The Complete Guide to Becoming a Substitute Teacher in New York

Swing EducationRecruitment3 Comments

Substitute teaching is a rewarding and flexible way to develop your career on your terms. Whether you have recently earned your degree, are entering the workforce after time off, or are ready for a change from a decades-long career, substitute teaching may be a natural next step for you!

In this guide to becoming a substitute teacher in New York, you’ll find information on subbing requirements and how to explore substitute teacher jobs in New York.

MORE GUIDES TO BECOMING A SUBSTITUTE TEACHER: New Jersey | Texas | California ArizonaWashington D.C.

Educational Requirements to Become a Substitute Teacher

New York state does not have a minimum educational requirement for substitute teachers, but some schools, districts, and substitute teacher companies do. (For example, Swing Education requires all of its New York substitute teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree.)

Credentials and Permits

Unlike many states, New York does not offer a specific substitute teacher permit, and a teaching certificate is not required to become a substitute teacher. 

There are a handful of advantages to subbing with a teaching certificate (i.e. substitutes without a certificate can work only 40 days in a given school district in an academic year), but you won’t have trouble getting into the classroom without one.

(If you do hold a teaching certificate in New York, you can use this website to look up your information.)

Note: If you want to work directly for a public school district, like New York City School District, you might have to complete additional steps.

Substitute Teacher Background Check

Before becoming a substitute teacher in New York, you’ll need to go through a criminal background check. The first step is to get fingerprinted with the New York State Education Department (NYSED). (If you become a substitute teacher with Swing Education, we will reimburse you for all expenses from your background check!)

How To Schedule Your Fingerprinting Appointment

  1. Visit the IdentoGO site
  2. Enter your information and follow the prompts to set up your appointment
  3. Save the confirmation email for your records

Day of Your Fingerprint Appointment

  1. Bring the government-issued identification you provided when you signed up for the appointment
  2. Be prepared to pay $99 by business check, money order, or credit card
  3. At the conclusion of your appointment, the MorphoTrust enrollment agent will provide you with an IdentoGo receipt stating that you were fingerprinted. (Note: Keep your receipt if you intend to work with Swing Education and would like to be reimbursed!)

After Your Fingerprint Appointment

You can check your submission status by clicking on this link.

If You’ve Already Been Fingerprinted

If you’ve been fingerprinted since 2001 with the New York State Education Department, you won’t need to get fingerprinted again. (Schools and companies that work with substitute teachers will be able to access a current background check based on that original scan.)

Getting in the Classroom

Once you’ve passed your background check, you’ll be able to start subbing in many New York schools!

You can either pursue a position directly with a school, or, if you’re interested in working with a wider variety of students (and would like to be reimbursed for your background check), you can get started with Swing Education.

Take the first step to becoming a sub with Swing Education by filling out this form.

Happy subbing!

About the Author

As the Director of Talent at Swing Education, Alex works to give our substitute teachers the tools and support they need to succeed. Before joining Swing, Alex spent more than five years working for a nationwide network of high-performing elementary schools.


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3 Comments on “The Complete Guide to Becoming a Substitute Teacher in New York”

  1. Your site says you operate in New York (which is where i live), yet upon attempting to sign up your site tells me you don’t operate in my area. Can some one explain this to me? Also, if you in fact do not operate in my area do you know of any similar organizations that do?

    1. Hi Wesley,

      Thanks for your comment. Swing recently expanded our operations to New York state, and we are in the process of adding more school partners. Currently, we operate only in New York City, but we may expand in the future. If you’d like more information on Swing Education schools in the state of New York, feel free to email us at:


  2. Hello, I’m currently a sub teacher in California looking to move to New York City by the end of the year. I’m wondering if the process for sub teaching in New York would be different for me since I’ve already passed the tests and certifications necessary in California? Would you be able to assist me with my situation? I’m curious as if I’d be able to bypass some requirements or if I have to take the equivalent tests and certifications in New York as well.

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