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Become a Substitute Teacher in Washington State

Unlike many states, Washington's substitute teachers must meet state requirements for certification. Check out this article to learn more about those requirements.

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According to a 2017 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics chart, there were 15,370 substitute teachers in the state of Washington. If you'd like to learn how to become a substitute teacher in Washington, we can help guide you along.

Requirements for Substitute Teachers in Washington

Average Salary for Substitute Teachers in Washington (2017)* $38,590
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements None

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Your Education

A bachelor's degree. That's really all that's needed to begin the process of becoming a substitute teacher. It may seem simple, but you'll want to choose carefully. This is also the beginning for one of the alternative routes for teacher certification: choosing a bachelor's degree program. Any subject can work for you. However, if you know ahead of time that you want to be a substitute teacher, consider your program with education in mind. Some of the programs out there can prepare you for a career in education while also covering the topics you like. For instance, if you don't want to study education alone, consider a history education degree program. This will give you some of the basics (maybe even completing TEP requirements), while also putting you in several history-based courses. The options are really unlimited, but if substituting is your end game, you'll want to put a bit more thought into your program before going in.

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Step 2: Be Fingerprinted

In Washington, teachers, including substitute teachers, must be fingerprinted and agree to a background check. You must have been fingerprinted prior to your TEP as part of the pre-residency clearance. Fingerprinting can be done at a number of locations, but the most common path is to locate an Educational Services District (EDS) near you. Here, the fingerprinting costs $43 and will be completed digitally. This will allow the FBI to run your background check more quickly than the paper counterpart. Should you prefer the paper method, request a fingerprinting card from your local EDS, and then take it to a private agency or law enforcement office. This also costs $43, but you will need to submit the fingerprinting card back to the Office of Superintendent Public Instruction (OSPI).

Step 3: Complete a Teacher Education Program (TEP)

Since your bachelor's degree could have been in nearly any subject, you'll need to be sure you have background knowledge of educational theories and pedagogy. This may be done during your bachelor's degree program, so be sure to check with your school as tp whether or not your program meets TEP requirements. If not, you'll need to complete the TEP with either a certificate program or a master's degree program. The specific level does not matter, so long as you complete the TEP with a student teaching internship.

Certification Resources for Washington Substitute Teachers

Though there are no exams required, it is always wise to be prepared. Should you find yourself in the position of needing to study for an NES or WEST exam, we've got you covered for study guides.

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