A shear mode PZT actuator for the microdroplet ejecting system is proposed. The plate-shaped actuator poled with remnant polarization perpendicular to actuating field induces piezoelectric shear effect. Two poling designs for the shear mode piezoelectric actuator are compared by both the analysis and experiment. The two poling designs are single-surface poling design and dual-surface poling design. The single-surface poling design arranges poling electrodes only on one surface, while the dual-surface poling design arranges poling electrodes on the opposite surfaces. Although the single-surface poling design is convenient for poling process, its requirement of the higher poling voltage for achieving coercive field induces specimen failure of surface cracks. So, the dual-surface poling design is preferred because the higher yield and better electromechanical coupling characteristic can be obtained. In both poling designs, the relations of shear piezoelectric coefficient, d15, and actuating electric field are obtained with three kinds of sample thicknesses.