How Much Do Substitute Teachers Make?

Over the past year, my wife has started substitute teaching. Now that our youngest is well on his way in elementary school, she has time to spare.

Not only that, but she’s been spending a lot of time volunteering at the school so she might as well get paid for her time. Right?

So… How much do substitute teachers earn? Well, let’s just say that she’s not doing it for the money… In our area, substitute teachers earn $50/day. I have no idea if this is anywhere near the standard, but there’s no shortage of substitute teachers around so no real need to increase the pay rate.

Given that she’s expected at the school by 7:30AM and that the school day ends at 2:30PM, that works out to $7.14/hour — $0.11 less than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour. And that ignores that subs have to see the kids out to the bus at the end of the day, extending the workday by 10-15 minutes.

Honestly, I’m not sure how they get away with this. She’s a W-2 employee, not a 1099 contractor, so I’m guessing that they’re calculating the workday from the opening bell to the closing bell, and ignoring the fact that subs are expected to be there a bit early and stay a bit late.

Assuming that to be the case, the workday technically spans 6.75 hours, resulting in a pay rate of $7.41/hour — slightly more than minimum wage. Regardless, it’s a pretty sad state of affairs when a substitute teacher gets paid so little.

Oh well, she’s been enjoying herself, she likes the flexibility, and we’re not really dependent on the extra income, so it works for us. Plus, it gives her a chance to try out a line of work (teaching) that she might like to pursue as our kids grow up.

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