- The coronavirus pandemic is deepening the substitute teacher shortage that was already present in some parts of the country.
- As schools look to fill substitute teacher positions, we decided to look at how much money this occupation typically makes.
- The following map highlights the varying average annual salaries of short-term substitute teachers in the US.
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The novel coronavirus has brought on many challenges for school districts, including figuring out how to keep students and staff safe and deciding the best way to hold classes in the fall semester. But, a shortage of teachers and substitute teachers is another long-simmering issue confronting school systems.
Some school districts around the US were already facing substitute teacher shortages prior to the pandemic, and the upcoming school year may mean a higher demand for substitutes to fill in if educators get sick or are required to quarantine. The problem is even worse now that some teachers have decided to retire early amid pandemic concerns. A USA Today/Ipsos poll from May found 1 in 5 teachers planned to not return to school if their school chose to reopen in the fall.
A full list of the status of substitute teachers from the National Education Association mentions a few states with shortages, including Illinois, Iowa, and New Hampshire.
Local news outlets are reporting on such shortages as the school year approaches. NBC Connecticut reports that staffing company Kelly Education has found demand has “doubled since this time last year” and is continuing to rise in the state. Local news in Nebraska 10/11 NOW reporting on substitute teacher shortages in Lincoln, Nebraska, said it is hard to fill these positions because some substitutes are retired teachers who are more at risk of getting seriously ill from the coronavirus.
One state is changing the necessary requirements for substitutes to fill this demand. According to local Missouri news KY3, potential candidates can take an online course for 20 hours as long as you have at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. This is much faster than the typical requirement of 60 hours of college credit.
As school districts address the need for substitute teachers, we decided to look at how much this job typically makes.
The Bureau of Labour Statistics provides annual average salary data for short-term substitute teachers. Short-term substitute teachers make less than the national average of all occupations. The US average for short-term substitute teachers is $US32,460 per year, $US21,030 less than the US annual average among all jobs.
Pay for substitutes varies by state. The average annual salary in Hawaii was $US48,200 in May 2019, the highest salary among states. Oregon followed closely behind at $US44,710. Colorado did not have salary data for this occupation.
The following map highlights the salaries for substitute teachers nationwide. We also included the number of employees in each state as of May 2019.