Yours truly does both classified and certified substituting and has had quite a bit of work this year. However, I have applied to work at every school district in the area. It also helps that the system is computerized.
From the piece:
Many college graduates and those with Masters Degrees as well are forced to look to subbing as a viable alternative to a full-time job in case they haven't gotten one by the time the school year starts. It is easy to quit subbing once a job has been found, but it is tough to find a long-term job in the schools you sub at. The reason for this is simple -- those who sub can either work every day at one of many districts, or they can opt to work solely in one district, possibly lessening their days worked but this might make him able to have their face out there more and possibly get a job in that district. This latter point is one of the most common myths of substitute teaching and impacts those who seek to get a full-time job teaching through this method.
Part of the problem with the 'get your face out there' method of subbing is that schools are in constant need of decent substitute teachers. There seems to be a great lack of them and for a paltry 60-95 a day (low in rural areas, average in suburban areas, high in urban schools, at least in New York State) and no benefits, schools can't seem to get subs when they need them. The lack of respect is also an issue, but money would seem to be the main issue. After a week of working in an urban district, a teacher could expect to gross around $400 on average but take home around $350 or so after taxes. Assuming work in that district, everyday, with no snow days, holidays, or vacation days, that would amount to $1400 a month, on average. One can assume $1400 * 9 = $12,600 as a yearly salary in substitute teaching, but you have to take into account the times of the year when teachers are not taking days off. This includes the beginning and end of the year, around the holidays in December, the days surrounding winter and spring Break, as well as random holidays when there is no work: Veterans Day, Columbus Day, Jewish Holidays, etc... So take away a month to two months and you have a take home pay, for a full-time substitute teacher with no benefits of $9800-$11,200.
In Oregon the substitute teacher pay is around $162 per day, statewide. However, there is such a glut of substitutes, the chances of one ever supporting himself or herself with the pay are practically nil.