5 Surprising Statistics that Shed Light on the Lives of Substitute Teachers

Aug 16, 2017 by

America does not show enough appreciation for her educators. And, perhaps nowhere is this fact more apparent than in how we treat our substitute teachers. Let’s look at some statistics that show the shocking life of a substitute teacher.

Subs Get Paid as Little as $50 for a Day of Work

The National Education Association gives a state-by-state rundown of how much substitutes make for an average day of work. The pay for a full day of work ranges from $50 to $234. For example, in Alaska, where there is a shortage of subs, there are minimal barriers to becoming one. Without certification, they earn about $80 daily versus $125 with certification. Massachusetts, considered one of the best-educated states by many metrics, has school districts that pay pitiful rates of as low as $50 per day.

42% of Subs Hope to Someday Become Full-Time

Most substitute teachers have no interest in becoming full-time teachers. Instead, they see it as a temporary job until they can get work doing what they truly enjoy. There are also some who thrive in the constantly-changing life of a substitute teacher and choose to sub full time with a district.

38% of Full-Time Teachers Were Once Subs

This statistic is from a comprehensive study of one large school district: Miami-Dade County public schools. However, it shows that a fairly high proportion of subs who hope to become full-time actually succeed in doing so. School districts tend to encourage people in their last year of training to substitute to see if they are a good fit.

Subs Usually Have to Pay More for Car Insurance

When you apply for car insurance, the insurer inevitably asks if you will be traveling for work. They define driving your car for work as any sort of driving you will do for your job that is anything other than driving to a single place of work. Consequently, if you are a substitute teacher for a school district and will sub at more than one location, you fall into this category. And, car insurers usually charge a higher premium to cover you.

15 States Require Subs to Have College Degrees

Whether or not a state requires its substitutes to have a college degree depends heavily upon how large of a demand they have for subs. And, the increased requirement does not necessarily translate to better pay. In fact, in one of the worst-paying states, Massachusetts, subs are required to have bachelor’s degrees.

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