How to Become a Substitute Teacher in Florida

So you’re interested in how to become a substitute teacher in Florida. Lucky for you, becoming a sub in Florida is super easy! To get started, all you need is:

  • A high school diploma
  • A background check
  • Completion of an online training course (if you have no prior experience)

Since the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE) does not standardize how to become a substitute in their state, each county and school district has their unique application process. This means you have to submit a new application each time you apply to a new district.

But if you apply with an educational staffing company like Scoot, you only need to submit one application to teach at multiple school districts. We also help place you in the right substitute teaching positions suited to your classroom and schedule preferences.

Our guide will explain everything you need to know about the substitute application process for any district in Florida.

Table of Contents

  1. Requirements to become a substitute teacher in Florida
  2. Florida teaching licenses
  3. Become a substitute teacher with Scoot Education

(Pst! Already ready to start teaching?)

Requirements to become a substitute teacher in Florida

Florida substitute teacher requirements


To become a substitute teacher in Florida, you must hold a high school diploma or equivalent certification, and be at least 18 years old.

Some districts may require a minimum GPA.

 However, with Scoot, you can get hired without worrying about district-specific requirements.

Background check

Next, you’ll have to pass a background check to ensure you can provide a safe experience for students.

To complete a background check, you must submit your fingerprints to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Your fingerprints will be checked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) databases for any criminal records.

How to get fingerprinted

If you’re applying directly to a school district, you must visit a school district’s office to have your fingerprints taken. Prepare to pay fingerprinting fees and bring official identification documents and a valid social security card.

Cost of fingerprinting

Fingerprinting fees can range from $71 to $81 when you go through the school district’s fingerprinting process.

If you apply with Scoot Education, we reimburse the cost up to $90 for the live scan in your first paycheck.

School district specific requirements

You may have to complete onboarding programs to be prepared to teach at schools and submit additional documents to prove your competency as an educator.

Complete any mandatory trainings

If you lack teaching experience, some school districts may ask you to complete online training programs offered by the district, a third-party education service provider, or a local college.

The training programs are designed to help newly hired subs teach and handle classrooms effectively. They’ll cover school safety procedures as well.

If you apply to Scoot Education, you’ll get access to our teacher preparation program called ScootCamp that sets you up for success in the classroom. This free online course covers behavior management, special education, and trauma-informed teaching.

Submit relevant teaching experience and credentials

Perhaps you have prior teaching or classroom experience or already hold a formal teaching certification. Great! You’re more likely to secure that sub position.

Don’t forget to highlight your relevant skills and background in your application to increase your chances of getting a callback.

Providing official paperwork like letters from previous principals or substitute teaching credentials makes your application stand out.

If you don’t have relevant job experiences, focus on highlighting transferable skills in your resume. Schools are looking for candidates with:

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Classroom management skills
  • Flexibility and adaptability to different classroom environments and situations
Collect references

Some applications may need 2 or more references to learn about you beyond your work experience. List people who can positively attest to your job performance, like former supervisors, coworkers, professors, or supervising teachers.

Florida teaching licenses

Florida doesn’t issue a state-level substitute teacher license or permit. This means you’ll be applying for a district specific certificate, like the Seminole County Substitute Certificate, for example.

Or you’ll apply for one of the two Florida educator certificates: the Temporary or Professional Certificate.

You can apply for one of these certificates on the FLDOE’s online licensing portal.

Let’s review the difference between the two certificates and how to apply for one.

Temporary Certificate

The Temporary Certificate is valid for three school years and nonrenewable. Temporary Certificates are issued to those who hold a bachelor’s degree, but don’t meet all the requirements for the Professional Certificate.

This certificate lets you substitute teach, while working to meet the Professional Certificate requirements, which include passing certification exams and passing state-approved teacher preparation programs.

Professional Certificate

The Professional Certificate is Florida’s highest educator certificate. It is valid for five school years and renewable. If you’re pursuing teaching as a full-time career, this certificate is the one for you.

You must have a bachelor’s degree, but also pass the FTCE – Florida Teacher Certification Examinations and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program from a Florida institution.

You can look up your license status on FLDOE’s online licensing portal.

Certificate Comparison
Professional CertificateTemporary Certificate
Valid for 5 school yearsValid for 3 school years
Florida’s highest educator certificateProvides time to complete all requirements for a Professional Certificate while teaching full-time
Certificate Requirements
Professional CertificateTemporary Certificate
Bachelor’s degreeBachelor’s degree
Demonstrate mastery of Subject Area KnowledgeDemonstrate mastery of Subject Area Knowledge or meet Subject Specialization with a 2.5 GPA for a requested subject
Demonstrate mastery of General KnowledgeN/A
Demonstrate Mastery of Professional Preparation and Education CompetenceN/A
Complete a fingerprint-based background screeningComplete a fingerprint-based background screening

Certification steps

To apply for a certification, follow these steps:

  1. Complete your initial application package: Submit an online application through the FLDOE licensing portal. Provide all the required documents and transcripts. You’ll also need to pay the appropriate processing fee.
  2. Wait for your Official Statement of Status of Eligibility (SOE): This document shows whether you’re eligible or not eligible for the Temporary or Professional Certificate in the subject area you requested. It’s valid for three years.
  3. Secure employment in a school: With an SOE, you can now apply for jobs at any school in Florida. Florida’s 67 public school districts only hire candidates with an SOE – so do charter schools, Florida virtual schools, and some private schools. You must get a substitute teacher job offer, before completing the certification process.
  4. Submit your fingerprints: You’ll receive your certificate once you’ve been cleared of any disqualifying offense.

Become a substitute teacher with Scoot Education


Now you know how to become a substitute teacher in Florida!

Because each school district has their own application process and requirements, it can be pretty confusing trying to navigate them.

If you want to work at a new Florida school district, you’ll have to submit an entirely new substitute teacher job application every time. Fortunately, subbing with Scoot means you only have to submit one application to be eligible for all substitute positions in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach school districts!

Not only do we make applying a lot faster and hassle-free, we also provide a lot of perks to our Scoot subs.

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

  • Have access to your own Scoot consultant, an expert in the education field who can answer all your teaching-related questions. Whether you need help becoming a sub or need advice when teaching, your Scoot consultant has your back!
  • Get exclusive access to ScootCamp, our voluntary teacher preparation program that helps educators feel prepared for success in the classroom. This free online professional development course covers three important subjects:
    • Behavior management
    • Special education
    • Trauma-informed teaching
  • Be in full control of your schedule with our app Scoot 2 Work. 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 Education? 

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

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