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Substitute teachers

The Department will consider anyone with a bachelor's degree for substitute teaching positions, but first priority will be given to candidates who also complete the State-Approved Teacher Education program, a full teacher-training program that includes student teaching in a Grade K-12 setting.

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Applications are accepted each school year from July 1-March 15. We are looking for candidates with the following qualifications, in order of priority:

  1. Bachelor's degree and completion of a State-Approved Teacher Education (SATE) program, a full teacher-training program that includes student teaching in a Grade K-12 setting.
  2. Bachelor's degree.

Applicants will need to take the Department's Substitute Teacher Course after getting approval from a school administrator (see application process, below).


Submit your application to renew for substitute teaching in the next school year. Due March 15. Please review our memo and application packet.

Daily rate, benefits

Substitute teachers are paid a daily rate based upon the class to which they belong (see chart, below). Substitutes are not eligible to participate in the Employees' Retirement System. Substitute teachers may participate in Section 403(b) Retirement Plan of the Internal Revenue Service IRS code, also known as a Tax-Sheltered Annuity (TSA) Plan. Wages are subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes.

ClassDefinitionDaily Rate

Class III

Substitute teachers who meet any one or all of the following:

  • A Hawaii-licensed teacher;
  • A teacher (including current/retired DOE teachers) who completed a
    State-Approved Teacher Education (SATE) program.


Class II

Substitute teachers who possess a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university or equivalent (see above).


Class I

Substitute teachers who do not possess a Bachelor's degree but meet specific employment requirements set by the Department.


Application process

First, choose a school. Use our School Finder tool to select one of our public schools to apply to.

Next, use this checklist to help guide the step-by-step application process, below.

  1. School Priority/Preferred List: Prepare a resume and a copy of official college transcripts for review by the school administrator. Then arrange an interview with a school administrator for possible placement on the school's preferred list. (Once on a preferred list, you don't need to apply elsewhere — the initial application provides you access to potential substitute jobs at other Department schools. Please note that schools not needing additional substitutes for their preferred list will not be interviewing or accepting applications.)

  2. Substitute Teacher Course: After the interview, obtain an Approval Notice signed by the school administrator with a current school year date. An Approval Notice is a required document enabling the applicant to enroll in the 30-hour substitute teacher course. Upon successful passing of the course exam, you will receive a Substitute Teacher Course Completion Certificate valid for five years. (NOTE: Completion of the course, in itself, does not guarantee employment.) The course is offered at the Department's Community Schools — please contact them directly for course dates, times and fee. You may not need to take the Substitute Teacher Course if you are: ​
    • ​A recent teacher-college graduate, in-state or out-of-state licensed/certified teacher (5-year exemption from year of initial employment).
    • DOE retired teacher (10-year exemption from year of initial employment). Please note parameters for post-retirement employment.
  3. Application: Upon successful completion of the Substitute Teacher Course, return to the school that placed you on its preferred list to complete the Substitute Teacher Application packet (also available at the school) along with:
    • A copy of social security card.
    • Official/original college transcripts (must come from an accredited university — MSA-CHE, NCA-HLC, NWCCU, NEASC-CIHE, SACS, WASC-ACSCU).
    • Tuberculosis (TB) test clearance certificate with a valid date no later than one (1) year from the date of the application.
    • Copy of the Substitute Teacher Course Completion Certificate with posted expiration date, if applicable.
  4. Employee background check: Fingerprinting and criminal history background checks are done at the school's District office (see list, below) by appointment after preferred school submits the substitute teacher application and employment documents. You will not be allowed to start work until this process is completed and the individual is cleared for employment. It takes a minimum of two days and up to two months to complete. Any missing or incomplete information will result in the delay of obtaining a substitute teaching job. Please contact the District office with any questions about the status of you application. This applies to all substitute teachers including State and County government retirees.

  5. Employment documents: All documents submitted become the property of the Department and will not be returned to the applicant.

  6. Foreign college or university transcripts. The Department does not evaluate transcripts from foreign institutions. For an evaluation of your foreign credential(s), please contact:
    Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE)
    P.O. Box 514070, Milwaukee, WI 53203-3470
    Phone: (414) 289-3400
    Fax: (414) 289-3411
    Website: www.ece.org
    Email: eval@ece.org
    This evaluation can also be used if you intend to pursue a teaching position with the Department in the future. After receiving the evaluation, make a copy for yourself. Send the original evaluation to:
    Office of Human Resources
    Reclassification Unit
    P.O. Box 2360, Honolulu, HI 96804​

District Office information

On any given workday, the principal is the immediate supervisor for substitutes at a school. Personnel Regional Officers (listed below) have overall jurisdiction over substitute teachers. If you have a dispute that cannot be resolved at the school level or if you have questions or concerns about your employment, contact the appropriate office below:





4967 Kilauea Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96816 ​



1122 Mapunapuna St., Suite 200, Honolulu, HI 96819



601 Kamokila Blvd, #418, Kapolei, HI 96707 



46-169 Kamehameha Hwy., Kaneohe, HI 96744



75 Aupuni Street, #203, Hilo, HI 96720 



54 South High Street, 4th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793 



3060 Eiwa Street, #301, Lihue, HI 96766 


Post-retirement employment

The State of Hawaii Employees' Retirement System (ERS) is a qualified retirement plan under Section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). Generally, the code prohibits the distribution of retirement benefits prior to an employee's retirement. If a retiree is reemployed without a bona fide separation of service, the retiree may not be considered to be retired. To help bring clarity to circumstances under which a retiree may be reemployed without suspension of benefits, a new law (Act 179) was created and passed by the 2010 Hawaii State Legislature.

A retiree can be employed into a casual position if the retiree has had a six-consecutive-calendar-month break (from their official retirement date) where the retiree was not employed by any state or county agency. Casual employment includes all certificated and classified casual jobs, including all substitute employment, coaching, 89-day hires and temporary contract employees.

A retiree can be employed in a contracted position identified as a labor shortage or difficult-to-fill position if the retiree has had a 12-consecutive-calendar-month break (from their official retirement date) where the retiree was not employed by any state or county agency.

A retiree can be employed as a teacher or administrator in a teacher shortage area identified by the Department or in a charter school or as a mentor for a new classroom teacher if the retiree has had a 12-consecutive-calendar-month break (from their official retirement date) where the retiree was not employed by any state or county agency.

Note: Act 179 prohibits the re-employment of a retiree if prior agreements were made to rehire the retiree prior to their retirement. Retirees employed in violation of Act 179 may have to:

  • Reimburse all pension benefits received during the period or periods of rehire (plus interest).
  • Pay any retirement system contribution (plus interest) that would have otherwise have been paid during the period or periods of rehire.
  • Will be liable to pay all administrative expenses incurred in addressing the situation if the retiree is found to be at fault.

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