Requirements to Become a Substitute Teacher in Washington State

Substitute teachers are those who manage a classroom and teaching in place of a regular teacher. Find out about the certification requirements set by the state of Washington for substitute teachers. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Substitute Teacher in Washington: An Overview

To obtain a certificate in Washington in substitute teaching, you need to complete an accredited undergraduate program and a state-approved teacher education program. Unlike the certificate for regular teaching, there are no exam requirements. Read further to know more about these requirements.

Education Required Bachelor's Degree, Teacher Education Program
Exams Required None
License Validity Period Not Specified
Requirements for Renewal 180 days of teaching; 30 days must be in one school district or ten semester college credits after the latest initial license was issued
Mean Salary (2017) $38,590
Estimated Job Growth (2018-2028, nationwide) 3%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

First Requirement: Earn A Bachelor's Degree

The first requirement to get a substitute teaching certification in Washington is a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. You can earn a bachelor's degree in any subject you like, or any subject you wish to teach in the future. You can also choose a bachelor's program in education, as it will give you more insight into the teaching and learning process.

Second Requirement: Pass a Teacher Training Program

The next requirement is to pass a teacher training program; you can pursue this program along with your bachelor's degree or after it. Keep in mind that the program you choose has to be offered by an accredited institution and should be approved by the state in which it is offered. A teacher training curriculum incorporates everything you might need as a teacher, including theories and methodologies related to teaching and learning, subject-specific knowledge, integrating technology into education, and so on. It will most-likely include a teaching practicum as well, where you will gain teaching experience through instructing students in school settings.

Final Requirement: Background Check

A background check is mandatory for all the applicants of the teaching certificate; it is done by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Washington State Patrol (WSP). For this purpose, you can submit your fingerprints. You can get your fingerprints taken at an Educational Service District (ESD) in the state or at the WSP Criminal Records Division. You can also request a fingerprint card and get your fingerprints taken from a private agency or a law enforcement agency. Out-of-state applicants can also choose the fingerprint card option.

Requirements for Out-of-State Applicants

Out-of-state applicants are also mandated to complete a bachelor's degree and undergo a background check. However, if they have three years of full-time teaching experience out of the state and possess a regular teaching certificate from another state, they can submit these documents instead of the teacher preparation program documents.

Renewal of Teaching Certificate

There is no specific expiration date for the teaching certificate; you have to renew your initial certificate only once. In order to renew the certificate, you must complete the requirement of 180 days of teaching. Out of these 180 days, 30 days must be in one school district. Even if you haven't completed the hours, your certificate will be considered for renewal if you have 10-semester college credits after the latest initial license was issued.

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