Washington Substitute Teaching License


While some people become full-fledged teachers in their lives, others act as substitute teachers, teaching part-time when the need arises.

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


Education Requirements

A Substitute Teaching License in Washington is valid for life, allowing a license holder to teach for 30 consecutive school days in one job. The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction requires substitute teachers to undergo the same level of preparation as regular teachers.

Substitute teachers must hold bachelor's degrees from accredited colleges or universities, as well as complete approved teacher preparation programs. A list of all approved preparation programs may be found here.

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During their preparation programs, substitute teachers gain valuable experience through student teaching. Student teaching pairs students with real teachers who help them to apply the skills they learned in the classroom to a career setting.



The requirements for substitute teacher preparation are the same for regular teachers except for testing. Substitute teachers are not required to undergo any testing for applying for certification.

document application requirements

Document and Application Requirements

After completing all requirements, substitute teacher candidates must apply for certification.

Candidates must complete their applications and include all viable information, including official transcripts, endorsements, experience, and application fees. A substitute teacher's certificate has an application fee of $35, which may be sent with the completed application to a candidate's local Educational Service District (ESD).


Criminal History Background Check

All candidates must undergo background checking and fingerprinting to be considered for certification. Fingerprint cards may be acquired from a local ESD, where candidates fill out background and demographic information. The ESD will then send the completed fingerprint card to the Washington certification office.


Contact Information

For more information on substitute teaching in Washington, see the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website or e-mail them at cert@k12.wa.us. The office may also be contacted via phone at 360-725-6400.