There’s a growing need for more skilled elementary school teachers to match Florida’s high student enrollment numbers. The state is also focused on smaller class sizes to better the quality of education offered to students.
The average annual salary of an elementary school in Florida is $59,240 based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This figure, however, may be higher or lower based on various factors such as certifications, years of experience, or school district.
In this guide, we’ll explore the average salary for elementary school teachers in Florida and the factors that can affect pay. This will help you as a prospective educator make informed decisions about your future.
We will also discuss the steps required to become a certified elementary school teacher in Florida, including alternative certification options.
What Is an Elementary School Teacher?
An elementary school teacher specializes in teaching young children in grades kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade.
Elementary school teachers are responsible for teaching a range of academic subjects to their assigned class. The subjects include reading, writing, math, science, and social studies.
Elementary school children are typically between six and eleven years old. Therefore their educators help them develop social and emotional skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
To make such a profound impact in these children’s lives you need to be a good communicator, be creative in designing learning activities, and be flexible in how you apply your teaching styles to different children.
Elementary school teachers have many responsibilities to play in their assigned classes. For example,
- Creating and implementing lesson plans that align with state and school district standards
- Grading student assignments and providing feedback to help students improve
- Communicating with parents regularly about their child’s progress
- Maintaining a safe classroom environment and managing student behavior
Elementary school teachers are also tasked with pursuing various professional development and training opportunities to stay up-to-date on the latest teaching methods.
How Much Do Elementary School Teachers In Florida Make?
The average annual salary for elementary school teachers in Florida is approximately $59,240 as of May 2022. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
The salary ranges vary with the highest earning $72,305, and the lowest $49128. This variation is based on factors such as:
- Years of experience
- Level of education
- School district
For example, school districts have different funding levels, which impacts the resources available for teacher salaries. Some school districts have more financial resources to invest in teacher salaries, while others have limited budgets making it more difficult to offer competitive salaries.
In addition to their salaries, public elementary school teachers in Florida have access to health insurance and retirement plans which further enhances their compensation package.
Below is a comparison of the percentage of earnings of elementary school teachers.
Comparison of the percentage earnings of elementary school teachers
How to Become an Elementary School Teacher In Florida
Becoming an elementary school teacher is a rewarding career, but it requires dedication and hard work to meet the educational and certification requirements. Certification requirements are different in every state.
You must follow these steps to become an elementary school teacher in Florida:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree: You must first earn a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field from an accredited college or university.
- Complete a teacher preparation program: After earning your degree, you must complete a teacher preparation program, which must be approved by the Florida Department of Education.
- Pass the Florida Teacher Certification Exam (FTCE): The FTCE is a series of tests designed to assess your knowledge in general knowledge, professional education, and subject-specific content.
- Apply for a teaching certificate: Once you have completed your education you should apply for a teaching certificate from the Florida Department of Education.
- Complete a background check: You must pass a background check to ensure you don’t have any criminal history.
After obtaining your teaching certificate, you can begin applying for elementary school teaching jobs in Florida. We suggest you research school districts and individual schools to find the best fit for your interests and qualifications.
Alternative certification for elementary teachers in Florida
Alternative certification is a pathway for individuals who hold a bachelor’s degree in a field outside of education to become certified to teach in Florida.
This option is designed to help address teacher shortages and increase the pool of qualified teachers.
Alternative certification is a viable option for aspiring educators who did not major in education as an undergraduate.
The process of alternative certification for elementary school teachers depends on the specific program but commonly involves the following steps:
- Complete a teacher preparation program that is approved by the Florida Department of Education. The program will include coursework and supervised teaching experience in a classroom setting.
- Similar to traditional certification, as an alternative certification candidate, you must pass the FTCE in the subject areas you wish to teach.
- After completing the teacher preparation program and passing the FTCE, you can apply for a temporary certificate that is valid for up to three years. This certificate enables you to teach as you complete the remaining certification requirements.
- Complete additional requirements such as additional coursework or a mentoring program, to fully earn your teaching certificate.
Once you have completed all the certification requirements, you can apply for a professional teaching certificate, which is valid for five years and renewable.
Ensure you research and carefully consider alternative certification programs to ensure they meet your needs and goals as a prospective teacher.
What Is the Highest and Lowest Paying Elementary School Teaching Job?
As a certified elementary school teacher in Florida, you can teach in a public school or in any of the following settings:
- Private schools: Many private schools, including religious institutions, hire certified teachers to work with elementary school students.
- Charter schools: Charter schools are publicly funded but operate independently of the traditional public school system, and offer opportunities for certified elementary school teachers.
- Online teaching: With the growth of online learning, there are opportunities for certified elementary school teachers to work for virtual schools or tutoring programs.
- International schools: Certified elementary school teachers have the opportunity to teach in international schools, either in-person or virtually.
Below is a comparison of the highest and lowest-paying elementary school teaching jobs.
Comparison of the highest and lowest-paying elementary teaching jobs
Become an Elementary School Teacher In Florida
Florida offers a variety of opportunities for certified elementary school teachers, from working in public schools to private schools, charter schools, nonprofit organizations, and more.
While salary varies depending on the specific role and location, there are options available for those who are passionate about teaching and making a difference in their communities.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in elementary education, Teachers of Tomorrow is a great alternative certification program to consider. This program provides a flexible and affordable pathway to becoming a certified teacher in Florida, and is designed to prepare you to succeed in your career.
With the demand for qualified teachers continuing to grow, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the opportunities available in Florida.