How Much do Substitute Teachers Earn?

Substitute teachers step in and take over classes when a licensed teacher cannot work, but before working in this field, many will want to know more about the average substitute teacher salary. The pay that these teachers make will vary based on where they live because each state pays teachers a different rate. It often depends on whether the substitute has a teaching certificate or not and how long the individual will be working. Schools can hire subs to work a full day or a half-day and hire substitutes for longer assignments.

Becoming A Sub

Becoming a substitute teacher usually requires at least a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. Teachers will need to check on who hires subs for schools in their areas. Some schools are responsible for hiring their own subs and will maintain a database of potential names. In other areas, the district is who is responsible for hiring substitutes. A district representative will use the contact list to hire someone when a job becomes available. Certain states require that subs have a teaching certificate too, which will increase the amount that these teachers earn.

Related: 5 Reasons to Consider Substitute Teaching

Pay with Certificate

Getting a teaching certificate often requires completing many of the same steps that licensed teachers do. These subs will need to submit a resume and a job application. They must also show proof of the degrees that they have. Districts and states may require that subs pass a background check before getting a certificate too, which means that teachers will need to visit the police department and go through a fingerprint test. According to the National Education Association (NEA), subs with a teaching certificate can earn up to $100 or more for doing a full day’s work.

Pay without Certificate

States that require subs have a teaching certificate may only require this certificate for those who want to work longer assignments. A longer assignment is one that lasts for around 20 days or more. This can include taking over for a teacher going on sabbatical or replacing a teacher on maternity leave. Subs may come in at the end of the year to fill in for teachers going back to school or taking an extended leave too. The pay for teachers without this certificate is lower. The NEA found that the substitute teacher salary for those without a certificate is around $80 a day or less.

Things to Consider

One important thing to consider is that substitute teachers do not earn a regular salary or wage like traditional teachers do. Subs never know when they might work. They may get a call first thing in the morning when a teacher calls off and have only a few hours or less to prepare. Even those who take on longer assignments receive no guarantee. The former teacher may come back early and end the assignment, or the school may decide that the sub isn’t a good fit for the students in that classroom. Subs often work a second job in addition to subbing.

The average salary that a substitute teacher makes depends on how often the teacher works and where he or she works too. When finding out the substitute teacher salary for a specific area or district, it’s important to know whether the job requires a teaching certificate and how long the assignment will last.