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States that Require Substitute Teacher Certification

States that Require Substitute Teacher Certification -magoosh

If you decide to become a substitute teacher, you need to research the requirements to sub in your state. Consequently, the requirements vary greatly. In some cases, school districts within the state have requirements that vary, too. Check out some of the requirements for substitute teaching in each state according to the National Education Association:

Substitute Teacher Certification

Each of the following states require substitute teacher candidates to hold a valid substitute teacher certification. However, what this means differs in each state. Some states want to hire people with a teaching license, and other states want to hire someone who passes a course created by the state. The states that check for certification are:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska (if subbing for more than 19 days)
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia (along with a bachelor’s degree or more than 60 semester hours)
  • Idaho (in the larger school districts)
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New York (with a passing score on the state test)
  • North Dakota (current teacher’s license)
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia

If you plan to work in any of these states, research the school districts’ substitute teacher requirements to find out what you need to do to find a substitute position.

Bachelor’s Degree and/or College Courses

Some states want substitute teachers to have a bachelor’s degree. Other states want to hire individuals who have completed at least 60 college credits. Some of the states that have these requirements include:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Nevada (Bachelor’s degree or 62 credit hours with 6 credit hours in education)
  • New Jersey
  • Tennessee
  • Wyoming

No Credentials

There many states that don’t require certification or college courses. Instead, these states require individuals to have their high school diploma or GED. They also run background checks. Other than that, they don’t require much more. Why? Because many of these states struggle to find substitute teachers. Of course, you may be able to make more money if you have your bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate. These states include:

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

To conclude, research schools in your area to find out what requirements you need to meet to become a substitute teacher. Do you need to get a substitute teacher certification? Do you need to take a test or enroll in education-related college courses? Find out what you can do to become a substitute teacher and make the greatest amount of money each day.

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4 Responses to States that Require Substitute Teacher Certification

  1. Cinn December 7, 2019 at 10:32 AM #

    Missing states. Hawaii isnt on this list.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 7, 2020 at 3:30 PM #

      You’re right! I’ll let our content team know. Here’s the information from the NEA on Hawaii:

      Hawaii has only one statewide school district. Geographic units (administrative divisions or districts) have responsibility for substitutes. These units are given some autonomy as to implementation but, in this case, the process is the same but each unit takes care of its own substitute pool for the teachers in their respective districts. The only requirement is that applicants must pass a course. Compensation depends on the applicant’s education level. Teachers call a recording, leave pertinent information, and get a confirmation number–all done electronically. Teachers need not do anything else except lesson plans.

  2. Kristie Williams January 22, 2020 at 1:38 PM #

    I think this information is very helpful. Thank you. I am considering substituting for preschool and headstart.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 6, 2020 at 6:50 PM #

      Thank you, Kristie! We’re glad you found this to be helpful. Best of luck in your teaching endeavors. 🙂


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