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Becoming a Substitute Teacher in Florida: Certification, Requirements & Qualifications

Learn how to become a substitute teacher in Florida. Discover what the job entails, the necessary educational requirements, and any additional training or background clearance procedures involved.

Information for Substitute Teachers in Florida

Educators in Florida will find that no exclusive certification is granted for those pursuing a substitute teaching role. However, those pursuing this position must still provide evidence of the minimum educational requirements outlined below, and complete any necessary background checks. Additional training and exam requirements will depend on the school district and the specific employment process.

Education/Experience Required Minimum of high school diploma
Completion of required orientation and training programs
Exam Requirements Background clearance
Average Annual Salary (2018) $26,070*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 10% (teachers and instructors, all other, nationwide)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau Labor of Statistics

Job Description

Substitute teachers are responsible for temporarily filling the role of an absent school teacher, most commonly employed within elementary and secondary schools. Individuals are only granted the position as needed, and are required to provide instruction according to the lesson plans established by the regular teacher. Substitutes must also adhere to the school district's policies, procedures, and ethical standards, and may be required to leave a progress report by the end of the day.

Certification Requirements and Professional Development

In the state of Florida, substitute teachers do not require certification or licensing. Individuals pursuing this role are instead required to fulfill the necessary educational requirements, training programs, and undergo background clearance procedures prior to obtaining employment.

Though not mandatory, substitutes are also recommended to continue ongoing professional development. Such opportunities will be provided by the individual's school district. Teachers will need to discuss with their district's Professional Development Director (the individual in charge of supervising such activities for personnel) for further information and access to such programs or courses.

Should a substitute teacher serve for 30 days or more in a single classroom, performance review measures must be developed to assess the individual's quality of instruction.

Educational and Training Requirements

Substitute teachers will need a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent prior to pursuing employment. Once employed, the individual will need to complete any required orientation or training programs. These will address the policies, safety procedures, professional responsibilities, and code of conduct within the school district, provided by the school board, colleges or universities, commercial vendors, or other educational institutions. The Florida Department of Education is responsible for developing online resources to enhance such orientation measures.

New substitute teachers without any prior teaching experience (as determined by the school district) will need to take an additional course addressing classroom management and instructional strategies.

Other educational, exam, or training requirements will vary, depending on the employment procedures of different school districts.

Background Clearance and Other Qualifications

All teachers, substitutes included, will be required to submit fingerprints as part of a mandatory background screening procedure (fees may apply). Any indication of criminal history will be reported to the individual's employing school district, from which they are given further instruction to address such incidents.

Those seeking employment in any Florida teaching position must also demonstrate good moral character; must not fall under any offense outlined by the Florida Senate, effectively disqualifying them from an educator position; and must be at least 18 years of age.