Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Markus Berndt


A rural, mid-sized district is experiencing great difficulty in the recruitment and retention of substitute teachers despite increased recruitment efforts. Such difficulty has resulted in numerous disruptions to the educational process. Despite their integral role in the educational process, research on substitute teachers remains absent from the literature. The purpose of this quantitative study was to assess the job satisfaction of substitute teachers with regard to differences between the two subgroups of certified and noncertified substitute teachers. This study was based on the two-factor theory. The research questions addressed the overall job satisfaction of substitute teachers, whether teacher job satisfaction (DV) differed by subgroup membership (IV), and the motivation and hygiene factors of substitute teaching. Survey data collection involved a cluster sampling of substitute teachers (N = 315, n = 51) working in four rural school districts experiencing shortages. Data were analyzed using ANOVA and thematic analysis. Demographic subgroups that reported above average job satisfaction were females, those with 1-3 years of experience, and those with the highest level of education being a bachelor's degree. The analysis uncovered a statistically significant difference between noncertified and certified substitute teachers only in the subcategory of satisfaction with pay, with certified substitute teachers being less satisfied. The most commonly reported motivation factors were the students, coworkers, and the nature of work; the most commonly reported hygiene factors were pay, student behavior, and communication. The study contributes to social change by identifying dissatisfying aspects of substitute teaching so that administrations may take action to alleviate the shortage, providing students with improved educational experiences with substitute teachers.