How to become a substitute teacher

How to become a substitute teacher

There are a variety of reasons to become a substitute teacher. From owning your own schedule, to weekly paychecks and giving back to your community, the benefits attract people from all walks of life. If you’re thinking about starting a teaching career, substituting can be a great way to find out if the profession is for you. If you enjoy working with children and are looking to supplement your income, substitute teaching can provide a flexible way to do so. Most importantly, substitute teachers have the chance to make an impact on young peoples’ lives.

Whatever your reason for wanting to become a substitute teacher, there are certain requirements you must meet before you can start. Every state has different requirements, and the Kansas City area is unique in that the metro spans two states. If you are considering becoming a substitute in the Kansas City area, you may want to consider meeting the requirements of both states. Anyone who has a professional teaching license in Missouri or Kansas qualifies to be a substitute teacher. That is not the only way to become a substitute teacher, though. Here’s what it will take for you to become a substitute teacher in Kansas and Missouri:

Kansas Substitute Teacher

Kansas has two different types of substitute licenses: emergency and standard. To qualify for the emergency license, you must have a bachelor’s degree or coursework unrelated to education. The standard license is available to anyone who has previously held a standard Kansas teaching license.

Emergency Substitute License

For an Emergency Substitute License, you must:

  • Complete a minimum of 60 credit hours from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Submit one fingerprint card for a KBI and FBI background check
Standard Substitute License

If this is your first substitute license, you must:

  • Possess a bachelor’s degree
  • Complete a teacher preparation program
  • Submit a fingerprint card for a background check by the KBI and FBI

Missouri Substitute Teacher

Missouri’s substitute teaching certificate requires applicants to:

  • Complete the Online Substitute Certification Application
  • Complete a fingerprint and background check
Missouri Substitute certificate:

Content Substitute Certificate

A Content Substitute certificate may be granted to an individual who has completed a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit from a regionally accredited, academic degree-granting, college or university. Verification of these hours must be provided with an original transcript from each institution you have attended.

In addition to Kansas and Missouri substitute teacher requirements, MHED requires that you:

  • Have a negative Tuberculosis (TB) test completed by any licensed health care professional dated within the past 12 months
  • Provide contact information (including email addresses) for three references
  • Submit to and pass a background check prior to being offered employment

Substitute teaching can be an immensely rewarding career. Educating America’s youth is an important job — hence the stringent requirements to become a substitute teacher. If you think substitute teaching is for you, we encourage you to apply with MHED and visit to learn more about how we can help you find substitute teaching opportunities.

For more information about obtaining your substitute license in Kansas, visit the Kansas Department of Education website; for Missouri, visit the Missouri Department of Education website.