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

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If you have not already, please click here to register your account with Swing Education. We will be unable to update your account progress unless you have completed our registration form!

Educational Requirements to Become a Substitute Teacher

Although New York state does not have a minimum educational requirement for substitute teachers, many schools, districts, and substitute teacher companies do.

For this reason, Swing Education requires all of its New York substitute teachers to hold a bachelor’s degree.

Credentials and Permits

Unlike many states, New York does not offer a specific substitute teacher permit, and a teaching certificate is not required to become a substitute teacher. However, depending on the demand for credentialed vs non-credentialed substitute teachers from our school partners, there will be times where we are only onboarding those who have already obtained a permit. 

There are advantages to subbing with a teaching certificate (e.g. substitutes without a certificate can work only 40 days in a given school district in an academic year). If you do hold a teaching certificate in New York, you can use this website to look up your information.

Substitute Teacher Background Check

To become a substitute teacher in New York, the first step is to get fingerprinted with the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

How To Schedule Your Fingerprinting Appointment

  1. Visit the IdentoGO site
  2. Enter your information and follow the prompts to set up your appointment
  3. Save the confirmation email for your records

Attend Your Fingerprint Appointment

  1. Bring the government-issued identification you provided when you signed up for the appointment
  2. Be prepared to pay $99 (via credit card, business check, or money order)
  3. At the conclusion of your appointment, the MorphoTrust enrollment agent will provide you with an IdentoGo receipt stating that you were fingerprinted

After Your Fingerprint Appointment

You can check your submission status by clicking on this link.


If You’ve Already Been Fingerprinted

If you’ve been fingerprinted since 2001 with the New York State Education Department, you won’t need to get fingerprinted again. (Schools and companies that work with substitute teachers will be able to access a current background check based on that original scan.)


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.