How To Become A Substitute Teacher In Il

Becoming a substitute teacher in Illinois is not a difficult process. The requirements are both flexible and straightforward, and you can be employed as a substitute teacher after only completing a few steps.

First, you will need to gather the required documents and fill out an application. You can find all of these forms on the Illinois State Board of Education website. You will need to submit copies of your birth certificate, social security card, high school diploma or proof of GED attainment, and immunization records for each student age 18 or younger who attends your school district.

Second, you will need to take an online exam that covers areas such as child development and safety, classroom management skills, lesson planning techniques and more. This test is offered through Pearson VUE at local testing centers around the state; contact them directly for more information about scheduling your exam time slot.

Finally, once you have passed both parts of this process (which can take anywhere from two weeks to three months), you will be able to apply for jobs as a substitute teacher in Illinois!

How To Become A Substitute Teacher In Il

Criminal History Background Check

No criminal history background check is required to receive an Illinois Substitute Teaching Certificate. Once you are hired as a substitute teacher by an Illinois school district, however, you must submit to fingerprinting and a thorough criminal history background check. Instructions on how to proceed will be furnished to you at the time of hire.

Additional Information

Illinois Substitute Teaching Certificates are valid for four years and will allow you to teach any grade. You may work as a substitute teacher for a maximum of 30 calendar days in a single school district (except the City of Chicago) if there is no certified teacher available. You may only work for a maximum of 90 school days for one certified teacher in one school year. If you have a teaching certificate and are substitute teaching, you may work for a maximum of 120 days for one certified teacher in one school year.

To become a substitute teacher in Illinois, professionals must obtain a substitute license. This is a relatively straight-forward process. These certifications last several years, and have basic requirements outlined on ISBE’s (Illinois State Board of Education) website. This license can be a way for teachers in transition to develop or maintain a connection to the classroom while they are completing requirements for their standard or alternative teaching certifications.

Illinois provides a full list of requirements for licensures through the State Board’s website.

According to ISBE, “If you hold a valid professional educator license, educator license with stipulations or paraprofessional license and hold a bachelor’s degree, you are qualified to be a substitute teacher.” There are no subject requirements for the major of a completed bachelor’s degree.

Both short-term and traditional are available. Short-term substitute licensing has fewer requirements than the traditional license. Regardless of which license is obtained, a substitute may only teach for a maximum of five days in a row. While the traditional substitute teacher license is valid for five years and can be renewed with a $50 registration fee and a $50 application fee (reimbursable), the short-term license is only valid until June 30, 2023; it cannot be renewed.

Because short-term licensing is available for those with an associate degree or at least 60.00 credit hours of undergraduate coursework (100-level or higher) at an accredited institution (in addition to a district-run training program), it is an excellent way for those completing a bachelor’s degree to gain classroom experience. Substitute teachers can also serve as a paraprofessional. There are no examination requirements for either of these licenses. For the traditional license, a bachelor’s degree is required.

Short-term licensing is similar in requirements to the paraprofessional licensure. Paraprofessionals function as educational aids for students in special education. It is also frequently acquired by educators in transition to other forms of licensure, though not always, as the role of the paraprofessional is a career path in and of itself.  Paraprofessional licensure has a minimum age requirement of 19, and, depending on certain test scores, may only require a high school diploma. Typically, this licensure requires at least an associate degree or 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework (100-level or higher). If educators have a paraprofessional license and a bachelor’s degree, they are qualified to be a substitute teacher.

In all cases, you will need to submit your academic records, including official transcripts through the ISBE online credential management system (

For educators making an even greater move across national borders, this will require an international credential evaluation.

Recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education, Scholaro is prepared to help you ensure that you can get the credit you deserve for your educational achievements. An endorsed member of AICE, Scholaro Inc. follows the national guidelines of our organization to provide our clients with accurate and comprehensive evaluation of their educational credentials.   

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