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Personnel Services

Personnel Services

Routes to Become a Teacher


The route to becoming a teacher requires education and certification. The most critical component is understanding Florida’s specific requirements. While one clear route is available for those just graduating from college, it isn’t the only route. By following your Florida’s alternative certification route, you can become a teacher as part of a career change.

Education The minimal educational requirement for a teacher in all states is a bachelor's degree.

Certification To become a teacher, most states require that you earn a credential in addition to your bachelor's degree.

Teacher Training Programs typically have a pipeline to the school district and in front of hiring principals.

Substitute Teaching is a great way to learn more about the teaching profession, how to be prepared for the classroom, or what school you would like to apply for when you’re ready to apply to HCPS. Learn more about Kelly Services.

Alternative certification programs are offered by colleges and local school partners. They often feature an training, followed by paid employment, with mentoring, coursework and other supports from the college and school district.

Please review the following two websites for information about teacher certification:
For information about testing to obtain a certificate
For information about teacher certification in general

To apply for a position in our district you must fill out the application for employment at You may update your application at anytime.

Need official, sealed transcripts with a degree awarded or conferral date must also to be sent to the same address if you have not applied for a Statement of Eligibility with the Florida Department of Education.

Please note - The greatest needs for the upcoming school year are in Elementary Education, Language Arts, Reading, Math, Sciences and Exceptional Student Education (Special Education).

Testing Information
Three tests normally required in Florida are as follows:

  1. Subject Area Exam - You may take more than one Subject Area Exam if you wish.

  2. General Knowledge Exam - Under Florida law, employees must take and pass this test during the first year of their employment.

  3. Professional Educators Test

NOTE: The Florida Department of Education will determine education and/or testing as appropriate.

Please contact the Office of Teacher Recruitment for further information.

Office of Teacher Recruitment
(813) 840-7167

If your Bachelor’s Degree Major is not in education, you are required to pass Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) and complete education coursework in order to obtain a Professional Educator Certificate.

Websites for Florida Certification: – to apply for a certificate – register for a certification exam – to apply to work for the HCPS

The FTCE is composed of three tests:
1. Subject Area Exam (SAE)
2. General Knowledge Exam (GK)
3. Professional Educator Test (PEd)

The following exams are required with passing scores:

  1. Subject Area Exam (SAE): (Note – register for test at
    These are exams for degreed academic and some vocational subject areas. These exams measure content area knowledge, usually in multiple-choice format.

    NOTE: To be considered for Pre-K Primary and/or Elementary K-6 positions, you must be eligible for a temporary certificate in Elementary Education or Pre-K Primary. To do so, a passing score on the FCTE SAE exam is required.

    NOTE: If you are hired with an Agreement to Earn for a subject area exam, you have one year from date of employment to receive a passing score.

  2. General Knowledge Test (GK):
    This exam assesses basic skills in math, reading, and written communication in English.

    *Some applicants may be able to use GRE scores for satisfying the GK test requirement.

    Note: Current Florida Law requires that an individual pass the General Knowledge test within one year from the date of employment in a Florida public school to continue employment.

  3. Professional Education Test (PEd):
    A multiple-choice test that assesses general knowledge of pedagogy and professional practices and consists of approximately 120 items.

    In addition to passing required exams for certification, you must fulfill:

  4. Coursework Requirement:
    As a career changer, you will need to satisfy specific coursework required by the Florida Department of Education. There are several choices to satisfy the coursework such as:
    • Complete a Masters in the Arts in Teaching (MAT) with an emphasis in the area you want to teach, i.e., you want to teach Social Science your coursework would be specific to Social Science. OR
    • Complete an Educator Preparation Program. You can find the Community Colleges that provide this programs throughout the State of Florida at OR
    • Complete the coursework through the Alternative Certification Program provided through the school districts Professional Development Department.

All Florida certificates are issued after the individual is employed in a Florida school and the individual’s fingerprints have been cleared.

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