Guide to Becoming a Teacher in Georgia

For aspiring Georgia teachers, has create a comprehensive guide to help you make the best possible decisions about your future career.  To begin, anyone hoping to teach in Georgia will need to complete the following critical steps:

1. Choosing a Program: First, find an education program that matches your budgetary needs and short- and long-term career goals.

  • Finding an appropriate program can be difficult.  It is easier when you ask the right questions upfront: What matters to you as a student? Is cost a factor? Are you concerned about the program’s reputation? Asking the right questions from the onset will ensure you end up in the program that is best suited to your needs and budget.

2. Planning for Licensure in Georgia: To become a teacher in Georgia, you’ll need to complete at least a bachelor’s degree and a teacher preparation program and to write and pass the state’s teacher licensing exams (namely, the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators exam).

3. Entering the Workforce: Once you’ve completed an education program and passed the applicable exams, you will be ready to launch your job search and find a teaching job that is right for you.

  • Again, asking the right questions is the first step: Are you interested in working in a rural or urban school? Where do you think you would be most comfortable working and living? What are your lifestyle priorities and salary expectations? Throughout this process, keep building your resume and gaining additional teaching experience, even on a volunteer basis. By remaining current, you will ensure you have the best possible chance of gaining a full-time teaching position in Georgia shortly after graduation.

Choosing an Education Program in Georgia was developed by educators for educators, so we know that choosing the right education program can be a challenge. This is why we have streamlined the process. With the aid of a complex algorithmic tool, we have reviewed, tested and documented the top education programs in the State of Georgia for 2015. Keeping prospective teachers’ top priorities in mind, our rankings focus on total expense, student-to-faculty ratios, graduation rates, potential earnings, and over all return on investment.

All the schools on’s list below are committed to excellence and have proven themselves to be among the very best places to pursue an education degree in Georgia. Find out which schools rank best at the bachelor’s and master’s levels in education.

Ranking Factors Explained

Our ranking data is based upon, IPEDS, and the Carnegie Foundation data sets.

How to Become a Teacher in Georgia

Georgia offers two primary ways to certify as a teacher:

  • Pathway 1: For candidates who have not yet completed a bachelor’s degree, there is the option of enrolling in one of Georgia’s many accredited education programs, completing an education degree, and writing and passing the state’s applicable exams, which are know as the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) exams.
  • Pathway 2: For candidates who already have a bachelor’s degree, there’s the option of pursuing a Pathway 4 certificate—a three-year, non-renewal license that enables aspiring teachers to work full-time in a Georgia school while completing the necessary course work to become fully certified as a teacher in the state. To pursue a Pathway 4 certificate, applicants must not only hold a bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 2.5 or higher that was completed in the past ten years. They must also obtain passing scores on the GACE exams and appropriate content assessments.

What is the job outlook for teaching careers in the State of Georgia?

In 2013 to 2014, there were 112,177 teachers working in Georgia’s 2,264 public schools serving over 1.7 million students. Over 45% of Georgia’s public school teachers held a graduate degree. Georgia’s 2014 to 2016 Department of Labor projections also suggest that jobs for teachers are currently growing, with 1,160 jobs for elementary teachers and 600 to 610 jobs for middle and high school teachers becoming available in the coming years. Indeed, teaching is listed among the state’s top career options.

What resources do teachers have to help them during their careers in Georgia?

  • The Georgia State Department of Education establishes and implements educational policies across the state and sets standards for teacher licensure, which are outlined on their website.
  • Teachers in Georgia are represented by the Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), which was established in 1969 in response to a call from the National Education Association to end racially segregated education associations across the United States. Today, the GAE plays a major role in representing teachers, supporting teachers in the classroom, and lobbying for public education across the state.
  • Georgia teachers are also represented by a professional organization known as the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE).
  • Georgia’s school principals are represented by the Georgia Association of Educational Leaders (GAEL).
  • There are many subject-specific organizations in Georgia, including the Georgia Science Teachers Association and Georgia Music Educators Association are among the associations that represent teachers in specific subject fields.
  • Retired Georgia teachers are represented by the Georgia Retired Educators Association (GREA).

What online programs are available to potential teachers in the State of Georgia?

There are many online programs leading to teacher licensure in the State of Georgia. Georgia Southern State offers online degrees leading to teacher licensure at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. Georgia State University is another online option for students hoping to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree in education online. At Columbus State University, students can complete a master of arts in teaching with a specialization in math and science.


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