What does a Substitute Teacher do?

Substitute teachers are responsible for providing instruction and managing classroom environments in absence of the regular teacher. Substitute teachers are required to perform all of the duties of the teacher that they are subbing for. They usually report to the principal at the location to which they are assigned. Substitute assignments can be for just a day, a week, or sometimes for longer periods depending on the absence period of the regular teacher.

Substitute teacher are usually required to have a Bachelor's degree and a teaching credential. Substitute teachers often start substituting on a career path to become a full time classroom teacher.

What responsibilities are common for Substitute Teacher jobs?
  • Implement and teache lesson plans and instructions as directed by the absent teacher, or consult with principal or other responsible staff if lesson plan is not provided
  • Maintain a clean, respectful, and orderly classroom, and follow classroom and school procedures as directed by the school
  • Leaves notes or completes a Substitute Teacher Report Form for the regular teacher at the end of the teaching day
  • Communicate in a friendly and positive manner towards parents, students, and administrators
  • Keep records on attendance, accidents and incidents
  • Protect students, equipment, materials, and facilities
  • Ensure the safety of students at all times
What are the typical qualifications for Substitute Teacher jobs?
  • High school diploma or GED, Bachelor's degree, or between 30 and 60 college semester hours (depending on state or type of school)
  • Valid teaching credential preferred
  • Experience working with children and students preferred
  • Ability to communicate comfortably (written and orally) with students, parents/guardians, administrators, and others
  • Ability to follow and enforce rules, policies, and procedures
  • Frequent walking, standing, stooping, and lifting of up to approximately 30 pounds may be required
  • Must be punctual and reliable
  • Ability to pass a background check
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
4.1 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.6 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Substitute Teacher make near United States?

$40,861 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Substitute Teacher Career Path

Learn how to become a Substitute Teacher, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Substitute Teacher Intern
Substitute Teacher
Substitute Teacher

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Substitute Teacher Insights

Read what Substitute Teacher professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Substitute Teacher
Apr 30, 2022

“If you want experience teaching this is a great way to start and find what age group you like working with”

Volusia County SchoolsVolusia County Schools
Substitute Teacher
Nov 22, 2022

“I enjoyed my time as a substitute teacher and many of the teachers were nice to work with.”

Year Long Intern
Aug 4, 2023

“I also got to meet some really amazing people and made some lasting connections both personal and professional.”

Anchorage School DistrictAnchorage School District
Substitute Teacher
May 4, 2022

“The schedule as a sub is amazing and provides so much freedom to work and play as you please.”

Huntsville City SchoolsHuntsville City Schools
Substitute Teacher
Jul 5, 2022

“Being pulled last minute to cover classes other than what I was assigned to cover long”

Guest Teacher
Feb 17, 2023

“Great opportunity for networking if you are looking to further your career in the educational field”

Alpine School District (Utah)Alpine School District (Utah)
Substitute Teacher
Dec 14, 2021

“There is not enough pay for someone who isn't retired or working another job.”

The Education TeamThe Education Team
Substitute Teacher
Dec 26, 2022

“The pay is good but could be better considering what teachers have to deal with on a daily basis.”

See More

Substitute Teacher Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Substitute Teacher

When working as a Substitute Teacher, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are CPR First Aid, English Language, Degree IN Education, Teaching Experience, and Bilingual.

The most similar professions to Substitute Teacher are:
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Teacher
  • Preschool Teacher

The most common qualifications to become a Substitute Teacher include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Kindergarten Teacher
38% skills overlap
Elementary School Teacher
63% skills overlap
38% skills overlap
Preschool Teacher
38% skills overlap

Substitute Teacher Jobs