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Become a Substitute Teacher in Missouri

Missouri DESE offers two types of substitute teaching certificates, depending on the individual’s professional background and classroom placement. The two substitute teaching certificates offered are a Content Substitute certificate and a Career Technical Substitute certificate. Regardless of certification, all candidates are required to complete and pass a background check and fingerprint clearance on both a state and federal level


Certification: Content Substitute
For candidates who wish to substitute teach in a K-12 classroom setting, through a number of subject areas. Applicants must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit from an accredited institution

Certification: Career Technical Substitute
For candidates who will only substitute teach in an approved vocational program or career center (carpentry, nursing, etc.) Certification is granted depending on applicant’s experience and training in a specific field. Applicants must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree in area seeking certification + 4,000 hours of approved and related occupational experience
  • Associate’s degree in area seeking certification + 5,000 hours of approved and related occupational experience
  • 6,000 hours of approved and related occupational experience

Candidates who already hold valid teaching certificates are not required to apply for a substitute teaching certificate.


Learn more about earning your teacher certification in Missouri.