouses, and surviving spouses of veterans. For specific questions regarding this please e-mail TroopsTeaching4FL@fldoe.org.
To apply for the military waiver with the FL DOE, you will need to submit a separate request. You can do this by going to the FL DOE Military Certification Fees Waiver page.
What does this waiver cover?
Fees for the following certification services will be waived for individuals grandted MCFWs:
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