You are here

Become a Substitute / Guest Teacher!

Colorado Students Need You! Be A Sub!

Make Up to $200 per Day!

While compensation varies from district to district, you can make between $100 and $200 a day as a substitute teacher. Colorado issues three types of substitute authorizations -- 1-year, 3-year and 5-year -- based on your educational background and experience, which allow you to work as a substitute teacher in a Colorado public school district, BOCES, charter school or CDE-approved facility school. Issued without a specific content or endorsement area, all substitute authorizations are valid for serving in K-12 classrooms.

Want to work with our youngest students?  Substitute in a preschool classroom!  Depending on its level, your CDE-issued substitute authorization may allow school districts to hire you as a substitute for early childhood director and teacher vacancies.  Apply and start working with Colorado's youngest school-aged children today!

Colorado students need you! Visit the Step Into Substitute Teaching webpage for additional information about how you can earn money, influence lives and make a difference!

Colorado Substitute Authorizations

5-Year Substitute Authorization

To qualify for a 5-year substitute authorization requires, you must hold or have held a Colorado teacher license or hold a current out-of-state teacher license/certificate and have a current fingerprint-based criminal history report/background check on file with CDE. During the application process, those with out-of-state teacher licenses will be required to upload a copy of the valid certificate. Alternative or provisional teacher, special services provider, principal and administrator licenses and CTE, temporary, adjunct, substitute and other authorizations do not qualify; it must be a full teacher license.

Once issued, the authorization is valid in all Colorado school districts, BOCES, charter schools and approved facility schools.

3-Year Substitute Authorization

To qualify for a 3-year substitute authorization, you must hold an earned bachelor's or higher degree in any content area from a regionally accredited college or university and have a current fingerprint-based criminal history report/background check on file with CDE. During the application process, you will be required to upload a copy of the official, degree-conferred transcript(s) into your application.

Once issued, the authorization is valid in all Colorado school districts, BOCES, charter and approved facility schools.

1-Year Substitute Authorization

To qualify for a 1-year substitute authorization, you must hold high school diploma or its equivalent, have a current fingerprint-based criminal history report/background check on file with CDE and attest to having successful experience working with children. Ideal for anyone recent college graduates, career-changers and anyone interested in serving their communities and its students!

Once issued, the authorization is valid in any accepting Colorado school district, BOCES, charter and approved facility school.


Get started on your path to substitute teaching! It's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1. If you've not already done so, submit your fingerprints to CBI for CDE licensure purposes.

2. Select "click to apply" beneath the authorization type for which you qualify (above), then follow the steps on the checklist and submit an application.

3. Visit our school districts web page to identify the districts in which you would like to serve and give them a call!


Email Educator Licensing.


Sign up for Substitute Boot Camp

Are you ready to be a sub?  The Substitute Boot Camp is a FREE, virtual seminar specifically designed to support, assist and encourage substitute teachers with starting their first day on the job. The Substitute Boot Camp is also an excellent resource for currently authorized substitute teachers and individuals who are in-process of obtaining their substitute authorization. Participants will learn about their roles and responsibilities as a substitute teacher, including:

  • Understanding and executing academic lesson plans
  • Preparing lesson plans when lesson plans aren't available
  • Classroom management
  • Maintaining appropriate student records, including recording grades
  • School policy and emergency response

Participants will also have opportunities for networking and connecting with experienced educators. Substitute Boot Camps are led by experienced educators and feature guest speakers currently working in Colorado's K-12 classrooms.

Substitute Boot Camps are scheduled to be held via Zoom from 4 - 6:30 pm on the following dates (Thursdays):

  • Sept. 23, 2021
  • Oct. 7, 2021
  • Oct. 21, 2021
  • Nov. 4, 2021
  • Nov.18, 2021
  • Dec. 2, 2021
  • Dec. 16, 2021 - CANCELLED due to staffing conflicts. So sorry! All members have been rescheduled for January 6th, 2022.
  • Jan. 6, 2022
  • Jan. 20, 2022
  • Feb. 3, 2022
  • Feb. 17, 2022
  • March 3, 2022
  • March 17, 2022
  • April 7, 2022
  • April 21, 2022
  • May 5, 2022
  • May 19, 2022

Step into substitute teaching with confidence and support!  Additional information is available on the Substitute Boot Camp flyer



Register for a Substitute Boot Camp today!  NOTE:  Boot Camps are filling up quickly!  Be sure to register early!  Registration for each virtual seminar will close 3 days prior to the event. 



Please contact Educator Recruitment at

Colorado New Substitute Stipend 

The Colorado Department of Education, in partnership with the Colorado Center for Rural Education at the University of Northern Colorado, are pleased to announce the availability of a $300 stipend for new substitutes that can be used to reimburse a variety of costs associated with obtaining a substitute authorization.

Individuals who are new to substitute teaching and who hold a valid 1-year, 3-year or 5-year Substitute Authorization (or a valid Colorado teacher license) may qualify for the stipend upon meeting eligibility requirements detailed below.


To be eligible for the $300 funding, individuals must:

  • Be a first-time substitute teacher
  • Hold a valid Colorado substitute authorization or a valid Colorado teacher license
  • Register and attend a Substitute Boot Camp
  • Work a minimum of one day as a substitute in a Colorado school district, BOCES, charter or approved facility school.


Eligible applicants must submit a completed Substitute Certification Form and W-9.  Stipends are limited and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to submit your application early!  Additional information, including application details and forms, are available on the Colorado Substitute Stipend webpage.



For eligibility questions email

For questions related to stipend payments email

Tools for Districts

CDE's Communications Office has created a toolkit that districts can use in their efforts to recruit substitutes. Materials include social media images, sample posts and a printable flyer.

If you have ideas for additional resources that would be helpful to include in the toolkit, reach out and let us know by emailing

View the toolkit here.