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Substitute Teaching to Supplement Your Income

Updated on December 26, 2012

Why Substitute teaching?

Many people today who have found themselves out of work, are turning to substitute teaching. In most school districts around the nation, you do not need a teaching degree to substitute. I am finding that more and more business people who are looking to supplement their income are taking jobs as a substitute teacher. So what do you have to do to take that leap into the educational ring? The process is quite easy and you will be earning money as a substitute teacher in no time at all.

How to become a substitute teacher.

If you are interested in becoming a substitute, you first need to contact the district in which you are interested in working for. The Human Resources department will inform you as to what the requirements are for you to fill in for a regular classroom teacher. In most cases a background check will be required. In addition to that, many districts want you to have some sort of college experience. This does not necessarily mean a degree, but a certain amount of college credits.

Some districts may expect you to attend some sort of training session that they offer so that you are familiar with the procedures within their system. and Substitute teaching can be very profitable if you are looking for flexible working hours. You can take the jobs as they fit into your schedule and it pays pretty well for your time. Most districts pay $80 or more per day for your time. The average school day is about seven hours and in most cases you get a 30-60 minute "break" from the students in addition to your lunch period. That figures out to be around $15 per hour before taxes.

Questions to ask before you start substitute teaching.

It is normal to have some questions when you begin a new job. Some questions to consider as you are applying to various districts are:

  • How do a look for, are notified of, and accept a job assignment?
  • Where are the schools located?
  • What are the hours of each building? (Secondary and elementary schools often have different hours. Even elementary building start and end times vary in larger districts.)
  • Do I have to work in all of the buildings or can I pick and choose? (Some districts may require that you work at all grade levels in order to be substitute in their district.)
  • How do I report my hours?
  • When do I get paid?
  • Can I request certain teachers or grade levels?
  • Do you offer long term subbing positions? If so, how can I be considered for these?

Can I work as a substitute teacher for more than one district at a time?

Absolutely! In fact I recommend it. The larger the school district the you are subbing for, the more opportunities that you have to make money. In addition, some districts may have vacations at times that are different than those around them. Therefore when one district is closed, you still have an opportunity to have an income. Some districts near you may also be year round schools. This is a benefit for you because that means that you have an opportunity for income all year long rather than just from September through October.

Don't be fooled into thinking that substitute teaching is easy money. It is hard work. You must understand and be prepared for the idea that children are going to test your patience as a sub (think back to when you were in school). If you are willing to work hard and come to the classroom prepared, substitute teaching can be a very rewarding experience.


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    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Michigan

      I'm glad the information was helpful glassvisage, congrats on your accomplishment and I hope that you have some very positive experiences if you decide to venture into substitute teaching.

    • glassvisage profile image


      6 years ago from Northern California

      This was really helpful. I appreciate you sharing this information. I passed the CBEST to be a sub here in California but I never pursued it, and I have been thinking about it lately. Great information.

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      I didn't know that. If he is still interested, he should contact them over the summer and not wait until fall. Also try other district that are within a reasonable drive.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      Quincy looked into substitute teaching last fall when he was looking for work but was told our district was not hiring any more subs. They had their 'pool' and that was all they could afford.

      Voted up and useful.

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      I actually did think of you Mom. I think it might be good for you, in many ways!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow! I think I may do this, Cara. Maybe it will cure me of my desire to switch careers, LOL Up / useful

    • cardelean profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Michigan

      I cannot speak for all districts but I can tell you what our district does. Once you have all of your paperwork in and you are approved, you are put into an automated system. You are notified (not sure if it is just by phone or email as well) about open jobs. They vary on subject, grade level, etc. You accept the jobs that you are interested in and deny the ones that don't work for you. It's nice because of the flexibility. Contact your local district to find out what their requirements are, good luck! Thanks for reading!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It is something to think about. I am retired but could use some extra money.Is there a choice of subject matter and grade level?


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