Categories, Ranges & Salary

Degree Requirements to Teach in Georgia 

  • For public, public charter, and independent/private schools: at least a bachelor’s degree
  • For public schools: a degree from from an accredited institution accepted by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GPSC). Private schools can decide on their own what degrees they will accept.
  • For public schools: cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) from the degree-granting institution must be at least 2.5 if degree is less than 10 years old. If you do not have the minimum GPA, you may still qualify by submitting proof of acceptance into a GPSC-accepted educator preparation program or an accredited advanced degree program.  If your degree is older than 10 years old, you are exempt from the GPA minimum.
  • For public schools: Have a degree(s) that is in or aligns with the subject(s) and level you want to teach, e.g. a math or an aerospace engineering degree to teach mathematics classes. Elementary education and middle grades education are considered content areas.  Private schools generally follow the same rules but have more leeway in deciding which teachers they can place in which classrooms because not all private schools require teachers to have state certification.

Main Certificate Types

Certification types and all rules are governed by the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GPSC).

induction certificate = a 5-year, non-renewable initial certification granted to those who have completed all certification requirements through a traditional pathway except for having three successful years in the classroom as measured by standardized performance evaluation measures. Teachers seeking certification through alternative pathways can convert a provisional certificate to an induction certificate once they have completed certification requirements but still need three years of successful teaching in the classroom.

professional certificate = a 5-year, full, renewable teaching certificate acquired after completing all initial certifiation requirements are completed. Interstate reciprocity applies to professional certificates.

provisional certificate = a 3-year, non-renewable certificate given to teachers completing certification through an alternative pathway while teaching.  Teachers who complete certification requirements before gaining three years of successful teaching in the classroom as measured by standardized performance evaluation measures convert the provisional certificate to a non-renewable, 5-year induction certificate.

Upon completing three years of successful teaching in the classroom as measured by standardized performance evaluation measures and while holding an induction certificate, teachers may then convert to a renewable, 5-year professional (full) certificate.

Teachers with a provisional certificate who already have 3+ years of successful teaching experience in the classroom as measured by standardized performance evaluation measures when they complete certification requirements can convert a provisional directly to a full, 5-year, renewable professional certificate.

Certificate Range Levels

Birth – kindergarten:  work with infants, toddlers, pre-school children, and kindergarteners.

Elementary Education (EE or P-5): Pre-kindergarten (pre-K) through grade 5; teach multiple content areas; also known as Early Childhood Education in other states

Middle Grades/Level Education: grades 4 -8 and overlaps elementary and midde school; certificate typically covers two content areas from language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Secondary: grades 6-12 and overlaps Middle Grades/Level. You need a degree in the content area you want to teach or in a closely related area,  e.g. International Affairs and Social Studies are closely related.

Pre-school – grade 12 (P-12): overlaps all certificate levels; for art, dance, music, physical education, special education, and world languages


Your highest degree and years of teaching experience typically determines your salary level in Georgia. All teachers in the state receive the same base salary from the Georgia Department of Education (not the GPSC), but each school system supplements the state salary according to that system’s own policies. Teachers in different systems therefore do not receive the same overall salaries. Salary schedules for public school employees are published on school system websites.