How Do I Become a Substitute Teacher in Illinois — The Complete Guide

Substitute Teaching License and Registration

To substitute teach with Swing Education, you'll need to have a Substitute Teaching License or a Professional Educator License (PEL) in Illinois. If you do not have any one of these licenses already, applying for a Substitute Teacher License is likely the best option.

To get started, log in or create an Education Licensure Information System (ELIS) account with the Illinois State Board of Education and follow the Substitute Application process. You must register your License in the regions you intend to work in. You should select Cook County, as our school partners are within that region. If you have already registered your license, you can add more regions on the ELIS website free of cost.

You can also substitute teach if you have a BA degree (official transcript must be on file with the IL BOE) and either: a valid Educator License with Stipulations (“ELS”) or Paraprofessional License.

Educational Requirements 

If you do not have a Substitute Teaching License or a PEL, and instead hold only an ELS, we will need to verify that you hold at least a Bachelor's Degree (BA or BS) from a regionally accredited university. 


Background Check Requirements

You'll need to get a background check before teaching as a substitute teacher in Illinois.

  • Take this form to an Accurate Biometrics location near you. Bring your form, a current government-issued picture ID (such as a driver’s license, State ID, or passport), and an approved form of payment (credit cards work). No appointment is needed. 
  • Be prepared to pay for the background check. Background check cost is $63.50 as of August 2023, but is subject to change per the discretion of Accurate Biometrics. 
  • Please upload your Accurate Biometrics confirmation receipts to your Swing profile. 

Chicago Public School Do Not Hire List

Before teaching with Swing Education, you will have to certify that, to the best of your knowledge, you have never been on the CPS Do Not Hire List. 

How do I know if I’m on the Do Not Hire list?

If you ever worked at a CPS school and were added to the CPS Do Not Hire List, then you would have received a letter regarding your Do Not Hire designation. If you have questions, please visit this link: and click the 'Do Not Hire' tab for more information

Submit your COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation

You'll be prompted to complete a COVID-19 Vaccination Attestation form to verify your vaccination records or to submit a request for exemption due to reasonable accommodations. You can learn more about it here.

Mandated Reporter Acknowledgment Form

All substitute teachers in Illinois are Mandated Reporters under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act [325 ILCS 5/4]. Please log in to your account to review and sign the Mandated Reporter Acknowledgment form to acknowledge your child abuse and neglect reporting obligations under the law. 



How do I get a Substitute teaching license? Click here for step-by-step instructions:

Getting a Sub license

  • Once you have an account, log in and click “Apply for a New License, Endorsement, or Approval” on the home screen. Complete the application. 

  • A $50​ fee will be assessed electronically when the application is submitted. Please have a credit card available. The cost is subject to change.

  • Send an official* transcript either electronically to, or via mail to:

Illinois State Board of Education
Educator Licensure
100 N. 1st Street
Springfield, IL 62777

*To be official, transcripts must be submitted in the original, sealed envelope from the college or university or be sent directly by the institution to the Illinois State Board of Education.

Register your license

Once you have obtained your license, you must register your license before you can start working as a substitute teacher. You can just log in to your ELIS account and follow the steps under Registrations in the Action Center. 


Additional Resources: 

Locations of schools we work with