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How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Illinois

Becoming a substitute teacher in Illinois is similar to becoming a sub in other states. The requirements are minimal, but there are still things you must know. Here, we'll look at the requirements for substitute teacher licensure.

In Illinois, there were 21,650 employed substitute teachers in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a substitute teacher, read on.

Requirements for Substitute Teachers in Illinois

Average Salary for Substitute Teachers Illinois (2017)* $38,610
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Any
Testing Requirements None

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Substitute Licenses

Substitute teachers in Illinois must obtain a substitute license. There are two types of substitute teacher licenses: short-term and traditional (just called a substitute license). The short-term has less requirements than the traditional license, but you can only teach for a maximum of five days straight for any licensed teacher. Also, short-term licensing is only valid until 2023, and it is not renewable. However, the traditional substitute teacher license is valid for five years at a time and is renewable.

Required Education

Since there are two different licenses, we'll take a look at the educational requirements for each. For the short-term license, you only need an associate degree. There is no required major either. However, you can have 60 completed credits from an accredited agency and apply for this license as well. This will be a good option if you'd like to gain experience while completing a bachelor's degree program. You must also complete a training program put together by the school district. For the traditional license, you need a bachelor's degree. This is the only educational requirement, and there is no required major either.

Other Circumstances

There are a few other circumstances that you must be aware of if you'd like to become a substitute teacher. First of all, if you are a certified teacher through the state of Illinois, you do not need to apply for another license, you can just take substituting positions.

The other thing to note is that if you have a lapsed license, you can apply for the substitute teacher license. However, if this lapsed license is because you owed professional development credits on your renewal, you cannot seek substitute teaching licensure. Also, if you've had any your licenses revoked or suspended and have not completed renewal requirements, you are ineligible for a substitute license.

Illinois Substitute Teacher Certification Resources

There are no required exams to earn a substitute teacher license. However, if you find yourself in a position where you must prove your basic knowledge, we've included a link to help you study for the ILTS Test of Academic Proficiency exam.


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