Pennsylvania Substitute Teaching License


If you wish to substitute teach in a Pennsylvania school, you must hold a PA teaching certificate. This may be an active or inactive Intern Certificate Level I Certificate, Level II Certificate, or an Emergency Permit. The Emergency Permit is only issued through joint application with a school district, which must verify that they have advertised for a substitute teacher and cannot find a certified, fully qualified applicant. The procedures to obtain an Emergency Permit are outlined below.

Want to learn how to earn a professional teaching certification? Contact schools offering teaching certification programs in Pennsylvania.

The length of time in which you can substitute teach is determined by the type of certificate/permit you hold:

  • If you have an emergency permit, you may only substitute teach on a day-to-day basis of no more than 20 days in the same assignment.
  • If you have a Level I or Level II active certificate, you may substitute teach for an unlimited number of days per school year.
  • If you have a Level I or Level II inactive certificate, you may substitute teach for up to 90 days per school year.

Education Requirements

You must have at least a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university to obtain an Emergency Permit.

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No experience is necessary to obtain an Emergency Permit, but some districts prefer to hire those with some experience in working with children.


Criminal History Background Check

All applicants for substitute teaching positions in Pennsylvania are subject to three background checks. These include a Pennsylvania State Police Request for Criminal Records Check, a Department of Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance, and a Federal Criminal History Record Information (CHRI).

You will be given instructions on how to proceed with these checks by the school district when you apply for a substitute teaching position.


Contact Information

For more information on substitute teaching opportunities, contact your local school district.