skip to main content
illustration of New york on parchment

Become a substitute teacher in New York: the complete guide

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

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 apply to teaching jobs in New York.

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

Substitute teaching requirements in New York

There’s no shortage of reasons to become a substitute teacher; with perks like a flexible work schedule and being able to give back to your community, it’s no wonder you want to get started! Before that can happen, there are just a few requirements that need to be met before you can lead a classroom in New York:

  • Get fingerprinted
  • Pass a background check
  • Optional: get a teaching certificate

Educational requirements

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.

However, there are a handful of advantages to subbing with a teaching certificate. For example, with a valid teaching certificate, subs can work in any capacity, for any number of days. Without a certification, there are certain limits, such as only being able to work 40 days a year in a district. 

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).

To schedule your fingerprinting appointment:

  1. Visit the IdentoGO site.
  2. Enter your information and follow the prompts to set up your appointment.
  3. If prompted to enter a service code, please enter 14ZGR7.
  4. 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 $102 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.

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

If you’ve already been fingerprinted 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.

If subbing directly with Swing, in addition to the aforementioned local background check with NYSED, you’ll need to complete an education verification through Checkr. You can do that by logging into your Swing account.

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, you can get started with Swing Education.

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

Quick Guide: How to substitute teach in New York