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How to Become a Teacher in California Without Credentials

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Teaching in California is possible with or without a credential, which can be a single or multiple subject credential obtained upon completion of a bachelor's degree. However, before you can teach in a California school, you must comply with state laws and file the necessary forms. The process is not difficult, but can take several weeks. If you do not meet minimum educational requirements, your application will be rejected.

Apply for an Emergency 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit, which authorizes you to serve as a day-to-day substitute teacher in any classroom, including preschool, kindergarten and grades one to 12 inclusive, according to the State Of California Commission On Teacher Credentialing.

Complete application Form 41-4. Provide an official transcript from a regionally-accredited college or university, along with a LiveScan receipt (Form 41-LS). Pay the application processing fee. Submit your documents directly to the commission.

Serve as a substitute teacher for up to 30 days for any one teacher during the school year. If you exceed this limit, your permit may be revoked.

Geographic State and Metropolitan Salary Map for Substitute Teachers

Apply to teach as an after-school or test-prep teacher. Employers like Think Together and Kaplan offer teaching opportunities throughout California. Complete an employment application, interview in person and undergo on-the-job training.


You must have taken the exam for the subject you are interested in teaching and have achieved a score at or above the 90th percentile, according to Kaplan.

Additional permits are also available, such as the Emergency Substitute Teaching Permit for Prospective Teachers, Emergency Career Substitute Teaching Permit or Emergency Vocational Education 30-Day Substitute Teaching Permit.


Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.

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