Substitute teachers serve as substitute teachers for absent instructors at all training/education levels. Elementary, middle, and secondary schools have formal district policies for hiring a sub to take over for a missing teacher. College instructors typically cancel a class or ask a department colleague to cover the class for the absence.
Full-time substitute teachers register for work in several districts or a district and serve as a temporary substitute for various teachers over the academic year. Some full-time substitute teachers, however, take a long-term substitute program for an individual teacher.
Certification, Work and Pay
Certain states, including Hawaii, Delaware, and South Carolina, pay more to substitutes holding teaching credentials or licenses. Many districts hire subs as a formal general pool of per diem workers and attempt to match the substitute’s experience and training with the absent teacher’s classroom assignment.
Districts post substitute pay on regular staff and teaching remuneration schedules. Some districts, including some in Washington State and New York, allow subs to have professional compensation-bargaining rights, but most set substitute salaries without official negotiation.
Substitutes earn a salary based on the time spent in the classroom every day. Some subs teach in different classrooms throughout the day to cover for a number of full-time teachers that leave for dental or medical appointments. The district pays the substitute based on an entire day of teaching, even though the sub taught for a different teacher throughout the day.
any substitutes receive compensation based on a half-day or full-day of service. Districts decide the amount of substitute salary. The New York City Department of Education, for instance, hires teaching substitutes that meet the district’s substitute requirements and pays these teachers $154.97 for each day of service. The BLS reported in 2019 that substitute teachers across the country earned a median hourly wage of $15.56 and a median annual wage of $32,360.
[Also Read: Step-By-Step Guide to Become a Kindergarten Teacher]
Long-term substitutes fill in for a teacher absent from the classroom for longer terms due to maternity/paternity leave or medical reasons. Some districts allow a teacher to take a break after a set number of years of service. This contract arrangement gives the regular teacher a year or a semester away from the classroom to take courses to enhance their teaching ability or improve teaching skills. Districts generally employ long-term substitutes to take over for teachers on long leave.
Long-term substitutes give continuity to the instruction and offer students a permanent teacher for the contract teacher’s absence. Long-term substitutes in most districts receive additional income, generally only $2 to $20 extra income every day, to compensate the substitute for time spent grading student work and planning lessons.
How Much Do Substitute Teachers Make
A full-time substitute works a schedule similar to a traditional teaching assignment, but most substitutes earn considerably less pay than regular teachers. School districts generally don’t offer benefits to substitute teachers, including full-time substitute, since the work assignment involves a temporary assignment. The kind of work determines the substitute’s compensation. Substitutes for child daycare services earned the lowest mean wage at $22,150.
At the same time, substitutes in secondary and elementary schools received the highest mean annual salary at $29,850 for full-time work, according to the BLS. The work location also impacts the amount substitutes earned. Hawaiian school districts averaged the highest substitute salary, according to the BLS, at $43,650. At the same time, full-time substitutes in Northwestern Alabama and Morristown, Tenn., earned annual mean wages in 2012 of less than $17,000.(1)
Careers in Europe: An entry-level substitute high school teacher (1-5 years of experience) makes an average salary of 287.316 kr (Sweden). On the other hand, a senior level substitute high school teacher (9+ years of experience) makes an average salary of 492.543 kr.
Careers in Asia: The national average salary for a Substitute Teacher is $1,200 in Singapore.
[ Read: How to Become a History Teacher? ]
Substitute teaching job opportunities may be strongest for applicants who have a teaching certificate and a bachelor’s degree. Although the BLS does not provide specific job outlook statistics for substitute teachers, kindergarten and elementary school teaching jobs, in particular, were expected to grow at an average rate of seven percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. BLS.