How to Become a Certified Substitute Teacher in South Carolina

Feb 27, 2019

Being a substitute teacher in South Carolina can be a challenging job but with many opportunities. With a statewide shortage in teachers, substitute teachers have to be ready to be called any time a school needs a replacement. This article describes the requirements for becoming a substitute teacher in South Carolina.

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South Carolina struggles to attract and retain teachers, making it a state full of opportunities for substitute teachers. Substitute teachers do not require a teaching certificate from the state; requirements are set by school districts themselves. In this article, we will describe the varying requirements for aspiring substitutes in South Carolina.

Key Information For Substitute Teachers In South Carolina

Mean Annual Salary (2017)* $23,820
Required Education High school diploma, college credits and/or a valid teaching certificate; requirements vary between school districts
Training Some school districts require completion of additional training.

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Educational Requirements

The South Carolina Department of Education does not require substitute teachers to possess state-issued teacher certification. Schools and school districts are allowed to set their own hiring protocols, which means there can be a substantial difference in application requirements for aspiring substitute teachers.

The most basic requirement for substitutes among all South Carolina schools is a high school diploma. Some schools, such as the Aiken County public schools and the School District of Pickens County, ask for an ACT WorkKeys certificate in addition to this. The general rule is that the more qualified a person is, either by means of college credits or a teaching certificate, the higher the pay will be. In addition, some schools, like Rock Hill schools in York County, will only offer long-term substitute positions to applicants with a valid South Carolina teaching certificate.

Step 2: Clear Background and Health Check

School districts require different background and health checks, but all will require their applicants to pass a South Carolina fingerprint-based background check (SLED), submit two or three references, and provide proof of a recent tuberculosis test according to South Carolina state law. Certain schools will perform other safeguards, such as checking their applicants against the National Sex Offender Registry.

Step 3: Complete Additional Training/Orientation

In addition to the education requirements and the checks described in the previous paragraphs, South Carolina school districts will ask for or offer additional training or orientation workshops. For example, the Anderson School District requires its applicants to attend new sub training and complete SAFE Schools Video and quizzes whereas the District Five Schools of Spartanburg County asks for proof of recent attendance (within the past three years) for bloodborne pathogens training (OSHA).

Resources For Aspiring Substitute Teachers offers courses that can assist in becoming a substitute teacher. See the following resources for more information:

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