How to Be a Substitute Teacher in Iowa: Requirements & Certification

Learn more on the specific requirements for substitute teaching licenses in Iowa. Discover the current employment statistics for the profession, the state average annual salary, and the educational training available. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Information for Iowa Substitute Teachers

Working substitute teachers require a teaching license, substitute teaching license, or substitute authorization (for those currently not holding a license) as issued by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (IBEE). Substitute teaching licenses in Iowa are only valid for five years; holders must demonstrate continuing professional development to be eligible for renewal.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Certification Renewal Period 5 years validity for substitute license
Requirements for Renewal At least 30 days of substitute teaching, one year of teaching experience, or one renewal credit
Iowa Substitute Teacher Average Annual Salary (2017) $29,520*
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2020) 8% increase (for teacher assistants nationwide)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Teacher Education Programs

An Iowa teaching license allows applicants to work as substitute teachers. One of the mandatory requirements for this license is to complete a teacher education program from an accredited school. These programs are available on both a graduate and undergraduate level, allowing students to certify in a range of teaching specializations (such as teaching on a kindergarten, elementary, or secondary school level, in areas such as English, mathematics, physical education, among many others).

Admissions into these programs may differ between graduate and undergraduate degrees. Undergraduates will typically need a minimum GPA of 3.0, while those applying for a graduate program commonly need to provide passing scores on the Praxis Core exam, a passing cumulative GPA (varies between institutions), and transcripts from previous educational institutions.

A bachelor's degree is the minimum necessary education.

Substitute Teacher License

If one has fulfilled a teacher education program but does not have an Iowa teaching license, an individual can apply for a substitute license. This license is valid for five years and can be renewed an unlimited amount of times. Someone with this certification can substitute in any capacity that a teacher with an Iowa license can. Individuals can also apply for this license if they have an out-of-state teaching license.

Substitute Authorization

For those who wish to substitute teach in Iowa schools, but currently don't hold a teaching license, a substitute authorization is available. This allows one to substitute at an educational institution (from kindergarten to grade 12), with some limitations.

To be considered eligible for a substitute authorization certificate, one must hold a 4-year college or university degree, must be at least 21 years old, has passed a criminal background check, and has completed the Substitute Authorization Program from an Area Education Agency (AEA).

Renewing Your License

To renew your substitute teaching license, you are required to meet one of the necessary criteria below:

  • Evidence of at least 30 days of substitute teaching during your term
  • Completion of an eligible course at an accredited community college, college, or university
  • Completion of course provided by a board-approved local or area education agency
  • Completion of an approved Mandatory Child and Dependent Adult Abuse Training program within the last five years

Extensions are provided by the IBEE, should the individual require more time to meet the necessary renewal requirements.

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