Substitute teachers

SmartFindExpress system

The Department's system for schools to report, update and/or cancel teacher absences, with automatic notifications for substitutes of work opportunities. Learn more.


Applications are accepted each school year from July 1 to 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.

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 requirements

1. Substitute Teacher Certification

A substitute teacher certification is not required for those who have completed a State-Approved Teacher Education (SATE) program.

Those with a Bachelor's degree or higher (no teacher training) will need to complete a Substitute Teacher Certification program.

All substitute teacher certifications are valid for five (5) years and may be obtained using one of the following programs:

Applicants with less than a Bachelor's degree may be hired by exception, but with a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent and must have complete a Substitute Teacher Certification program.

2. Transcripts

Official transcripts are required to be submitted with the application. 

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

3. Tuberculosis (TB) Test Clearance

A TB test clearance certificate with valid date no later than one (1) year from the date of the application is required.

4. Attestation of COVID-19 Testing or Vaccination

On August 5, 2021, Gov. David Ige issued an Emergency Proclamation Related to the COVID-19 Response. This proclamation requires all state and county employees to attest and provide proof to their respective department, office, or agency whether they are:

1. Fully vaccinated for COVID-19

2. Partially vaccinated for COVID-19 (including receipt of one dose of a two-dose course of vaccination); or

3. Not vaccinated for COVID-19.

In order to comply with the governor’s proclamation, provide a safe environment for students and staff and support the Department’s 3-1-1 imitative, the Hawaii State Department of Education is requiring all employees to be tested for COVID-19 weekly. If an employee can attest and provide proof that they are fully vaccinated, the employee will not be subject to the weekly testing requirement.

At the end of the hiring process you will be sent instructions for your attestation.

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

Click here to start application

Application Process

  1. Submit application online.
  2. Priority School reviews application. The applicant will be contacted for an interview/additional information as needed by the school.
  3. Applicant will be notified of decision. Instructions to submit additional pre-hire documents will be provided
  4. Background Check. Fingerprinting and criminal history background checks are done at the school's District office. You will be contacted by the office to schedule an appointment. Applicants are not allowed to start work until this process is completed and the individual is cleared for employment. 
  5. Notification to Start.

NOTE:  All correspondences to the applicant will be sent via email.


For substitute teachers who have already completed a substitute teacher certification program and the certification has/will be expiring, you may recertify using one of the following options:

  1. The Department's Community School for Adults (CSA)
  2. STEDI Advanced Classroom Management, Teaching Strategies, Special Education Online Courses

Additional Professional Development (optional)

For substitute teachers who would like to take additional professional development courses, this is available through The Master Teacher at:

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.

Need assistance?

​Please contact the T-SEAS Help Desk

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Click to view documentation and steps to qualify for Hawaii state income tax exemption.

Contact Information

TSEAS Help Desk

Phone: 808-441-8400


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