Become a Teacher in Florida

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:

  1. Create an account with the FLDOE, if you have not done so before.
  2. Fill out the online application form titled Educator Certification Application.
  3. Submit an online payment to the FL DOE of $75 per subject area you are applying for.
  4. Submit all necessary documents including all your official college transcripts or original credential evaluation to the BEC. You may also submit any other required documentation the state is requesting to:

Bureau of Educator Certification (BEC)                                                                                                                                    

Room 201, Turlington Building

325 West Gaines Street   

Tallahassee, FLorida 32399-0400

Please note the following when submitting documents:

  • The fastest way to submit official transcripts is by having your school send them electronically, if your school uses the FASTER or SPEEDE system.
  • You may also submit a copy of your out of state certificate online by attaching it to your application.
  • 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.
  • If you must directly mail anything to the BEC please make sure social security number (SSN) or DOE# is written at the top all the documents you are submitting for the fastest processing time. 
  • Click here for a step by step instructional video to assist you in the application process.

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:

  1. Bachelor's degree major is a listed subject area for certification. Click here to see a list of current certification areas.
  2. Passing the Subject Area Exam in the area you are applying for. Click here to learn more about Florida Teacher Certification Exams (FTCE) page.
  3. Line by line transcript review of your college courses to determine if they meet the minimum requirements for eligbility. Click Click here to see these requirements per subject area.

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 waivers of initial certification and certification examination fees for veterans and military families. These waivers are for military personnel, honorably discharged veterans, their spouses, and surviving spouses of veterans.  For specific questions regarding this please e-mail

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:

  • $75 per subject for an intial certification application
  • $75 for an initial application for certification in athletic coaching
  • $75 for an application to upgrade from a Temporary to a Professional Certificate
  • $75 per subject for addition of a subject or endorsement to valid certificate
  • Registration fees for initial atteps on certification examinations including your General Knowledge Test, each Subject Area Exam, and the Professional Education Test.



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