School systems would not be able to provide uninterrupted instruction for every classroom without the help of full-time substitute teachers. Full-time substitutes stand in for teachers in multiple schools within the same school systems. They adhere to required curricula so students don't fall behind in various subjects, including math, science, social studies or English. If you want to work as a full-time substitute teacher, you will need to check with your local board of education for state requirements. Annual salaries are usually about average compared to other occupations, depending on where you live. (See references 2 and 3 and resource 1)
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary for a full-time substitute teacher was $40,000 as of 2013, according to the job website Indeed.com. Qualifications vary by state or district. Fifteen states required at least a bachelor's degree, according to the Successful Teaching and Educational Development Institute; seven states require that you have a certain number of college credits. Professionals seeking opportunities as full-time substitute teachers will also need to display patience and creativity, as well as instructional and communication skills. (See references 3 to 5)
Average annual salaries for full-time substitute teachers can vary significantly by U.S. region. In 2013, full-time substitutes earned between $35,000 and $47,000 per year in the northeast region, according too Indeed.com -- with lows in Pennsylvania and highs in New York. Those in the west region earned lows of $28,000 in Hawaii and highs of $44,000 in California. These professionals earned $33,000 and $47,000 per year, respectively, in Louisiana and Mississippi, which represented low and high salaries for the south region. And those in the mid-west region made from $31,000 in South Dakota to $42,000 in Illinois. (See references 7 to 10)
The size of a full-time substitute teacher's employer often determines their annual incomes, as large school systems usually have bigger budgets to support higher salaries. Full-time substitutes can also earn more with experience, as schools might increase their salaries each year they remain employed. Compensation for full-time substitute professionals tends to be higher in districts or states such as Washington D.C. and New York because of higher living costs.
Job opportunities for full-time substitute teachers are likely to increase as the demand for teachers increases. That said, jobs for elementary and middle school teachers are expected to increase 17 percent in the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is about average compared to the 14 percent growth rate for all jobs. Jobs for high school teachers will grow at a slower pace -- 7 percent -- during this time. People interested in this field might find more jobs in high-growth cities, as increases in school enrollments will spur new opportunities. Overall, substitute teachers who take courses in education -- or even get bachelor's degrees -- can enhance their number of job opportunities and demand the highest salaries. (See reference 1)