Becoming a Substitute Teacher in Ohio: Requirements, Licensure & Qualifications

Qualified individuals with a post-secondary degree will need a license to be a substitute teacher in Ohio. Read on to determine which license can be acquired, depending on the degree earned, and how to apply to teach in Ohio. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Ohio Substitute Teacher Licensure Requirements

A post-secondary degree from an accredited university or college is required to obtain a substitute teaching license in Ohio. In order to substitute teach in this state, a license is always required. As of July 1, 2019, The Ohio Department of Education has changed the substitute teaching licenses that are available. Licenses can be acquired for 1 or 5 year terms.

The Ohio Department of Education offers different licenses depending on the applicant's qualifications. These different licenses will determine what can be taught and how many classes can be taught in a school year. Learn more details below.

Education/Experience Required Post-Secondary Degree
Exam Requirements No exam required
License Validity Period 1 year or 5 years
CEU Credits Required for Renewal No additional credits required
Average Salary (2018) $30,630 (Ohio); $32,360 (Nationally)
Estimated National Job Growth (2016-26) 7% (kindergarten and elementary school); 8% (middle school); 8% (high school)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Substitute Teacher Career Information

A substitute teacher fulfills the duties of a teacher who is unavailable to teach their class. Depending on how long a teacher is absent, a substitute teacher may need to teach for a day, a week, or even longer. Substitute teachers are expected to teach at a moment's notice. They are responsible for following the teacher's lesson plans, while also distributing assignments and grading work, among other duties.

Substitute Teaching Licenses

Depending on an applicant's credentials, there are three different substitute teaching licenses available.

  • With a post-secondary degree in Education, a substitute teacher license will permit any subject to be taught at any grade level.
  • With a post-secondary degree in a field that is related to a specific subject (such as math, music, English, etc.), a substitute teacher license will allow for that particular subject to be taught at any grade level. In order to teach additional subjects, approval must be sought from the local board.
  • With a post-secondary degree in a field that is not related to a specific subject, applicants can acquire a general substitute teaching license. However, this license is only valid for teaching up to a single semester pending local board approval. Further approval is needed to teach subsequent semesters and/or other subjects.

Before Applying for a License

Interested applicants will need to follow four steps before applying for a substitute teaching license.

  • New applicants will need to contact the school, district, or educational service center they wish to teach for before completing the necessary paperwork. Otherwise, the substitute teaching license application will be rejected.
  • A recent background check is required. It could take anywhere between a few days to several weeks to receive the results of this check.
  • Official copies of a transcript (not photocopies) outlining the degree earned and relevant completed coursework requirements will need to be submitted. Electronic copies are accepted, but only if they come from the university/college directly.
  • For degrees that were completed outside of the US, then a course-by-course analysis will need to be submitted via an international credential evaluation.

How to Apply for a License

Applications for a new substitute teacher license need to be completed online through the Ohio Department of Education's SAFE portal (Secure Application for Enterprise). A user account (called the OH|ID) is needed in order to access the portal. After logging in, users can fill out a new application for a substitute teacher license. Existing licenses can also be renewed using this portal.

Payment is due at the time an application is submitted. At this time, applicants can pay by e-check (electronic check) or credit card.

Applying for Substitute Teacher Jobs

The Ohio Department of Education posts teaching jobs for all grade levels (K-12) online. Applicants can review positions by subject and location (such as region or county). It is possible that many user accounts will need to be created before applying for these positions, as certain districts use their own application systems.

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