How to become a substitute teacher in Florida.

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Considering becoming a substitute teacher in Florida? It’s meaningful work that impacts your community—and it also allows for flexibility in scheduling.

Kelly Education hires substitute teachers for hundreds of schools in Florida, so we’re the experts in guiding you through the substitute teacher requirements. The good news is, it’s relatively easy to become a substitute teacher in Florida. You don’t need a substitute teacher certification or license, and the Florida Department of Education does not issue special certificates or permits for substitute teachers. However, you’ll need to meet some minimum requirements and complete steps in the process.

Keep in mind that some school districts may have additional requirements beyond what the state requires.

Minimum Florida state requirements, at a glance*:

  • Age: 18 years old
  • Education: high school diploma or equivalent
  • Employment verification to work in the U.S.
  • Background check
  • Fingerprinting
  • Pre-credential training

In addition to Florida state requirements, Kelly Education requires:

  • Pre-hire training (this also satisfies the requirement for the above-mentioned state pre-credential training)
  • New hire orientation

A deeper dive into substitute teacher requirements.

Though becoming a substitute teacher in Florida is relatively easy, the process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to complete. To get into the classroom as soon as possible, be sure to stay on top of the steps in the process.

Education verification.

While the minimum education to work as a substitute teacher in Florida is a high school diploma or equivalent, it may be worth the effort to get your college transcripts if you have higher education credits. Some school districts provide higher pay based on education level. A Kelly Education recruiter will be happy to discuss pay rates with you.

You’ll need to request transcripts from the school representing your highest education level. If you’re requesting transcripts from a college, there may be a cost, generally around $10 to $15. This can take 3 to 5 days to receive, so plan accordingly.

Employment verification.

Like most jobs, substitute teachers must provide proof that they can legally work in the U.S. To complete this step, you’ll submit an I-9 form with valid identification credentials. This form can be completed in just a few minutes. If working with Kelly Education, we’ll guide you through this process.

Background check and fingerprinting.

To ensure the safety of students, the Florida Department of Education requires background checks for anyone interested in becoming a substitute teacher.

As part of the background check process, you must submit fingerprints.  The cost of fingerprinting and a background check can vary by county. Kelly Education has fingerprinting machines onsite in several Florida locations for our new hires. Fingerprinting is a brief, 15-minute appointment, though it can take a few days to get results.

In some districts, you may be required to complete a drug screening. Typically, oral drug screening is available in Florida, free of charge, and provides immediate results.


Training is an essential part of becoming a successful substitute teacher. Florida requires anyone without classroom teaching experience to complete training on classroom management skills and instructional strategies. However, it is Kelly Education’s policy that all interested substitute teachers, regardless of prior experience, complete training. Kelly Education provides free online ClassSmarts training that meets the state requirement and takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete.

Kelly Education also requires that all hired substitute educators complete a one-hour online New Hire Orientation training. This is paid training and covers Kelly Education and district-specific policies and procedures.

Getting started with Kelly Education and our school district partners.

Kelly Education works with school districts throughout the state of Florida to provide quality substitute teachers. The best way to get started is to fill out our interest form, and a Kelly Education recruiter will reach out to explain the next steps and answer any questions you may have about working as a substitute teacher in Florida. You can trust the team at Kelly Education to provide you with the information and support necessary for an efficient application process.

* Information subject to change. This is a general guideline. School districts may have more requirements, in addition to state requirements. 


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