How to become a substitute teacher in Georgia.

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Congratulations on your decision to pursue a rewarding career as a substitute teacher in Georgia! Not sure where to begin? Kelly Education provides substitute teachers to hundreds of schools in Georgia, so we’re the experts in guiding people through the requirements. 

Becoming a substitute teacher in Georgia is relatively easy. The Georgia Department of Education does not issue or require special certifications or permits to substitute teach. However, individual school districts may have their own additional requirements.

Minimum Georgia requirements, at a glance*:

Before becoming a substitute teacher with Kelly Education in Georgia, you must meet the following requirements: 

  • 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 Georgia 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.

While Georgia doesn’t have many requirements to become a substitute teacher, the process can still take a few days to a few weeks. The speed at which this happens depends on how quickly you address what’s needed. Background checks and fingerprinting can also extend the time from application to placement. 

Education verification.

As part of the application process to become a substitute teacher, you may need a transcript from the school that represents your highest education level. If a college transcript is required, there is often a fee for each request, generally around $10 to $15. Once the request is submitted, it can take 3 – 5 days to receive your transcript, so plan accordingly. Be sure to discuss this requirement with your Kelly Education advisor. Many of the districts in Georgia will accept a diploma instead of a transcript. 

The minimum education to work as a substitute teacher in Georgia is a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some school districts provide higher pay based on education level, so you should consider submitting college transcripts if you have them. A Kelly Education recruiter can discuss pay rates with you. 

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, Kelly Education and the Georgia Department of Education require background checks for anyone interested in becoming a substitute teacher. 

The background check might involve a fingerprinting session at a designated location within the school district or at another approved location like the local police department. This is typically a brief, 15-minute appointment, but the results of fingerprinting and background checks can take anywhere from 3 to 10 days. The cost of fingerprinting and a background check can vary by county. 

In some Georgia school districts, you may also be required to complete a drug screening, which can take 1 to 3 days for results. The cost for this screening varies but typically ranges from $50-$100. 


If you want to become a substitute teacher in Georgia, you must complete four hours of special training on classroom management and Child Abuse: Mandatory Reporting. When you work in one of our partner districts, Kelly Education provides this state-required training, free of charge, through its online ClassSmarts pre-hire training. 

Kelly Education also requires all our hired substitute teachers to complete a one-hour online New Hire Orientation training. This paid training covers Kelly Education policies and procedures, as well as district-specific guidelines. 

Getting started with Kelly Education and our school district partners.

Kelly Education works with many school districts in Georgia to provide quality substitute teachers. To get started, let us know you’re interested! A Kelly Education recruiter will contact you to explain the next steps and answer any questions you have about becoming a substitute teacher. We’ll help you to feel more informed and confident throughout the 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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