Member Criteria


Ohio law defines STRS Ohio membership in Section 3307.01 of the Revised Code (R.C.). Generally, membership is required for:

  • Any person paid from public funds and employed in the public schools under any type of contract described in Section 3311.77 or 3319.08 R.C., in a position for which the person is required to have a license or registration issued pursuant to Sections 3319.22 to 3319.31 R.C.
  • Any person employed as a teacher or faculty member in a community school or a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) school pursuant to Chapter 3314 or 3326, R.C.
  • Any other teacher or faculty member employed in any school, college, university, institution or other agency wholly controlled and managed, or supported in whole or in part, by the state or any of its subdivisions.
  • The educational employees of the state board of education and the Department of Education and Workforce (DEW).

STRS Ohio-covered Positions

Membership in STRS Ohio is generally determined based on the position, not the person. Positions that are covered by STRS Ohio include, but are not limited to, those listed in the table below. Some positions may have additional criteria listed to determine whether an individual is a member of STRS Ohio or School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (SERS).

Position Retirement System Membership
Adult education instructors STRS Ohio
Athletic directors and coaches

Does the individual hold a valid teaching license or registration?

  • Yes — STRS Ohio
  • No — SERS
Community school directors and academic administrators STRS Ohio
Counselors STRS Ohio
Faculty members STRS Ohio
Interpreters for the hearing impaired STRS Ohio

Does the individual hold a state board of education (previously ODE) school nurse license or is he or she a registered nurse (RN) with a bachelor’s degree?*

  • Yes — STRS Ohio
  • No — SERS

*Effective May 14, 2021, for new hires. Existing RNs with a bachelor's degree should start contributing to STRS Ohio on July 1, 2021.

Occupational and physical therapists; occupational and physical therapy assistants STRS Ohio
Orientation and mobility specialists STRS Ohio
Preschool teachers and directors

Special education preschool program

  • Directors — STRS Ohio
  • Head teachers — STRS Ohio
  • Itinerant teachers — STRS Ohio
  • Secondary classroom teachers or aides — SERS

Regular or typical preschool program

  • Directors — STRS Ohio
  • Head teachers — SERS
  • Itinerant teachers — STRS Ohio
  • Secondary classroom teachers or aides — SERS

The state board of education does not require that head preschool teachers in regular preschools have a professional educator license. This state board of education licensing requirement is the determining factor for retirement system membership for a preschool teacher, regardless of the license held by an individual or what the school district may require.

Principals and academic administrators STRS Ohio
Psychologists STRS Ohio
Social workers STRS Ohio
Speech language pathologists STRS Ohio
Superintendents STRS Ohio
Teachers and substitute teachers (with or without a license) STRS Ohio
Teachers employed to work in parochial or private schools using auxiliary funds STRS Ohio
Tutors STRS Ohio

Board of education members can contribute to either the School Employees Retirement System of Ohio (SERS) or to Social Security for compensation paid for service as a school board member. Community School Board membership questions should be directed to SERS.

Membership is not required for any person employed by a community school operator who was withholding and paying Social Security taxes for persons employed in the school as teachers on or before Feb. 1, 2016, unless the person had contributing service with an Ohio community school within the last year.

STRS Ohio has the authority to make membership determinations as set forth by Chapter 3307, R.C. For information on exemptions from STRS Ohio contributions/membership click here.

Third-Party Contractors/Temporary Agencies

Hiring a teacher or administrator as a third-party contractor or through a temporary agency does not necessarily relieve the obligation for member and employer contributions on earnings. See Contracted Services.