The 10 Best Teacher Certification Programs in Florida 2023

Published On: November 11th, 2023·By ·

Florida has many traditional and alternative educator preparation routes for candidates seeking a full professional certification. It is essential to have a teaching certificate to work as an educator in the state. The Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) oversees the certification process.  

However, while the FLDOE has approved many programs to help you reach your career goals, not all are equal. It's essential to critically examine your options before committing to a teacher certification program in Florida. 

Simplek12 wants to equip you with all the relevant information to help you become one of Florida's best teachers. To get you started on the path to a new career, we've gathered all the relevant information you need, including the best certification programs Florida offers. What are you waiting for? Let's get started. 

Best Teacher Certification Programs in Florida

Prospective teachers in Florida are spoiled for choice when it comes to options for certification programs. All must be approved by the FLODE. However, it can be overwhelming to pinpoint which accredited teacher certification programs in Florida are right for you. 

We have researched all the online teacher certification programs in Florida, considering their services, support, flexibility, costs, and time to complete their program. Here are the 10 best teacher certification programs in Florida. 

Teachers of Tomorrow

Teachers of Tomorrow is the top alternative teaching license provider in the country. Since 2005, they've helped over 80,000 teachers achieve their classroom dreams. Its affordable, self-paced online program is accredited through the Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation (AAQEP). They tailor their programs for each state, ensuring you meet FLDOE certification demands. 

Teachers of Tomorrow is the best program, considering its affordability, flexibility, support, and services. Key features include:

  • Wide range of subject areas
  • Knowledgeable advisors
  • Up-to-date resources
  • Online study community
  • Flexible training
  • Research-based curriculum

Teachers of Tomorrow uses a research-based curriculum and helps candidates match their skills and interests within over 20 subject areas. They'll be further guided by knowledgeable program advisors to help give candidates the best opportunity to be hired. 

The online self-paced flexible training uses up-to-date resources for the General Knowledge Test, Florida Teacher Certification Exams (FTCE), and the Florida Educational Leadership Exam through Learning Liaisons. Study tips and feedback are accessible through its active online study community. 

When candidates are ready for their Internship Year, they'll be supported through:

  • Free resume review services
  • Interview question reading training
  • Marketability with school districts
  • Access to Get Hired seminars and webinars
  • Access to face-to-face time with HR professionals and principals

Teachers of Tomorrow has no application fee and offers payment plans for their $295 enrollment cost, and the $2,700 program balance is deferred until the Internship Year. Once teaching begins, payments can be spread out in interest-free installments. Military veterans and spouses may qualify for additional discounts. Scholarships are awarded annually. 


TEACH-NOW is a nine-month online teacher certification program made available through Moreland University. The final twelve weeks involve a pretty rigorous schedule, where online classes are taken on top of working in a classroom alongside a mentor teacher. 

Candidates participating in TEACH-NOW have higher average test scores than the national average.  

The programs is not as flexible as some online models, as candidates must follow the course's timeline. However, it does allow candidates to begin throughout the year at the start of each month. 

TEACH-NOW is $6,500, including the $200 tuition fee. The clinical teaching portion is unpaid; however, candidates do not have to find their own teaching placement to take part. 

American Board

American Board is one of the flexible online teacher certification programs in Florida.  They offer ten subjects, some of which have a standard or premium option, the latter coming at a higher cost.

Subjects included are:

  • Biology (6-12), standard or premium
  • Chemistry (6-12)
  • Elementary Education (K-6)
  • English (6-12), standard or premium
  • Math (6-12), standard or premium
  • Physics (9-12)
  • Reading (K-6)
  • Science (5-9)
  • Special Education (K-12), standard or premium

There are no classes. Instead, materials and resources are made available for candidates to use as they wish to help them pass the required pedagogy and subject areas. In the meantime, candidates must find a position in the FLDOE education system and begin teaching. 

Candidates can try the program for seven days for free. Payment plans begin at $1,900 for a one-time payment, and prices rise depending on payment plans and which resources you decide to use. 

Western Governors University

Western Governors University (WGU) offers flexible, online master's programs with preparation for licensure for those with a non-educational bachelor's degree. Candidates average 24 months to complete their chosen program although there are acceleration options. Exams are also taken per a candidate's schedule. 

Potential MA's for those seeking licensure include:

  • Elementary Education
  • English Education (Secondary)
  • Mathematics Education (Middle Grades or Secondary) 
  • Science Education (Secondary)
  • Special Education (K-12)

Tuition is $3,975 per 6-month term, and classes begin on set start dates. While the option is more expensive and takes longer than a typical online teaching certification program, there is the advantage of obtaining a master's, which generally improves career pay prospects. 

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida offers many traditional routes to certification. In addition, they offer a Master of Arts in Teaching program for those who already have a bachelor's degree and wish to get into teaching. Candidates must specialize in one of the following areas:

  • Elementary Education
  • Exceptional Student Education
  • Foreign Language Education
  • Mathematics Education (6-12)
  • Middle Grades Mathematics (5-9)
  • Science Education
  • Secondary English Education
  • Social Science Education

While some courses are available online, most are face-to-face. Florida resident graduate fees are $347.91 per credit hour and typically total between $6,000 to $8,000. It typically takes two years to complete the program. 

While this route takes longer and is more expensive, candidates with an MA typically have an edge when applying for positions. 

Florida State University

Florida State University offers traditional pathways to becoming a teacher through its School of Teacher Education. One of its premier teaching programs is the fast-track combined BS/MS pathway in Elementary Education for those who do not already have a bachelor's degree and wish to graduate with the advantage of a master's.  

Like some other Florida institutions, some MA options only require a bachelor's degree in any subject rather than one in education or previous teaching experience. Some of their options are available for online education. 

Exact pricing depends on the program, campus, and if you qualify for the in-state rate per credit hour.  Generally, graduate fees are around $479 per credit hour for in-state, and a year's tuition typically runs just under $10,000. But those figures don't factor in the full cost of attendance. So it's one of the more expensive options but from a highly respected institution. 

Teacher Ready

Teacher Ready is one of the online certification programs in Florida. It is part of the Professional Education unit at the University of West Florida. In addition to being state-approved, they have Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accreditation. 

Their curriculum was designed by teachers, focusing on the skills and methods these educators deemed necessary for a successful career. Lesson 8 of their program is the 185 hours of fieldwork under a mentor. Candidates develop lesson plans for the week and then implement them. Placements are made for candidates through the admissions advisor.

Teacher Ready has a $50 application fee, $100 technology and online material fee, $5,400 program tuition, and the Florida application and exam fees apply. They have payment plans available, and there is assistance to apply for financial aid and grants. 

Barry University

Barry University is a private higher education institution in South Florida that caters to the traditional educator pathway. They offer bachelor's degrees in education and advanced degrees for those already in the education field or who hold a BA or BS in education. It is a good option for those who want the classic student experience. 

Advanced degrees include:

  • Early and Middle Childhood Education
  • Educational Leadership
  • Exceptional Student Education
  • Curriculum and Instruction

Full-time undergraduate tuition costs $16,400, master's graduate costs $1,020 per credit, and doctoral costs $1,160 per credit. 

UF College of Education

UF College of Education specializes in online learning. They have traditional pathways to teacher certification as well as a master's teacher program specifically designed for career changers. Teaching support and coaching are also provided.

The program takes a year, including the two-semester internship, so much quicker than many other master's options. Candidates are also awarded K-6 certification. 

Tuition and fees vary depending on the resident and non-resident and the program. Estimate between $450-520 per credit hour, with additional fees for distance learning. Financial aid packages may be available. 

University of Miami

The University of Miami caters to those looking for traditional pathways to an educational career. Consequently, most of the university's courses are in-person.  

Their undergraduate program offers a bachelor's of science leading to Elementary Education certification (K-6) and ESE (K-12). 

They also offer master's programs but generally require a bachelor's in education. Concentrations for those wishing to obtain a Master of Science in Education (MSEd) include: 

  • Applied Learning Sciences
  • Applied Physiology
  • Education and Social Change
  • Higher Education: Enrollment Management
  • Sport Administration
  • Special Education

Undergraduate tuition costs $58,104; however, the total cost of attendance is over $80,000. Graduate tuition is $21,789 for fall and spring semesters and $7,263 for summer, excluding other fees and indirect costs. 

Types of Teacher Certifications in Florida

Florida, through the FLDOE, offers two types of Educator Certificates

  • Temporary Certificate
  • Professional Certificate

Temporary Certificate for Teachers in Florida

The Temporary Certificate is valid for three years and is nonrenewable. Its purpose is to allow candidates with a bachelor's degree to teach full-time while completing their teacher certification program.   

Professional Certificate for Teachers in Florida

The Professional Certificate is Florida's highest educator certificate. It is valid for five years and is renewable. To qualify for a professional certificate, a candidate must have completed their teacher certification program and passed all necessary examinations. 

Steps to Becoming a Certified Teacher in Florida

Florida requires public school teachers to obtain teacher certification before leading a classroom. Each state has specific requirements and pathways for educators to obtain certification, but they share many similarities. Even within a state like Florida, there may be a few pathways to choose from. 

Florida has a few routes to obtaining a professional certificate. Many teachers follow the traditional pathway to begin their careers. 

Get a Bachelor's Degree

Florida, like all US states, requires a bachelor's degree to teach. A bachelor's in education may be a BA or a BS.  Students will typically select courses that focus on teaching a specific grade level, such as elementary or a subject like mathematics. 

Some Florida schools offer a combined degree, where students spend a 5th year and graduate with a bachelor's and master's. The additional degree does provide an edge during the job application process and typically leads to better pay. It also opens up possibilities for working higher up in education, such as a school principal. 

Degree options offered by Florida colleges and universities include: 

  • Elementary Education/Exceptional Student Education BSEd
  • Education (BS)
  • Elementary Education (BS/MS)
  • English Education (BS/MS)
  • Special Education (BS/MS)
  • Special Education (BS/MS)
  • Social Science Education BS/MS
  • Visual Disabilities Education BS/MS
  • Mathematics Education Middle Grades or Secondary (BS)
  • Science Education Middle Grades or Secondary (BS)

Pass the Content Examination

Florida has content examinations that must be passed to teach certain grade levels or subjects. Examples of content examinations include:

  • Elementary Education (K-6)
  • Biology (6-12)
  • Computer Science (K-12)
  • English (5-9)
  • English (6-12)
  • Mathematics (5-9)
  • Mathematics (6-12)
  • Physical Education (K-12)

Complete the Teacher Preparation Program (EPIs)

Teacher Preparation Programs are known in Florida as Educator Preparation Institutes (EPI). These prepare degree holders for teaching. Those undergoing the traditional pathway generally have the EPI section taught as part of their degree program from their college or university. 

EPIs generally consist of coursework relating to working in a classroom and field work where students teach or intern in a classroom under the supervision of a mentor or coach. 

Complete the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE)

The Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE) must be passed to receive a professional certificate. Candidates take a General Knowledge Test, Professional Education Test, and at least one of the 39 subject areas. 

Requirements for Alternative Certification in Florida 

FLODE has pathways for alternative certification, allowing candidates to teach without having to obtain a bachelor’s in education. These alternative pathways are ideal for career changers.  

All FLODE alternative certifications require:

  • Subject Area Exams 
  • General Knowledge Test
  • Professional Education Exam

These three exams make up the Florida Teacher Certification Examinations (FTCE). A candidate takes one of the 39 subject area exams depending on their teaching focus, such as middle-grade mathematics or secondary biology. The General Knowledge and Professional Education are standard for all teachers.  

Once candidates have passed these tests, they may qualify for one of the three options:

  • Temporary Teaching Certification in Florida
  • Professional Development Certification Program
  • Five-Year Temporary Certificate for Veterans

Temporary Teacher Certification 

Florida's Temporary Teaching Certification requires candidates to:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Pass the FTCE.
  • Obtain a position within a Florida school.
  • Obtain a background check and submit fingerprints.
  • Get hired by a Florida school

The certification is valid for three years and is nonrenewable.

Professional Development Certification Program

Professional Development Certification Program allows a candidate to transition from a Temporary to a Professional Certification. 

Requirements to take part in the Professional Development Certification Program are:

  • Hold a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Pass the FTCE.
  • Obtain a position within a Florida school.
  • Obtain a background check and submit fingerprints.
  • Get hired by a Florida school.
  • Enroll and complete a Teacher Certification Program, such as Teachers of Tomorrow, listed above.

Year Temporary Certificate for Veterans 

FLDOE has a 5-Year Temporary Certificate for Veterans that allows them to teach while completing their bachelor's degree. The first two years of teaching will be done under the supervision of a fully qualified mentor. The certificate is nonrenewable. 

To qualify, the veteran must:

  • Have a minimum of 48 months of service and be honorably or medically discharged.
  • Have at least 60 college credits completed with a 2.5 GPA out of 4 or higher.
  • Obtain a background check and submit fingerprints.
  • Obtain a teaching position.
  • Pass the subject area exam.

How to Choose the Right Teacher Certification Program

Choosing the right accredited teacher certification programs in Florida requires careful consideration in the following areas:

  • Subject areas offered
  • Cost 
  • Time
  • Flexibility

Subject Areas Offered

Teaching certification programs do not offer the same subject areas. Some are very broad while others only support specific grades or areas. Be sure the program you pick will help you reach your desired career goals. 

Teachers of Tomorrow has over 20 subject areas to choose from and is happy to help you identify the areas that best match your skills and interests. 


Accredited teacher certification programs in Florida range from around $2,000 to over $20,000. In addition, some of the more expensive options require you to do unpaid field work and leave no time to earn a living. 

Look for flexible and affordable payment plans, grants, and scholarships, and try to avoid taking on debt through student loans. 

Teachers of Tomorrow is well-priced, offers payment plans, and allows you to earn a living while you prepare for your certification. 


Accredited teacher certification programs typically take 1-2 years. Keep in mind that some do not allow you to teach for pay until after completion and the intensity may make it challenging to hold down any job while taking part. 

Teachers of Tomorrow allows candidates to complete the coursework at their own pace. However, candidates can start working in the classroom for full pay the moment they get hired.  


Look for a teacher certification program that fits your life and needs. The traditional university experience can be fun for young people who do not have children or obligations, but it doesn’t work for everyone. 

Teacher preparation programs have varied flexibility. Some are rigid, others are at your own pace, while some fall somewhere in between. 

In addition, classes may be in-person, online, or a mix. In-person classes are almost always conducted on a set schedule. Beware that just because a program is offered online does not necessarily mean you can work at your own pace. Some online programs require you to be on your computer and logged in at set times and dates. 

Teachers of Tomorrow is one of the premier online teacher certification programs in Florida. The flexible format allows candidates to work at their own pace so it can be completed alongside raising a family and being employed.  

Become a Certified Teacher in Florida

It's never been a better time to teach in Florida. The state offers many pathways, even for those who don’t have a bachelor’s in education. We’ve highlighted ten excellent institutions that offer accredited teacher certification programs in Florida. Many are affordable and flexible, making them perfect for those with families and jobs.

Regardless of which program you choose, Teachers of Tomorrow is there to help you reach your career dreams. So feel free to reach out anytime as you prepare to become one of Florida's best teachers.  

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