Careers in NYC Schools

Substitute Paraprofessionals

Currently Employed Substitutes

Click to log into SubCentral, and to access the following resources for SubCentral users:
SubCentral 2.0 Instructions for Substitute Paraprofessionals
SubCentral Quick Reference Card
SubCentral Fact Sheet

Click to access the Substitute Paraprofessionals Handbook.

Substitute Paraprofessional Renewal Requirements for 2014-2015.

Substitute Paraprofessional Renewal Requirements for 2015-2016.

Responsibilities of the Substitute Paraprofessional

Substitute Paraprofessionals are contacted on an as-needed basis to cover absences reported by school-based full-time paraprofessionals.  The role of the substitute paraprofessional is to assist teachers with class work and/or assist with the daily care of students with emotional, cognitive, physical handicaps, autism and other special needs.  Their responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, the following tasks:

  • One-on-one or small group instruction as outlined by the teacher
  • Reinforcing behavior through the use of positive behavior support
  • Teaching daily living skills such as independent feeding, dressing, toileting
  • Aiding occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech teachers and adaptive physical education providers during instruction
  • Guiding and assisting students in small group instruction settings with class routines and in transitioning from one activity to the next
  • Teaching students, under direction of teacher in the following areas: recreation, motor, vocational, socialization and communication utilizing the workshop model in Literacy and Mathematics
  • Assisting students with ambulation within the school premises and on class trips
  • Lifting, feeding, toileting and diapering after receiving appropriate training
  • Collecting data documenting student behavior for instructional purposes
  • Writing anecdotal information concerning student behavior
  • Providing language assistance for bilingual students

Pay & Benefits

The current rate of pay is $132.22/day.  The standard work schedule is 6 hours and 50 minutes per day.  However, this is subject to change based on the individual school.

  • Substitute Paraprofessionals who complete 25 days of service and possess the New York State Teaching Assistant certificate are eligible to apply for full-time Paraprofessional positions.  Please note: Appointment to a fulltime position is based on a school’s vacancies, is competitive and is NOT guaranteed.
  • After 30 days of service, Substitute Paraprofessionals become eligible to participate in the Career Training Program which pays for tuition for up to 6 credits of undergraduate study at a participating college/university.
  • Substitute Paraprofessionals are represented by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) for grievances and salary negotiations.

Eligibility Requirements

The minimum eligibility requirements to submit an application for the Substitute Paraprofessional position are the following:

  • A high school diploma (or its recognized equivalent, e.g., GED)
  • Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking the English language
  • Authorization to work in the USA

Selection Criteria

Based upon the prevailing or projected vacancies (i.e., number, locations, schedule, etc.) and the special requirements for some positions (e.g., gender, foreign language proficiency, lifting/toileting, CPR, life saving/swimming), the applications of those candidates meeting the minimum eligibility requirements will be further reviewed to select candidates whose qualifications, experience, interests and availability best match the requirements of the position.  Those selected to advance further will be required to fulfill the following requirements to be eligible to serve as Substitute Paraprofessionals:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in the English language during the interview and the written essay assessment
  • Complete a NYS approved workshop in Child Abuse Identification
  • Complete a NYS approved workshop in School Violence Prevention
  • Successfully complete the New York State Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills test (NYSATAS) or the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST)
  • Successfully complete the DOE supported and authorized online training program for paraprofessionals
  • Complete the SubCentral and Blood Borne Pathogen workshops conducted by the NYCDOE
  • Have clear criminal and employment records

Fees Involved

A non-refundable Application Fee of $30, payable to the NYCDOE only if candidate is invited to attend the English language assessment.

  • A New York State Fingerprint processing fee of $115, payable only if candidate is invited to proceed beyond the English language assessment and has not been fingerprinted previously by the NYC Department of Education or the New York State Education Department.

Application Stages

In order to become a Substitute Paraprofessional, the candidate will be required to satisfy various requirements, at different stages, as listed below.

Stage I:  At Time of Application

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent.  Candidates with foreign diplomas or degrees must present translations and evaluations that establish their eligibility during the processing stage.
  • Proficiency in reading, writing and speaking the English language.
  • Have authorization to work in the USA.
  • Have a clear record of service from prior employers, if any.
  • If already fingerprinted by NY State and/or Federal authorities, have a clear record.

Stage II:  Assessment
Candidates meeting the requirements listed in Stage I will be added to the pre-employment selection pool.  Based upon the prevailing employment needs, a limited number of candidates from this pool will be invited to advance to Stage II.  Those invited will be required to pay a processing fee of $30 to the NYCDOE and complete the requirements listed below, within a specified time period.

  • Demonstrate oral proficiency in the English language.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in written English by responding to an assigned topic.  Any candidate who does not demonstrate English language proficiency will not be permitted to reapply for the position for 12 months from the date of assessment.

Stage III:  Pre-Processing
Candidates meeting the criteria listed in Stage II will be provided the employment forms and instructions required for Stage III.  Those candidates who receive the information are required to schedule a date for processing (Stage IV) and complete the requirements listed below, within a specified time period.

  • Be fingerprinted and photographed by the NYCDOE.  There is a fee of $115 for this service.  Candidates who have already been fingerprinted by the NYCDOE or have sent their fingerprint results to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) need not be re-fingerprinted.  However, they are required to be photographed and must submit the appropriate forms. 
  • Successfully complete a NYSED approved course on Child Abuse Identification.
  • Successfully complete a NYSED approved course on School Violence Prevention.
  • Successfully complete the New York State Assessment of Teaching Assistant Skills (NYSATAS) test.  Candidates who passed the New York State Liberal Arts & Science Test (LAST) may use those results in lieu of the NYSATAS test.
  • Successfully complete the DOE supported and authorized online training program for Paraprofessionals.  There is no additional fee for this program.  Information on this approximately 3-hour online training program will be disseminated at a later stage.

Stage IV:  Processing
Candidates meeting the requirements listed in Stage III will attend a processing session where they will:

  • Produce documentation confirming the fulfillment of the requirements listed earlier.
  • Attend workshops on handling Blood Borne Pathogens and SubCentral, the NYCDOE’s automated absence management system.  There will be no fees for these workshops.

Stage V:  Maintenance of Employee Status
To maintain substitute status for the next school year, the substitute is required to:

  • Maintain a record of “Satisfactory” ratings from the schools worked in.
  • Have been available to serve in the NYC public schools for at least two days per week and work for at least 50% of the days for which jobs are offered.  Please note that number and timing of assignments available to substitutes are dependent on the absence of fulltime staff.  Consequently, no guarantees can be made regarding the number of assignments and days, or their timing.


Click for more information about Substitute Teachers.