How to Become a Substitute Teacher in New Jersey

Since the start of the pandemic, New Jersey school districts have struggled with a lack of teachers, which negatively impacts student education. This is where you come in! Help your local schools by becoming a New Jersey substitute teacher. 

Substitute teaching is perfect if you want to:

  • Explore teaching as a career
  • Make an impact in your local community
  • Earn money with a flexible work schedule

We’ll cover the requirements to be a substitute teacher in New Jersey, and the teaching certifications you will need.  We’ll also go over the benefits of working with a teacher staffing agency if you’re interested in subbing through Scoot Education.

Table of Contents:

  1. Apply for a New Jersey substitute credential
  2. Undergo a background check
  3. Submit an online application
  4. Consider teaching with a teacher agency

1.) Apply for a New Jersey substitute certificate

woman thinking

There are two types of substitute teaching certificates/credentials in New Jersey. The 60-credit substitute credential, and the 30-credit substitute credential. Both credentials allow you to be a substitute teacher, but the requirements to obtain them are different.

These credentials allow you to substitute teach for a maximum of 20 days per classroom in a year. If necessary, the school you’re subbing at can request up to a 20-day extension from the Executive County Superintendent. Each credential is valid for 5 years from the date you receive it. Here are the requirements to obtain each one:

60-Credit Instructional Substitute Credential

  • Have at least 60+ semester-hour credits at a regionally accredited college or university OR be currently enrolled with a minimum of 30 semester-hour credits. Verification of your enrollment will be required.
  • Get criminal background clearance. The approval date must be within 5 months of the application date with “Substitute Teacher” as the job position. 

30-Credit Instructional Substitute Credential 

  • Have at least 30+ semester-hour credits at a nationally accredited college or university OR be currently enrolled at the time of application. Verification of your enrollment will be required.
  • Be at least 20 years of age
  • Get criminal background clearance. The approval date must be within 5 months of the application date with “Substitute Teacher” as the job position.

All prospective substitute teachers must apply for a credential on NJEDCert

On NJEDCert, you’ll need to complete the background questions and the oath of allegiance. Next, you’ll submit the application and pay the $125 processing fee. It takes 6-8 weeks for your credential to be processed and issued. Be sure to check your account periodically to view the status of your application.

2.) Undergo a background check

As part of the application process, you will need to undergo a background check. The process is different depending on whether you’re a new applicant or a returning one.

  • New Applicants – candidates who have never worked for a school in the state of New Jersey
  • Archive applicants – candidates who have worked for a school in New Jersey and are changing school districts. This only applies to candidates who have been fingerprinted after March 2003 

The process for both categories is similar with slight variations.

  1. Seek a sponsor organization or school district for criminal history record clearance. This can include a teacher staffing company like Scoot Education.
  2. Pay the $10 administrative fee for the background clearance on the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) Office of Student Protection website. There’s also a $1 convenience fee.
  3. Choose from either the “New Applicant” or “Archive Applicant” selection, fill out all the information, and make the payment. You also have to print out and complete the IdentoGO New Jersey Universal Fingerprint Form, which can be downloaded from the linked website.
  4. Schedule an appointment on the IdentoGO website by selecting the digital fingerprinting option at the bottom of the page. The fingerprinting price is $66.05 for those who have never been fingerprinted in the state of New Jersey (new applicants), and $29.75 if you have been fingerprinted in the state after March 2003 (archive applicants). If you’re applying through Scoot, we will reimburse you for the fingerprinting fees on your first paycheck – just remember to keep your receipt!
  5. Attend the appointment and get fingerprinted. Be sure to bring a photo ID and the IdentoGO New Jersey Universal Fingerprint Form.

In approximately two weeks, you’ll be able to view the results of your background check on the Office of Student Protection Status Webpage

3.) Submit an application

Once you have received your substitute teacher credential and passed a background check, you can contact your sponsoring organization about available substitute teaching positions and submitting applications.

If you’re applying with Scoot, you just need to fill out one online application to sub at a variety of schools. Ready to sub with us? Apply today. We require each applicant to:

  1. Upload a form of government ID (e.g., a passport)
  2. Prove your authorization to work in the United States
  3. Submit three references. One of them must be a past or present supervisor. 

4.) Why sub with an agency?

happy substitute teacher in New Jersey

Subbing with an agency means feeling supported in your work as a substitute teacher and getting benefits that subs without agencies don’t have.

Here are some of the benefits of subbing with Scoot Education:

  • You’ll get access to your own Scoot consultant, an expert in the education field who can answer all your teaching-related questions. Whether you’re a new substitute teacher or a veteran educator with plenty of teaching experience, your Scoot consultant has your back!
  • Get exclusive access to Scoot Camp. This voluntary teacher preparation program has been designed to help educators feel prepared for success in the classroom. Through Scoot Camp, you will get access to exclusive resources from education experts, all from the comfort of your own computer. This free professional development covers three important subjects:
    • Behavior management
    • Special education
    • Trauma-informed teaching
  • Be in full control of your schedule with our app Scoot2Work. We have no availability minimum so you can work as much or as little as you want.
  • Enjoy weekly pay every Friday via direct deposit straight into your bank account!

Ready to sub with Scoot?

Become a Scoot Education substitute teacher today and start making a difference in schools near you!

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