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What are the requirements to become a substitute in Ohio?

To substitute in any school district in Ohio (if you do not have a current teaching license) you must first obtain a Substitute Teacher License. The requirements for a substitute teaching license are:

• Bachelor's Degree

• BCI and FBI background check

NOTE: In Ohio, for the 2022-2023 and the 2023-2024 school years, you may also apply and obtain a Temporary Non-Degree Substitute Teacher License without a bachelor's degree. However, please be aware that not all school districts utilize substitutes with the Temporary Non-Degree Substitute License. The local school boards can choose to employ and/or not employ those with this type of license. Please check with the school district(s) that you are interested in subbing before applying for the license.

Check with your County Educational Service Center or school district for information on how to become a substitute teacher for their county and/or school district.  The County ESC can advise you to as to how and where to complete the background checks and the process to apply online for a substitute teaching license through the Ohio Department of Education.  

Are there many openings for substitute teachers?

Most school districts have a high need for substitute teachers and substitute educational aides. Substitute teachers are needed when regular classroom teachers/aides are ill, not able to perform their regular duties or are participating in professional development activities, which take them away from their class.

Who are substitute teachers?

Substitute teachers hail from a variety of backgrounds and experience. Those who hold a substitute license comprise of people with degrees in fields other than education, college students just graduating with their degrees in education, retirees, or people wanting to work part-time as they raise their children.

How much can I expect to earn as a substitute teacher?

Contact the school district in which you would like to teach to find out the pay scale. Typically, substitute teachers are not eligible for healthcare benefits.

How do I begin?

If you do not have a current teaching license, you must first contact the County ESC and/or school district that you would like to substitute.  Most ESCs have you complete paperwork prior to applying online for your substitute teacher license.  To obtain a license you must be sponsored by a school district or County Educational Service Center (ESC). These institutions should be able to perform the necessary background checks, instruct you as to how to apply online for your substitute teacher license and inform you of other required paperwork needed at their office to place your name on their list of available substitute teachers. You can apply for a one-year substitute license or a five-year substitute license and the licenses are valid from July 1st to June 30th and may be renewed at the end of the licensing period.

You must show evidence of the following to obtain an Ohio Substitute Teacher License:

• Official Transcripts from the University where you earned your Bachelor's degree

• Complete an ODE Online Substitute Teacher License Application and payment

• BCI and FBI background checks performed electronically (check with the ESC or school district)

Is training required for obtaining my license?

In Ohio, training is not required to obtain your substitute teacher license. But, it is highly recommended and, in some cases, required for employment with school districts. Some districts provide orientation sessions but for fiscal reasons cannot offer professional development for their substitutes. Please inquire with the ESC and/or district that you are planning to substitute and they will advise if training is required for their district.

What can I expect to learn in the OCST online training session?

Topics covered in the OCST sub skills online training course include classroom management, teaching strategies, being prepared and professional, special education and appropriate use of fill-in activities. Building-level and district-wide legal issues and emergency procedures may vary by district. Try to visit the buildings within the school district in which you will be employed so that you are familiar with the procedures and key personnel.