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Becoming a Substitute Teacher in South Carolina: Requirements & Certification

Substitutes are needed at schools on a daily basis in all grade levels to fill in for teachers. Instead of a state certification, South Carolina school districts each have their own requirements for employment.

South Carolina Substitute Teacher Requirements

When public school elementary and secondary teachers are absent, substitute teachers are needed to take their places at work. Each school district in South Carolina has specific hiring requirements for teacher substitutes. Employees will need at least a high school diploma in some counties, while other districts require a higher level of training. Retired teachers can qualify to substitute by obtaining a Retired Educator certificate.

Education/Experience Required Minimum high school diploma, some districts require a bachelor's degree; attendance at specialized classes for substitute teachers is also frequently required
Average Salary (2017)* $23,820
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026)* 10% (for teachers & instructors, all other)

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

When a teacher is not able to work due to an absence, a substitute teacher is hired. Substitutes have the responsibility of supervising students to provide for their safety and learning needs. Good student and classroom management is needed as well as the ability to follow lesson plans and school procedures. Substitute teaching is a good way to gain classroom experience and explore different types of teaching jobs in schools. Subbing could also lead to a full-time position or provide the inspiration to expand your education.

Certification

South Carolina does not have a statewide certification process for substitute teachers. Each county and/or school district administers its own substitute hiring and training guidelines. Some counties in South Carolina even use employment agencies outside the school district to hire substitutes. These agencies have their own procedures to apply for substitute positions.

There is also a plan in place in South Carolina that specifically allows retired teachers to be eligible for employment as substitute teachers. The South Carolina state department of education outlines this information on its teacher certification web page.

Education Requirements

Many school districts in South Carolina require the minimum of a high school diploma for substitutes. Some districts may ask for a bachelor's degree. There is usually a class or workshop that potential substitute teachers are required to attend that provides specific training and information for that school district. Level of education might affect the salary of substitutes, with higher degrees earning a higher rate of pay.

Additional Job Requirements

Some school districts in South Carolina have a minimum age requirement of up to 21 years. Before employment, substitutes will most likely have to provide information about citizenship and/or work visas and documentation of the highest level of education obtained. Criminal background checks may be needed as well as medical proof of tuberculosis testing.

Salary and Job Outlook

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average hourly salary for substitutes in South Carolina was $11.45 as of May 2017. The outlook for substitute jobs is expected to be good. According to an article published in The State newspaper in January of 2019, there is a teacher shortage in South Carolina, and many districts will have to use substitute teachers to staff classrooms. Nationwide, substitutes jobs (grouped into the category ''teachers and instructors, all other'') are expected to grow faster than the average at 10% between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS.