How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Oklahoma: Requirements & Certification
Substitute teachers ensure that when a teacher is unable to work, their students' education is not interrupted. Read further to learn more about becoming a substitute teacher in Oklahoma.
Approximately 5,940 people worked as substitute teachers in Oklahoma as of 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Substitute teachers take over a class when the regular teacher cannot work for whatever reason. The chart below shows the education requirements, job duties, and salary of substitute teachers in Oklahoma.
|Education Required||High school diploma|
|Certification Requirements||None; passing the OGET, OSAT, and OPTE is optional|
|Key Responsibilities||Ensure that students' education is not interrupted when a teacher is unavailable|
|Average Salary (May 2018)||$23,810*|
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics
Step 1: Earn A High School Diploma
There is no single statewide requirement for those who wish to become substitute teachers in Oklahoma. Each school district sets their own educational requirements. However, most school districts require that applicants have at least a high school diploma. Districts may also require candidates have reached a minimum age (e.g., 21).
Step 2: Earn A Degree (Optional)
Substitute teachers who hold a college degree in any subject are considered preferable to those who have only earned their high school diploma. In fact, some school districts require a bachelor's degree to work as a substitute teacher. In general, school districts offer higher wages to substitute teachers with a college degree compared to those without a degree. Substitute teachers with a degree may be permitted to work more days annually than a substitute teacher who has only a high school diploma.
Step 3: Earn A Teaching Certificate (Optional)
A substitute teacher with a teaching certificate is the most desirable substitute of all. Many school districts pay those with a teaching certificate more than those without. School districts may list positions for substitute teachers with teaching certificates separately from non-certified positions. To get a teaching certificate, one needs to earn a bachelor's degree, pass a teacher education program, pass the Oklahoma General Education Test (OGET), pass the Oklahoma Subject Area Tests (OSAT), Oklahoma Professional Teaching Examination (OPTE), and undergo a background check.
Step 4: Undergo A Background Check
Everyone who works as a teacher (substitute or otherwise) in Oklahoma is required to undergo a background check and be fingerprinted. This is a state regulation. The national criminal history record check and fingerprinting has a fee of $53.94 though this fee may vary by district. The background check must be updated annually.
Step 5: Attend A Training Workshop
Some school districts in Oklahoma require that substitute teachers attend a training workshop. These are intended to prepare substitutes for their first day of teaching and to familiarize them with school protocols. One should contact the school district where they intend to work to ask if and when training workshops are held.