NOTE: Individuals with valid Missouri teaching certificates who wish to substitute teach in a school district are no longer required by the department to apply for a substitute certificate. This includes individuals who hold an initial professional, career continuous professional, lifetime, student services, administration, provisional, and/or temporary certificate. There are restrictions on the number of hours a retired teacher may substitute teach. If, at any time, the educator allows his/her teaching certificate to expire, then a substitute certificate would be required.
DESE issues two types of substitute certificates, depending upon the setting(s) in which an individual will be placed. Regardless of the type of substitute certificate, each applicant is required to complete a background check if he/she is requesting a new certificate or is considered to be a new hire at a school district. If an applicant has previously fingerprinted for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, a new fingerprint clearance will be required if the previous one is over twelve months old.
A Content Substitute certificate is for individuals wishing to substitute teach in the K-12 classroom setting (elementary, middle/high school content areas, special education, art, music, PE, etc.). A Content Substitute certificate may be granted to an individual who has completed a minimum of 60 semester hours of credit from a regionally accredited, academic degree-granting, college or university. Verification of these hours must be provided with an original transcript from each institution the applicant has attended.
A Career Technical Substitute certificate is for individuals who will only substitute teach in a career center or an approved vocational program in courses such as carpentry, welding, nursing, etc. A Career Technical Substitute certificate is granted based upon an applicant’s occupational experience and training in a specific field. Applicants must meet one of the following:
A bachelor’s degree in an area appropriate for the career/technical area sought and four thousand (4,000) hours of locally approved, related occupational experience; or
An associate's degree in an area appropriate for the career/technical area sought and five thousand (5,000) hours of locally approved, related experience; or
Six thousand (6,000) hours of locally approved, related occupational experience.
The Educator Certification System located within DESE Web Applications provides users with access to each of the following:
Please Note: If you have not logged in to your certification account in over 12 months, then you will need to register for a new userid and password in order to restore your access. The directions to complete this process are located in the Educator Certification System Help Guide.