How to Become a Teacher in Georgia
Education is serious business in Georgia. The state boasts almost 70 public colleges, universities, and technical colleges, plus over 45 private institutes of higher learning. If that sounds like an opportunity, here’s how to become a teacher in Georgia.
Georgia also has a unique scholarship program—the HOPE Scholarship, funded by the state lottery—that enables all qualified Georgia residents who graduate from high school with a 3.0 or higher grade point average to attend a public college or university in the state. All across the state, teacher shortages are creating unprecedented opportunities for you to become a teacher in Georgia.
With so much support and opportunity for higher education in Georgia, the state is working hard to optimize the quality of K-12 education and improve student test scores. Enrollment in the state funded prekindergarten program is also increasing, so more children are prepared to succeed when they start school.
Georgia teachers enjoy the benefits of a highly motivated administration, a reasonable student-teacher ratio of just over 14:1, and an extraordinarily diverse student body.
Georgia Secondary School Teacher Salaries
Teachers are well-paid in Georgia, and they work in cities large and small, and in rural communities across the state. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ current Occupational Handbook, secondary school teachers in Georgia make a median salary of $55,640.
If you’d like to share your passion and contribute to the success of kids of every age, teaching might be a great career choice.
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Demand for Teachers in Georgia
Georgia is currently struggling to hire enough qualified teachers to keep up with rapid population growth. Critical teacher shortages have been reported in a long list of specialty areas, including the following:
- Chorus, dance, dramatic arts, music and visual arts
- Elementary instruction
- English/Language arts
- Teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)
- Foreign languages including Asian languages, French, German & Spanish
- Physical education
- Physical sciences, including chemistry, earth science & physics
- Social sciences, including economics, geography, government & history
- Special education
You may be eligible for the Georgia HOPE Teacher Scholarship Program, which encourages qualified individuals to seek advanced degrees in critical teaching fields and then serve as teachers in the state. You may also be able to cancel or defer your student loans if you teach in a low-income or subject matter shortage area.
There are several ways to become a certified teacher in Georgia. The traditional route is to complete a state-approved educator preparation program, either an undergraduate degree program or a post-baccalaureate certificate program. You can receive Georgia’s Clear Renewable Certificate when you complete the program and pass a content assessment test.
Alternative routes to Georgia teacher certification are available for individuals who already hold degrees and have relevant life experience.
If you are eligible for the Georgia Teacher Alternative Preparation Program (TAPP), you may be granted an intern certificate. You then have two years to complete an internship/induction program and earn the Clear Renewable Certificate. There are also several routes to earning a non-renewable certificate at the discretion of your employing school system.
If you are a foreign national teacher, Georgia teacher certification is still an option for you. Their international exchange teacher certification program may qualify you to teach in the Georgia for up to 3 years. Georgia also offers restricted permits to allow performing artists, retired teachers and native foreign language speakers to teach in Georgia classrooms.
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