How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Alabama

Jan 02, 2019

Though substitute teachers do not need to meet the same requirements as full-time teachers, there are still certain criteria that must be met. In this article, we'll look at that criteria.

Alabama had 10,500 substitute teachers in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unlike some other states, Alabama requires state licensure for its substitute teachers. Below, we'll look at the process for that licensure.

Requirements for Substitute Teachers in Alabama

Average Salary for Substitute Teachers Alabama (2017)* $18,550
Required Degree High School Diploma
Required Field N/A
Testing Requirements None

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Complete Your Education

In Alabama, substitute teachers are required to complete high school before applying for a substitute license. However, a high school diploma equivalent, such as a GED, can be used. If you know that you'd like to become a substitute teacher prior to graduation (or you plan to do this while working toward other education), consider what would be beneficial to you as a teacher. Problem solving, decision making, leadership, and communication skills would all be helpful in leading a classroom of students. Consider what extracurricular clubs might work to build on those skills and what elective classes might strengthen your knowledge in education principles.

Step 2: Fill Out Application

Form ABC 2003 is the form for substitute licensure. It asks you about your personal, educational, and criminal history. You'll need to answer whether or not you are a U.S. citizen, whether your spouse is in the military, and whether you have resigned from a position rather than be disciplined for an action. Along with this, one of the main requirements for licensure is that the superintendent of the school in which you wish to substitute recommends you. It is his/her responsibility to check on your educational history. S/he must also be aware that a substitute license does not fulfill the requirements needed for full-time teaching positions.

Step 3: Complete a Background Check

A background check by the FBI and ABI (Alabama Bureau of Investigation) is necessary for substitute teachers. Though you do not need to have clearance at the time of your application, the background check must be valid from within the last five years. In order to have a background check completed, you'll need to go through the Gemalto Cogent system to find a fingerprinting location. Once your fingerprints have been digitally scanned, they will be sent directly to the FBI and ABI to run the criminal history check. The cost for digital scans of fingerprints is $46.90. The Alabama State Department of Education should have the results within 48 hours.

Alabama Substitute Teacher Certification Resources

Most full-time licensed teachers will need to complete a Praxis exam or at the least the Core Academic Skills for Educators exams. If you ever find yourself needing to study for these for further certification, these links should cover you.

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