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Aug 30, 2018

The Complete Guide to becoming a substitute teacher in Texas

If you live in Texas — or are relocating there — and are looking for an opportunity to enjoy flexible, meaningful work with students, you may have thought about applying to substitute teaching jobs in Texas. There are so many reasons to become a substitute teacher, whether it’s a temporary transition, a life-long career path, or anything in between.

People arrive at substitute teaching a number of ways: It’s a natural next step for budding educators who have completed their student-teaching assignments; it’s a great transition into the workforce for those who have recently graduated or have taken time off; it’s the perfect option for anyone looking to broaden professional skills or pivot to an encore career.

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

Is substitute teaching right for you?

If any of the following sounds familiar, it may be time for you to become a substitute teacher in the Lone Star State:

  • You want to make a tangible difference in Texas classrooms.
  • You need a flexible schedule with reliable income.
  • You want to develop professional skills such as leadership, public speaking, and time management.
  • You enjoy variety in students, classrooms, colleagues, schools, or districts.
  • You are completing (or have received) your degree in education, you’re making a change in your career path, or you’re heading back to work after time off.

Why substitute teaching is great in the Lone Star State


The average substitute salary in Texas is about $85/day. In some districts, it’s well over $110/day.


In addition to the flexible work schedule substitute teaching offers in any state, Texas has a decentralized education system, so qualifications for substitute teachers are determined by individual school boards rather than the state government. (This is also the procedure for private schools.) This means that you can simply check with your local school district to determine what you need to become a substitute teacher. (More on how Swing Education will help below!)

High Demand

Texas, like every state in the U.S., is struggling with a substitute teacher shortage. In particular, Texas schools have a teaching shortage in the subject areas of math, science, and bilingual/ESL in both elementary and secondary classrooms.

Do you need a state certificate/permit to sub in Texas?

No. Because education in Texas is decentralized, it’s up to individual districts to determine qualifications for their substitute teachers, and there is no state certification or permit.

The Texas Education Agency (or TEA) website has a useful School District Locator Map to help you find which schools are in your district and which districts you are closest to.

Here are example requirements for the four largest cities in Texas:

Houston (Substitute teachers are called “Associate Teachers”)

  • 60+ college credit hours or an associate degree
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Letters of referral

San Antonio (San Antonio is split into two districts)

  1. San Antonio Independent School District
    • High school diploma or GED
    • Pass a criminal background check
  2. Northside Independent School District
    • 90+ college credit hours with a minimum 2.5 GPA
    • Pass a criminal background check
    • Complete 8-hour training course


  • 60+ college credit hours
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Complete 7-hour training course


  • 60+ college credit hours
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Complete substitute orientation

How do you complete a background check?

While other qualifications vary from district to district, you’ll notice that all of them require a criminal background check. This is true for charter and private schools as well. Student safety is of the utmost priority in Texas, and all school employees must pass a background check.

A background check includes but isn’t limited to:

  • Any federal or state criminal history
  • Reports in the international database of teacher misconduct
  • Any history of complaints or flags from individual school districts

A background check is run using fingerprints. In order for Swing Education to conduct a background check, you must complete fingerprinting with the Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS).

  • If you have already been fingerprinted with TxDPS, use this form to provide your birthdate and legal name so we can see your background check.
  • If you have not been fingerprinted with TxDPS, please follow the directions below:

Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) Fingerprinting Directions

How To Schedule Fingerprinting Appointment

  1. Go to and click on “Schedule or Manage Appointments.”
  2. Enter your information on the following screen, including your legal name, and click “Next.”
  3. Enter the number 25607 for “Organization ID or District ORI” and click “Next.”
  4. Continue to enter your personal information for the next 5 screens, moving forward by clicking “Next.”
    1. Note: You do NOT have an Authorization Code (Coupon Code) for payment.
  5. Choose the government issued identification document that you will bring with you to your fingerprint appointment, and click “Next.”
  6. Enter your zipcode to find the IdentoGo location nearest you. Once you’ve done that, click “Next” to choose an appointment date and time or select “Walk In” (if available) and click “Submit.”
  7. Save the confirmation email for your records.

Day of Your Fingerprint Appointment

  1. Bring the government-issued identification you stated when you signed up for the appointment.
  2. Be prepared to pay $37 with either Authorization Code, Business Check, Money Order, or Credit Card ($37.78 with 2.1% credit card service fee).
    1. Personal checks and cash are not accepted.
  3. At the conclusion of your appointment, the MorphoTrust enrollment agent will provide you with an IdentoGo receipt stating that you were fingerprinted.
    1. Do not throw away the receipt.
    2. You may check status on your submission by clicking on this link:

How Swing Education Helps Substitutes in Texas

If you have a bachelor’s degree and are ready to substitute teach in Texas, sign up with Swing Education. Swing helps substitutes earn great rates, when and where they want!

When you sub with Swing you will:

  • Access more opportunities with Swing’s network of district, charter, and private schools.
  • Get paid weekly.
  • Enjoy Swing’s excellent Resource Center, which includes helpful information on classroom management, professional development, teaching strategies, and more!

Signing up is easy: It takes just two minutes to fill out this background questionnaire. Once you complete the form, our team will guide you through next steps with a confirmation email.

Get started today!

Call to action for user to sign up to become a Swing Sub.