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If you’re interested in becoming a substitute teacher in Colorado, you’re in the right place. Colorado offers three different substitute teacher licenses, each with different experience and education requirements.

  • 1-year substitute authorization
  • 3-year substitute authorization
  • 5-year substitute authorization

In this blog, we’ll cover the requirements for each of these licenses and the necessary documents you’ll need to submit in your application.

Looking for an in-depth step-by-step guide to becoming a Colorado sub? Check out our guide: How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Colorado.

Table of Contents

  1. Why get certified?
  2. Colorado’s 3 types of substitute teacher licenses
  3. Additional documents to submit in your application
  4. Where and how do I apply?

Why get certified?

Expands your placement options

While you don’t need a Colorado substitute teacher license to get started teaching, it certainly gives you more options and flexibility with where you want to teach.

Generally, charter and public schools in Colorado require you to have a substitute teaching certification before you start subbing. Some private schools and teaching assistant positions won’t check for it.

Getting certified is quick and easy

Getting certified as a substitute teacher in Colorado is simple. All you need to do is apply online and pass a background check. Most of our subs have received their authorizations within 1-2 weeks of submitting their application.

Subbing without a certification – it’s possible with Scoot!

As long as you have 48+ hours of college credit, we can place you in a classroom without a substitute teacher authorization. Just note that you may not be able to work at schools that require certified subs.

If you don’t have enough college credit, you must obtain a one-year substitute authorization. If you have enough credits, we still recommend that you apply to get certified because it gives you more placement opportunities.

Become a Scoot substitute educator!

Apply Now

Colorado’s 3 types of substitute teacher licenses

The Colorado substitute teacher license is also known as an authorization. The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) issues three types of substitute authorizations – the 1-year, 3-year, and 5-year – depending on your educational background and experience.

The substitute authorization allows you to work as a substitute teacher in any Colorado public school district, BOXES, charter school, or CDE-approved facility school for grades K-12.

Here’s a comparison of each authorization type:

1) The substitute teacher license for current students

1-Year Substitute Authorization

The 1-year authorization allows you to be a substitute teacher for a year and is perfect for those who don’t have a bachelor’s degree or are just interested in teaching for a short time.

Requirements to Apply
  • A high school diploma or its equivalent
  • Proof of successful experience working with children
  • $50 application fee

2) The classic substitute teacher license

3-Year Substitute Authorization

The 3-year authorization allows you to substitute teach in Colorado for three years and is ideal for recent college grads and career changers.

Requirements to Apply

3) The experienced substitute teacher license

5-Year Substitute Authorization

The 5-year authorization allows you to substitute teach for five years. It’s ideal for people who already have full-time teaching experience and are now interested in subbing.

Requirements to Apply
  • An active or expired Colorado teacher license (not special services, principal or administrator) OR an active out-of-state teacher license
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university
  • $90 application fee

Additional documents to submit in your application

You’ll also need to submit these documents for your online application regardless of your type of Colorado substitute teacher license:

  • Fingerprint-based background check on file with the CDE
  • Valid form of government ID
  • Previous work experience
  • Self-disclosure documentation of any:
    • Criminal history
    • Disciplinary actions
    • Issues related to licensure or employment

Where and how do I apply?

Set up your COOL (elicensing) account

Once you’ve gathered all necessary documents, log onto COOL (Colorado Online Licensing) to create your licensure account.

  • Create your lifetime COOL account under your complete legal name
  • You must have an assigned Social Security number
  • Include a personal email address that you check often

Your COOL account is where you will virtually apply for your authorization by submitting the required documents for approval. It will include the status of your application and background check.

Get a background check

To get your fingerprint-based background check, schedule a fingerprinting appointment with one of these approved vendors:

  • IdentoGo
  • American Bioidentity Inc./Colorado Fingerprinting

After your appointment, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will forward the submitted fingerprints to the FBI. Do NOT mail fingerprint submissions to the CDE or the CBI. They will be destroyed for security purposes.

You have 30 days from the time the CDE receives your background check to submit a complete authorization application. If you do not submit a completed application within these 30 days, you will need to submit another set of fingerprints.

Use IdentoGo with Scoot for reimbursement

If you’re opting to become a substitute with Scoot, you’ll do a background check via IdentoGo. We’ll reimburse you up to $55 for the fingerprinting fee on your first paycheck – just remember to keep your receipt!

Ready to sub with Scoot Education?

If you’re interested in subbing, apply to Scoot Education! We’re a substitute educator staffing company dedicated to creating exceptional experiences in education.

As a Scoot sub, you’ll get ultimate flexibility in your work schedule, 1-on-1 support through a personal Education Consultant, and market leading pay.

Apply Now