How to Become a Teacher in Georgia

Earning a teaching degree can lead to a rewarding career path. Our guide outlines how to become a teacher in Georgia.

May 26, 2022 • 4 Min Read

edited by Lequita Westbrooks

How to Become a Teacher in Georgia

This page outlines what it takes to become a teacher in Georgia. Professionals who want to pursue a teaching career in Georgia first need a bachelor's degree. They must also pass a background check.

Public school teachers need state-approved teaching certification. Candidates seeking provisional certification need at least a bachelor's degree, enrollment in a state-approved teacher-preparation program, and passing scores on Georgia's Educator Ethics Assessment.

Provisional certification lets teachers finish earning their requirements for full certification while teaching. However, many educators complete their teacher-preparation program and pursue full certification before seeking teaching jobs. This induction certification requires passing scores on related content assessments.

Read on to learn more about becoming a teacher in Georgia. This page discusses teaching requirements, school and program accreditation, and the most in-demand fields for a teaching career in Georgia. Readers can also browse some helpful resources for Georgia teachers and students.

Questions About Teaching in Georgia

Can I teach in Georgia without a certification?

To become a teacher in Georgia, candidates need state-approved teaching certifications. Learn more about Georgia's provisional and induction teaching certificates below.

How long does it take to get a teacher certification in Georgia?

Learners can usually complete a teacher preparation bachelor's program in four years. Students with a bachelor's degree in another field can complete teaching certification programs in 18-24 months. Accelerated online programs may require less time.

Can you teach in Georgia with an out-of-state license?

Out-of-state educators seeking a teaching career in Georgia can obtain state certification through interstate reciprocity agreements. Learn more about reciprocity further down this page.

How much do teachers make in Georgia?

The Georgia Department of Education website indicates that public school teaching salaries in Georgia range from $35,220-$76,980. Salaries depend on credentials, teaching level, and experience.

Finding an Accredited Teaching Program

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation approves various agencies to evaluate schools' educational quality. These agencies assess factors such as academic rigor, faculty credentials, and academic resources such as libraries.

Top teaching programs hold programmatic accreditation from the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation. The Association for Advancing Quality in Educator Preparation also evaluates and accredits education programs.

Prospective students can research schools' accreditation using the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Teacher in Georgia?

To become a teacher in Georgia public schools, prospective educators need professional teacher certification. Teaching certification requires satisfactory completion of a bachelor's degree, a state-approved teacher-preparation program, and state assessments.

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) must approve or accept candidates' teacher-preparation program. Qualifying programs possess approval from their college or university educator certification offices. Teacher-preparation programs include in-person teaching experiences in the form of practicums, fieldwork, or student teaching.

GaPSC has approved all Georgia college and university teacher-preparation programs. Enrollees may complete their student teaching requirements in Georgia schools. Aspiring teachers must also pass licensure exams and FBI and state-level background checks.

To enter a teacher-preparation program, applicants must pass the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) Program Admission Assessment. To receive their teaching certification, candidates must successfully complete a GACE subject test in a chosen focus area.

Pathways to Earning a Teaching Certification in Georgia

GaPSC offers two teacher certification pathways. The traditional pathway involves completing all teacher certification requirements before starting a teaching job. This involves graduating from an accredited, state-approved teacher-preparation bachelor's, graduate, or certificate program.

All aspiring educators must meet special Georgia requirements before becoming a teacher in Georgia. These requirements include passing the GACE content assessment and the Georgia Educator Ethics Assessment, plus a course on teaching exceptional children.

Teacher-preparation program graduates who have completed these special requirements may apply for an induction certificate that qualifies candidates to teach in Georgia public schools for five years.

Aspiring educators who hold bachelor's degrees but have not completed teacher-preparation programs sometimes pursue an alternative, provisional certificate. This alternative lets educators who meet minimum requirements seek certification while teaching. Provisional certificate applicants must meet Georgia's special requirements and have job offers at Georgia schools. These applicants also need a bachelor's degree earned within the last 10 years.

Georgia Certifications and Assessments

To enter teacher-preparation programs, applicants must pass a GACE Program Admission Assessment that measures basic math and literacy skills. They must also pass Educator Ethics Assessments to earn provisional or full teacher certification.

Most teachers obtain certifications in chosen subject areas at elementary, middle, or secondary grade levels. The GaPSC offers elementary education certifications for birth through kindergarten, preschool through fifth grade (P-5), and special education for P-5. Middle school educators choose certifications in subject areas such as math and reading. Additional certification options include science and social science. Secondary education certifications offer 13 subject areas, including biology, economics, and speech.

Some teachers pursue field-based certifications that qualify them to teach their subject at any level. Field-based certification options include foreign languages and special education. Teachers planning to work in vocational schools may pursue certification in technical, agricultural, and career areas. To measure preparedness in their certification field of choice, Georgia teacher candidates must pass content assessments.

Georgia Out-of-State Educator Certification

Educators with an out-of-state teaching certification can become a teacher in Georgia through interstate reciprocity certification. Eligible candidates possess valid or expired professional teaching certificates from state-approved educator preparation programs. To qualify, the certificate must be equivalent to one of Georgia's certificate fields.

Candidates also must meet the same special Georgia requirements as in-state certification candidates. Special requirements include background checks, two teaching assessments, and a special education course. Candidates may meet these requirements before or soon after becoming a teacher in Georgia.

Reciprocity applicants submit a copy of their out-of-state license or certification, score reports of any teacher certification assessments taken, and official transcripts. Application requirements also include an online application form, a verification of lawful presence form, and an application fee.

Applicants with one year or more of teaching experience also submit an experience verification form that details their professional, certified teaching experience in other states. School administrators or human resources professionals verify this experience with a signature.

Georgia Teachers Outlook

The U.S. Department of Education's Teacher Shortage Areas report indicates that Georgia currently faces a shortage of special education, mathematics, and Spanish language teachers. Georgia also needs more teachers in physical and life sciences, social sciences, and health sciences.

The Georgia Department of Education salary scale for public school teachers indicates a salary range of about $35,220-$76,980. Salaries depend on years of experience and teaching level.

Resources for Teachers

This statewide education and research institution has collected and shared state history since 1839. The society provides teaching resources like online exhibits, primary sources, and educational videos. The GaDOE oversees Georgia's public education system. This organization establishes education standards and manages educational testing and funding. The GaDOE offers various teaching and learning aids, including free digital resources for middle and high school students. In collaboration with the governor's office and various educational agencies, the GPSC works to improve educational outcomes in Georgia. The commission provides many educator preparation and assessment resources. This office gathers and analyzes data to improve educational transparency and accountability in Georgia. GOSA also runs various programs and initiatives focused on childhood literacy. This association of education professionals operates community programs such as Read Across America, American Education Week, and a state spelling bee. GAE members benefit from legal services and continuing education opportunities.

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