How to Be a Substitute Teacher in Montana

Substitute teachers in Montana may hold current, valid teaching licenses, or they may be unlicensed. Read on to learn more about how to become a substitute teacher in Montana. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Substitute Teacher Career Information

As a substitute teacher, you are responsible for teaching students ranging from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade when the regular teacher is unavailable.

There are several different ways to become a substitute teacher in Montana, including holding a Class 1, Class 2, or Class 5 teaching license. You may also become a substitute teacher even if you don't hold a current teaching license. Keep reading to learn more about educational and licensing requirements.

Education/Experience Required High school diploma or equivalent (minimum)*
Certification Renewal Period Varies based on teaching license: Class 1 - 5 years; Class 2 - 5 years; Class 5 - valid for 3 years, non-renewable; Unlicensed - no renewal period*
Renewal Credits Required for Renewal 60 units for Class 1 or Class 2 licenses; no renewal units needed for Class 5 license or if you're unlicensed**
Annual Mean Wage for Substitute Teachers in Montana (2018) $22,680***
National Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% (for teachers and instructors, all other)***

Sources: *Montana Secretary of State, **Montana Office of Public Instruction, ***U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Becoming a Substitute Teacher Without a Teaching License

You don't need a valid teaching license to be a substitute teacher in Montana. It is worth noting, though, that when it comes to hiring, Montana gives substitute teachers with a current license priority over non-licensed substitute teachers.

To become a non-licensed substitute teacher in Montana, you must have a high school diploma (or its equivalent) and complete at least 3 hours of training. You must also submit fingerprints and pass a background check prior to beginning substitute teaching. Alternately, if you were a licensed teacher or substitute at a public school in Montana before November 28, 2002, and you've substituted each year following, you can continue to be substitute without meeting the other requirements.

Class 1 License Requirements

If you hold a current, valid Class 1 professional teacher's license, you can substitute teach in Montana. To get a Class 1 license, you will need to demonstrate that you've met all the requirements for a Class 2 standard teaching license. You must also have a master's degree (either in education or a related area of focus) from an accredited college or university and 3 years of teaching experience. You can apply for a Class 1 teaching license online at Montana's Office of Public Instruction website.

Class 2 License Requirements

Holders of a Class 2 standard teacher's license in Montana can also become substitute teachers. There are several requirements to get a Class 2 license, including completing an accredited teacher preparation program (the program must also have a student teaching component) and having a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. You must also either be licensed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards in an approved area of focus or qualify for an endorsement in a subject area approved by Montana. Visit Montana's Office of Public Instruction website to apply.

Class 5 License Requirements

If you hold a Class 5 provisional license, you can be a substitute teacher in Montana. To gain a Class 5 license, you must pass a Praxis exam in a subject area approved by Montana's Board of Public Education. You must also currently live in Montana or have a job offer from a Montana public school. Finally, you must submit a 3-year plan to the Superintendent of Public Instruction demonstrating how you will move to a Class 1 or Class 2 license within 3 years of receiving your Class 5 license. Go to the Office of Public Instruction's website for detailed application instructions.

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