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Becoming a Substitute Teacher in West Virginia: Requirements & Certification

Substitute teachers take the place of full-time teachers when those teachers are absent. This article will address the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher in the state of West Virginia, which include a having a bachelor's degree and a substitute teaching permit.

How to Obtain Substitute Teacher Certification in West Virginia

When a teacher is absent, a substitute teacher must step in to manage their classroom and teach the students. In the state of West Virginia, persons who wish to be substitute teachers are required to have a permit. The general requirements for obtaining the substitute teacher permit are summarized in the table below.

Education/Experience Required Bachelor's degree with a minimum 2.0 GPA
Exam Requirements None
Certification Renewal Period Three years
Requirements for Renewal Completion of 12 clock hours of classroom training or six semester hours of coursework
Average Salary (2018) $37,360 (substitute teachers in WV)*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 8% (teachers nationally)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Types of Substitute Teacher Permits

In West Virginia, substitute teachers can be either short-term or long-term. Short-term substitute teachers are employed for a maximum of 30 consecutive days while long-term substitute teachers can be employed for a longer period period. Both permits are valid for three years and they expire on June 30th in the year in which they are slated to expire.

Substitute Permit Requirements

Candidates who are interested in obtaining a substitute teacher permit must have a bachelor's degree (with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher), and complete the county authorized initial substitute teacher training. In order to gain access to the substitute teacher training, candidates must first attain employment at a school district.

Once employment has been secured, the candidate will be directed to the approved substitute teacher training options which include an online training program offered by the West Virginia Department of Education. The training will include 18 clock hours on topics such as state and local policies, classroom management and reporting child abuse. Long-term substitute teachers are allowed to teach specific subject areas and as such must also be able to present proof from college or university transcripts that they have completed at least 12 semester hours of credit in the subject area they wish to substitute.

Background Clearance

All applicants will need to undergo a criminal history clearance and includes fingerprinting. This criminal history check is conducted by the West Virginia State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Background clearance or fingerprint checks done outside of West Virginia will not be accepted. The full details of this process must be confirmed with the school of interest as each school district may accomplish it in slightly different ways.

Application Process

Interested applicants may submit their application electronically or physically. The application form for a short-term substitute teacher is different from the one for a long-term one so applicants must ensure that they are completing and submitting the correct one. The online application can be done via the WVBE website, while paperwork must be sent to the Office of Certification and Professional Preparation of the WVBE. Payment can be made through the online portal using a credit card.

Certificate Renewal

The substitute teacher permits can be renewed upon verification that the candidate has completed at least 12 hours of in-service teaching as well as at least six hours of semester hours at an approved institution. Early childhood education preschool teachers have additional clock hour and semester hour requirements specific to early childhood education and work experience.