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Become a substitute teacher in Texas: the complete guide

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If you live in Texas — or are relocating there — and are looking for an opportunity to enjoy flexible, meaningful work in your community, perhaps you should apply to be a substitute teacher. There are so many reasons to become a substitute teacher, whether it’s a temporary transition, a life-long career path, or somewhere in between.

Substitute teaching fits in people’s lives in a myriad 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 | Arizona | Washington D.C. | Illinois

Jump to:

Is substitute teaching right for you?

Benefits of substitute teaching in Texas

Do you need a certificate to sub in Texas?

How to complete a background check

Why sub with Swing

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

Benefits of substitute teaching in Texas


The average substitute salary in Texas is about $107/day, but can be even more in other districts.


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. 

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. As a result, your skills and knowledge will go a long way in Texas!

Do you need a certificate to sub in Texas?

Not necessarily. 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.

That being said, if you do have a credential, there is an option to submit it to your Swing account! Some school districts post jobs that do require a permit, so if you have one, go ahead and post it to your Swing account under “account settings”, or, submit it during onboarding. 

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

To learn more about the specific districts qualifications, we recommend finding the contact information for your target school districts via the Texas Education Agency’s (TEA) School District Locator map.

Still have questions? Get more info here.

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 to substitute teach, whether through Swing or not, you will need to get your fingerprints done through the Texas Education Agency (TEA), or already have them on file. 

If you have already been fingerprinted with TEA, this information should be readily available to whichever school or district you choose to work with. Be sure to check what additional requirements you may need to meet (i.e. drug testing or health screenings), as it varies district by district.

When working directly with Swing, we’ll verify your fingerprints and complete an education verification and background check through Checkr. After your information is verified, and you’ve signed and acknowledged any remaining online paperwork, you should be all set to teach with Swing!

(For more information on this process, see this help article.)

How Swing 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.

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