San Diego Substitute Teacher Pay: Rates, Requirements And More

Substitute teaching can be a flexible way to earn income while gaining classroom experience in San Diego. If you’re interested in substitute teaching, a key question is: how much do substitute teachers make in San Diego?

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide a detailed look at San Diego substitute teacher pay rates, requirements, benefits and more.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Substitute teacher pay in San Diego ranges from $130 to $240 per day, depending on your experience and credentials. The average daily rate is around $160.

Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about landing substitute teaching jobs in San Diego and how much you can expect to earn.

San Diego Substitute Teacher Pay Rates

One of the key considerations for aspiring substitute teachers in San Diego is the pay rate. Understanding the pay structure is crucial for those looking to pursue a career in substitute teaching. The pay rates for substitute teachers in San Diego can vary based on several factors, including the type of assignment and the level of education and experience.

Daily Rates

The daily rates for substitute teachers in San Diego can range from $100 to $200 per day. However, it’s important to note that these rates can vary depending on the school district and the specific requirements of the assignment.

Some districts may offer higher rates for long-term assignments or for specialized subject areas.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Assignments

Substitute teachers in San Diego have the option of taking on short-term or long-term assignments. Short-term assignments typically last for a few days to a few weeks, while long-term assignments can span several months.

The pay rates for these assignments can differ, with long-term assignments often offering higher daily rates.

Short-term assignments are a great way for substitute teachers to gain experience and get a feel for different schools and grade levels. Long-term assignments, on the other hand, provide stability and the opportunity to build relationships with students and staff.

Pay Scale Based on Credentials

In addition to the type of assignment, the pay rate for substitute teachers in San Diego can also be influenced by their credentials. Substitute teachers with higher levels of education or specialized certifications may be eligible for higher pay rates.

For example, those with a teaching credential or a master’s degree in education may receive a higher daily rate compared to those with a bachelor’s degree.

It’s important for substitute teachers to research the pay scale in their specific school district and understand how their credentials can impact their earning potential. School district websites, such as the San Diego Unified School District’s website at, can provide valuable information on substitute teacher pay rates and requirements.

Factors That Impact Pay

When it comes to substitute teacher pay in San Diego, several factors come into play. These factors can vary from one individual to another, but they generally include the teacher’s experience level, the type of school they are working in, and the time of year.

Experience Level

One of the key factors that impact substitute teacher pay is their experience level. As with any profession, more experience often translates into higher pay. Substitute teachers who have been working in the field for a longer period of time and have gained valuable skills and knowledge are more likely to earn a higher hourly rate.

It is important for substitute teachers to continuously improve their skills through professional development opportunities and stay up-to-date with the latest teaching techniques.

Type of School

The type of school where a substitute teacher works also has a significant impact on their pay. Generally, public schools have a set pay scale that applies to all substitute teachers, while private schools may have their own pay structures.

Additionally, certain schools or school districts may offer higher pay rates to substitute teachers based on the demand for their services or the scarcity of qualified substitutes in the area. It is important for substitute teachers to research the pay rates of different schools and districts to find opportunities that align with their financial goals.

Time of Year

The time of year can also influence substitute teacher pay. During busy periods such as the start of the school year or when regular teachers are more likely to take time off, the demand for substitute teachers tends to be higher. This increased demand can lead to higher pay rates for substitutes.

On the other hand, during school holidays or low-demand periods, substitute teacher pay rates may be lower. It is important for substitute teachers to plan their schedules accordingly and take advantage of high-demand periods to maximize their earning potential.

Understanding the factors that impact substitute teacher pay in San Diego can help individuals make informed decisions about their career and financial goals. By considering their experience level, the type of school they work in, and the time of year, substitute teachers can navigate the job market and find opportunities that offer competitive compensation.

Requirements to Substitute Teach in San Diego

Education and Credentials

To become a substitute teacher in San Diego, you must meet certain education and credential requirements. Generally, you need to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. However, some school districts may prefer candidates who have completed some college coursework or hold a bachelor’s degree.

It’s always a good idea to check with the specific school district you are interested in working for to understand their specific requirements.

In addition to educational qualifications, you may need to obtain a substitute teaching credential. This credential demonstrates that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively manage a classroom and provide instruction.

The requirements for obtaining a substitute teaching credential can vary depending on the school district. It typically involves completing an application, submitting fingerprints for a background check, and attending training sessions or workshops.

Background Checks

Background checks are an essential part of the substitute teaching application process in San Diego. School districts want to ensure the safety and well-being of their students, so they require all potential substitute teachers to undergo a thorough background check.

This includes fingerprinting, criminal history checks, and in some cases, a review of driving records.

Once you have completed the necessary paperwork and provided your fingerprints, the school district will conduct the background check. This process may take some time, so it’s important to start the application process early to allow for any potential delays.

Application Process

The application process to become a substitute teacher in San Diego typically involves several steps. First, you will need to gather the necessary documents, such as your high school diploma or college transcripts, proof of identification, and any other required credentials or certifications.

Next, you will need to complete the application form provided by the school district. This form will ask for basic personal information, educational background, and any relevant experience you have in working with children or in an educational setting.

Once your application is submitted, you may be required to attend an interview or orientation session. This is an opportunity for the school district to get to know you better and assess your suitability for the role of a substitute teacher.

It’s important to note that each school district may have its own specific application process and requirements, so it’s crucial to visit the district’s official website or contact their human resources department for the most up-to-date information.

For more detailed information on the requirements and application process to become a substitute teacher in San Diego, you can visit the official website of the San Diego Unified School District at

Benefits for Substitute Teachers

Substitute teaching can be a rewarding and fulfilling profession, and it comes with its own set of benefits. While substitute teacher pay may vary depending on the district, there are often additional perks that make the job even more attractive.

Here are some of the benefits that substitute teachers in San Diego can enjoy:

Access to Health Insurance

One of the major benefits for substitute teachers in San Diego is the opportunity to access health insurance. While not all districts provide this benefit, many do offer health insurance options for their substitute teachers.

This can be a valuable perk, especially for those who rely on substitute teaching as their primary source of income.

Retirement Plans

Substitute teachers in San Diego also have the opportunity to participate in retirement plans. These plans provide a way for substitute teachers to save for their future and ensure financial stability in their retirement years.

Retirement plans can vary from district to district, so it’s important for substitute teachers to inquire about the options available to them.

Paid Time Off

While paid time off may not be as extensive for substitute teachers compared to full-time teachers, there are still opportunities for substitute teachers to take time off. Depending on the district, substitute teachers may be eligible for paid sick leave or personal days.

This can provide much-needed flexibility and work-life balance for substitute teachers.

Professional Development

Professional development is an important aspect of any teaching career, and substitute teaching is no exception. San Diego districts often provide professional development opportunities for their substitute teachers, such as workshops and training sessions.

These opportunities allow substitute teachers to enhance their skills, stay updated on the latest teaching techniques, and network with other educators.

It’s worth noting that the availability of these benefits may vary depending on the specific school district and the length of time a substitute teacher has been working. It’s always a good idea for substitute teachers to inquire about the benefits offered by their district and to stay informed about any changes or updates.

For more information about substitute teaching benefits in San Diego, you can visit the San Diego Unified School District or the San Diego County Office of Education websites.

How to Find Substitute Teaching Jobs

If you’re interested in becoming a substitute teacher in San Diego, there are several avenues you can explore to find available positions. Whether you prefer to apply directly to school districts, work with substitute teacher agencies, or build relationships within the education community, there are options available to suit your needs.

Applying Directly to School Districts

One of the most common ways to find substitute teaching jobs in San Diego is by applying directly to school districts. This approach allows you to work directly with individual schools and gives you the opportunity to establish relationships with administrators and staff members.

To begin, visit the websites of local school districts and search for their substitute teacher application process. Be sure to review the requirements, which may include a minimum level of education, background checks, and teaching credentials.

Once you’ve submitted your application, keep track of the districts you’ve applied to and follow up with them regularly to express your continued interest and availability.

Working with Substitute Teacher Agencies

Another option for finding substitute teaching jobs in San Diego is by partnering with substitute teacher agencies. These agencies act as intermediaries between substitute teachers and school districts, connecting qualified individuals with available positions.

By working with an agency, you can benefit from their established relationships with schools and their expertise in matching substitutes with appropriate assignments. To get started, research and contact reputable substitute teacher agencies in the San Diego area.

They will guide you through their application process, which may involve interviews, background checks, and reference checks. Once accepted, you’ll have access to a wider range of substitute teaching opportunities.

Building Relationships

Building relationships within the education community can be a valuable strategy for finding substitute teaching jobs in San Diego. Networking with current teachers, administrators, and staff members can lead to direct job opportunities or insider information about available positions.

Attend local education conferences, join professional organizations, and participate in school events to meet and connect with professionals in the field. Additionally, consider volunteering or working as a teacher’s aide to gain experience and establish a positive reputation within the education community.

By building strong relationships, you’ll increase your chances of being recommended for substitute teaching positions.


Substitute teaching can be a rewarding way to earn extra income on a flexible schedule in San Diego. Typical pay ranges from $130 to $240 per day based on your credentials and experience level. While substitute teaching may not come with full-time benefits, there are still growth opportunities.

By understanding the pay structure and building relationships, you can secure steady substitute teaching work. We hope this guide gave you a better sense of what to expect around San Diego substitute teacher pay and requirements.

With preparation and dedication, you can find success as a substitute teacher in San Diego. Best of luck as you consider this path!

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