Become a Teacher in Georgia

Georgia Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary:$54,890
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary:$56,420
Vacation Weeks per Year:15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio:15.7
Expenditure per Pupil:$9,201


Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

205 Jesse Hill Jr. Drive SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-2800

Georgia Teacher Shortage Areas

The United States Department of Education defines a Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) as a subject matter or grade level within a state in which there is an inadequate supply of elementary or secondary teachers. The shortage may be caused by teaching positions that are unfilled or are filled by teachers who have temporary certification or teach in in academic subject other than their area of preparation. According to a report by the USDE Office of Postsecondary Education, Georgia has the following Teacher Shortage Areas:

  • Special Education
  • Spanish

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Georgia

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 2/21/2018. 

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Georgia, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program. 
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Georgia teaching credential application. 

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Georgia Teaching Credential

To become certified as a teacher in Georgia, you will need to complete the appropriate number of college credit hours, a teacher preparation course, and the standardized tests specified below. If you have a teaching credential from another state, you may be able to use an interstate reciprocity program to become certified in Georgia. Visit the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to learn more about getting your Teaching Credential in Georgia. Georgia has two levels of certification – the Initial Certificate can be upgraded to a Clear Renewable Certificate after passing the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) test. Learn more about getting your teaching credential.

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Georgia

All states require that prospective teachers have at least a Bachelor’s Degree to and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification. Some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements.

Teacher education programs generally consist of two elements—curricula and fieldwork. Curricula generally includes instruction on teaching fundamental skills, pedagogy (the science of teaching) and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. Fieldwork often includes field observations, internships, student teaching or a combination of all three.

Check with your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information about specific requirements. Georgia does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or the Department of Education for more information.

Step Two: Georgia Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher Certification Programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs in Georgia can be found on the Georgia Professional Standards Commission website.

Step Three: Required Tests for Georgia

Georgia requires the completion of the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) in your desired subject area to qualify to teach. Most states also require a basic skills examination, but Georgia does not.

You can learn more about the Praxis exams, certification exams administered by the Educational Testing Service, by visiting the Praxis information page provided by Teachers Test Prep, where you can also access free online Praxis Practice Tests and Praxis Study Guides, plus a variety of paid Praxis Test Prep options for those who need additional help, including live prep classes, one-on-one tutoring, and on-demand online prep. Read more about teacher certification tests.

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Featured Online Programs

Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

Sponsored Programs

Alternative Teacher Certification in Georgia

The Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (GaTAPP) helps would-be teachers who did not complete a teacher certification program to join the profession. Each candidate receives the support of a group of mentors and coaches who help train them over a one- to three-year internship. A list of more alternate routes to certification in Georgia can be found at the Georgia Professional Standards Commission website. Members of the military may be eligible for Georgia’s Troops to Teachers Program.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Georgia

It is no longer enough to just have years of experience to teach. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, the careers of teachers increasingly depend on their results in the classroom. A master's degree in the field of education will give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor. After a Master’s program, you will be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay.

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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Certification Reciprocity in Georgia

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Georgia, visit the reciprocity page. For more specific questions about your situation, contact the Georgia Department of Education.

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Financial Aid in Georgia

Georgia residents are eligible for the Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship, as well as the TEACH Grant, which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

Learn more about how to finance your Master's degree on

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Georgia Teacher Salary and Incentives

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average teacher in Georgia makes $53,010 per year, which is 118% of the state average income. A 2018 Georgia Department of Education study reported that teacher salaries ranged from $32,217 for first-year teachers with just a Bachelor’s degree to $73,980 for teachers with at least 21 years of experience and the highest level of Georgia teacher certification. Georgia provides additional pay incentives for those willing to teach in high needs school districts, or in shortage subjects. Learn more about teacher salaries at

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Georgia Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Georgia teachers can retire at age 60 with 10 years of service, or at any age after 30 years of service. The Teachers Retirement System of Georgia (TRSG) serves teachers in Georgia looking for assistance with their retirement. There are multiple plans available depending on the coverage you’re looking for. Georgia also offers additional benefits to teachers, such as health care plans and an annual number of sick days. Learn more about benefits for teachers at

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Professional Development for Teachers in Georgia

In Georgia, a teacher must earn Professional Learning Unit (PLU) credits through professional development each year to maintain their teaching certification. Each unit of credit for a PLU is based on 10 hours of contact time with an instructor. Every five years, a certified teacher must earn 10 credits of PLU. Learn more about professional learning on the Georgia Department of Education Professional Learning page.

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Georgia Teaching Jobs

The Georgia Public School System runs Teach Georgia, a site where teachers can search for employment by school district and job title. Learn more about finding a teaching job.

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Sponsored Program