Huge demand for substitute teachers could provide options for Floridians out of work due to pandemic

Need grows as pandemic persists in Sunshine State
Posted at 5:32 AM, Nov 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-06 07:01:23-05

TAMPA, Fla. — As we rebound from the pandemic, school districts across Florida are seeing a huge need for substitute teachers, creating an opportunity for those out of work due to the pandemic.

Kelly Education, the company that helps recruit, train and place substitute teachers in school districts across the state of Florida says becoming a sub is flexible. Those who go into the pool of substitute teachers have the option of picking up a job for the day through a large online portal, or not working for the day.

"You can work as much as you want, or as few days as you would like to," said Cheryl Courier, Southeast Practice Leader of Kelly Education. "If you're a retiree and you have a hobby, you can do your hobby and still work as a substitute. It's really just a great way to get involved and support your community and your community school."

For someone in between jobs, Courier said working as a substitute teacher could allow you to interview a few days a week and work a few days a week.

→ Apply to become a substitute teacher with Kelly Education in Hillsborough County Schools
→ Apply to become a substitute teacher with Pinellas County Schools
→ Frequently asked questions about substitute teaching with Kelly Education in HCPS

To become a substitute teacher, expect about two hours of online training, as well as some in-person, face-to-face training and a stringent program to help new applicants feel comfortable entering a classroom.

To qualify as a substitute teacher in Hillsborough County, Kelly Education said you need a minimum of a high school diploma. However, those with degrees make slightly more per hour. The pay for a substitute teacher ranges anywhere from about $8 per hour to $12 per hour.

Kelly Education said that for some, this actually turns into a new career.

"We do find some people who are interested, go into the classroom as a substitute and realize this is a calling," Courier said. "They get really excited about it."

For substitute teachers who want to become full-time, licensed teachers, Kelly Education will work with you to get an alternative certification. It takes about 18 months.

This comes as Tampa Bay area doctors are preparing for more people in the hospital with either the flu or COVID-19 as we head into the heart of flu season.

The concern is that this may end up taking more working teachers temporarily out of their classrooms due to illness or quarantining, therefore increasing the need for substitutes.