How to Become a Substitute Teacher (Easy steps)6 min read

There are times that the ideal teacher for a class will not be available; in such a situation, a Substitute Teacher can stand in to fulfill the needs of the main, superior, or full-time teacher.

Most times, people wonder and ask “How to Become a Substitute Teacher,” the courses they have to take, the salary description, and how to get a license to teach.

In this article, I will answer all these questions and provide procedures on how to become a Substitute Teacher. So, read on.

Educational Requirements of a Substitute Teacher:

The educational requirement of a substitute teacher differs between states. Although part of the education requirement is to be able to do the job of a full-time teacher, a Substitute Teacher should also have the necessary qualification and degree of teaching full-time.

The first and foremost qualification of the job is a High school diploma, then follows a Bachelor’s degree. Here are more tips on the education requirements of a sub teacher:

High School Diploma:

This is the first and foremost qualification of the job is a High school diploma. It is a 4-year program that can be substituted with a GED as the case may be.

Undergraduate Degree:

The minimum undergraduate degree for the job is a Bachelor’s degree. Just like the High school diploma, it’s also a 4-year program that gives you a higher qualification.

Additional credit comes from having a bachelor’s degree in Education, which implies that you are trained and fit to teach in the field of Education.

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On the other hand, some districts require an associate’s degree as the minimum requirement.

Substitute Teaching license:

The substitute teaching license is a major requirement in some districts for the job of a substitute teacher.

Although each state has a different requirement for the license, some type of license will determine how many days per school year the substitute teacher can work. It could also say the number and subjects the teacher can teach.

There are different types of license like:

Long-term Teaching License:

The long-term teaching license, as the case may be, depends on your state. It is a teaching license that indicates that teachers can spend a more extended number of consecutive days in a classroom.

Short-term Teaching License:

The short-term teaching license, as the case may be, also depends on your state. It is a teaching license that indicates that teachers can spend a shorter number of consecutive days in a classroom.

Substitute Teacher Job Description:

As the name implies, a sub teacher stands in place of a full-time teacher in some cases. Here are some of the major duties of a Substitute Teacher:

Take Attendance of students in class:

The teacher keeps the attendance of the students in the class to know the number of students that attended. On the other hand, attendance is mandatory in some states to fasten the zeal of learning in students.


Continuity in this context means starting from where the full-time teacher stopped and making progress on what was left behind. One thing a substitute teacher should do while teaching is trying to make the same impact or more than the full-time teacher. This is to gain the attention of the students.

Monitor School activities:

Other than just teaching, a Substitute Teacher also monitor school activities to ensure that students follow the proper instruction. This is mostly applicable to a boarding school where teachers also direct the day to day activities in the school.

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A Substitute Teacher could consult the principal of a school and give reports on how the students are performing. He/she also report any offensive behavior portrayed by a student.

On the other hand, the students can also consult a sub teacher to request explanations for difficult subjects and assignments.

Up-to-date Note:

A substitute teacher can provide an updated note to that of a full-time teacher. In some situations, the note of the sub teacher can be more updated than that of the full-time teacher because the sub teacher will like to make a good first impression.

Additional Skills:

Just like any job requires additional skills to excel, that’s the same for a sub teacher. Here are some of the top-up skills you need to excel as a teacher:

Communication skill:

The skill of communication is one of the most remarkable skills you can have as a teacher. A teacher with a vital communication skill will gain the heart of the students and impact knowledge into them.


Patience they say is a virtue; A teacher has to learn how to be patient with a slow learning child. The way slow learning is handled is different from that of a fast learner. It involves understanding the academic strengths of a child and helping the child see his/her GPA differently.

Time management:

A skill that requires the ability to use the time set out for each subject. A substitute teacher should finish the lesson plan and assignments for each day without moving it to the next day.

Organization skills:

Being able to organize your kids and make them comfortable as they learn, is a skill. More organizational skills come into play when you engage in extracurricular activities that require a sub teacher to be more responsible for a team and their performance.

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Read this: How to become a Homeschool Teacher

Substitute Teacher Salary:

The salary of a sub teacher varies from district to district. In line with the National Substitute Teachers Alliance (NSTA), the active/current salary is about $20 and $190 for a full day.

More benefits can be attached depending on the extra activities that the teacher performs in line with the functioning of the school.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the state that pays the highest amount(salary) is Maryland. The government spends about $58,850 annually.

How to become a substitute teacher in California:

The job of a substitute teacher in California isn’t so stressful. The license for the job is not really needed only in the case of an emergency. Even, the state’s minimum requirement for a teacher is about 90 college credits.

In some situations, there could be a need for TB (Tuberculosis Test) to determine the current health state of the teacher. The test could cost $40-$70, and the TB reading, which is done using the CVS Minute Clinics.

How to become a substitute teacher in Indiana:

The job of a sub teacher in Indiana requires a minimum of a High school Diploma and an age limit of 18. Processing the documents for a substitute permit costs $15.00 + $1.32 processing fee.

Once you get the substitute permit, it’s non-renewable(it is valid for three years), once it expires, you need to get a new one.

Although the first permit you use from the first day of school in Indiana will serve until the end of the school year, it still expires after three years.

Final tips:

The job of a substitute teacher is one that comes with a lot of exposure and connection. If you want to be a sub teacher, follow the procedures listed above and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

Awesome one, I hope this article answered your question.

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