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How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Iowa

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If you are interested in learning how to become a substitute teacher in Iowa, the following information will help guide you through the process.

Iowa Substitute Teacher License Requirements

In order to attain your substitute teacher license in Iowa, you will need the following:

  • Completed application
  • $85 application fee
  • A bachelor's degree; submit official transcripts
  • Valid or expired teaching license
  • Completed fingerprint card and waiver form and $65 check

The substitute teaching license authorizes you to substitute teach on any education level (K, 1-5 grade, middle school and high school), and in any area of teaching, for a maximum of 90 days.

Substitute Teacher Authorization

If you do not meet the requirements for substitute teaching licensure, you may qualify for a substitute teacher authorization. The authorization is limited in that you can only teach for 5 days per assignment. However, the requirements are not as strict, as you will not need to have a valid or expired teaching license.

The requirements for substitute teaching authorization are:

  • Completed application
  • $85 application fee
  • A bachelor's degree; submit official transcripts
  • Substitute teacher training
  • Completed fingerprint card and waiver form and $65 check

The main difference for these requirements compared to the substitute teacher license is you will have to attend a substitute training course (in lieu of having a valid or expired teaching license), which you can take through one of these Iowa education agencies.

Get Your Iowa Fingerprint Clearance Card

The Iowa State Board of Education requires you to submit a fingerprints for an FBI background check. The cost is $65. In addition, some individual schools and school districts may require a fingerprint clearance and background check in order to gain employment with them. Here is the Iowa background check FAQ for more information.

Obtain Official College Transcripts

You'll need to submit official college transcripts showing you have a bachelor's degree in order to receive your substitute certificate. Course titles must show on the transcripts. If you have transfer credit as part of your degree, you must also submit official transcripts from the college where you received the transfer credit. Course numbers only or total credits transferred do not provide adequate transfer information. Submit your official transcript with your substitute teacher application.

Complete Your Application for Certification

Next, download and complete the Iowa Substitute Teacher Application. If you are out-of-state teacher, use the out-of-state substitute teacher application. Complete and submit a substitute teacher application, along with the application fee of $85, official sealed transcripts, fingerprint card with $65 fee, and a copy of your valid or expired teaching license.

Submit Your Application

When completed submit your application to: Iowa Board of Educational Examiners
Grimes State Office Building
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146

Letters of Recommendation

While you're waiting for your substitute teacher certificate to be processed, you may wish to ask professional references for a letter of recommendation. It's probably a good idea to get 2-3 letters of recommendation, as most school districts will require theses recommendations when you apply for substitute teaching jobs in Iowa.

Substitute Teacher Pay in Iowa

Rates for substitute teaching will vary by district. In general, a substitute teacher might make $85 per day teaching in an Iowa classroom.

Substitute Teacher Jobs in Iowa

If you're looking for a substitute teacher job in Iowa, one of the best ways to find one is to inquire at the school district office or specific school where you'd like to teach. You can find a complete listing of Iowa schools districts here. Also, here is a list of Iowa substitute teaching jobs.

Substitute Teacher Resources

Iowa Board of Educational Examiners
Grimes State Office Building
400 East 14th St.
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0146
(515) 281-3245

Interested in becoming a teacher? Our state teacher guides will help. Or learn how to become a substitute teacher in another state by click on one of these neighboring states below.


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