How to Get Your Texas Substitute Teaching License

Aug 16, 2021

Substitute teaching already comes with a high level of flexibility, but Texas is one of the most accommodating states for those looking to get started. Unlike others, the Texas Education Agency does not require substitute teachers to hold any type of state license or permit. Instead, its decentralized system enables each school district to set its own hiring and training requirements. 

That means you don’t have to spend as much time and money on certification exams before you jump into substitute teaching. All you have to do is reach out to schools of interest and start filling out applications!

If you want to make sure you’re fully prepared, here’s a quick overview of Texas’s most common requirements for substitute teachers. 


While it would be ideal to have a degree in education, most Texas schools only expect you to have a bachelor’s degree to substitute teach. Some districts are more lenient and require that you have an associate’s degree or have earned 60-90+ credit hours from an accredited institution. A few districts also require a minimum GPA (e.g., 2.5 or higher), so be prepared to list it. 

Experience & Training

Generally speaking, Texas school districts do not require you to have previous experience teaching or working with children. However, this would undoubtedly give you a leg up in the applicant pool.

Instead, each Texas school district and educational service organization mandates its own required training for substitute teachers. This can range anywhere from self-paced online modules to week-long orientation programs. It’s best to ask about this before accepting a job offer, so you know what to expect. 

Background Checks

A universal requirement for substitute teaching in Texas is a criminal history background check. All educational institutions, including all public and private schools, will require you to complete this step. After you apply, you will need to schedule an appointment with a third-party company to submit your fingerprints before beginning work. Find out more about the process and the applicable fees on the Texas Education Agency website.

You may also be asked to go in for a drug test, physical, or other medical examination. These are pretty standard and ensure that you don’t have any transmissible diseases that would put students or other teachers at risk. 

Letters of Recommendation 

Only a few school districts require you to submit letters of recommendation. But even if it’s not required, a letter of recommendation can help you secure a job in a high-paying or otherwise favorable school district. Be sure to request letters well in advance of when you plan to apply and that they include your relevant experience, strengths, and skills. 


If you already met these qualifications, then you’re ready to start applying! Still unsure of how to kick off your job search? 

Check out Teaching Nomad’s job board. You can quickly find substitute teaching jobs in Texas, the United States, and beyond by searching and filtering by location, grade level, subject, and other requirements. Register with Teaching Nomad today, and we’ll connect you with the best substitute teaching opportunities in the Lone Star State.


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