How to Become a Teacher in Michigan
If you have decided to become an educator, know that you have made the decision to take on a task that will change your life and the lives of your students. Congratulations on being willing to change the world one classroom at a time. If you wish to take on this task in Michigan, there are a few steps you will need to follow.
Choose What You Want to Teach
Do you prefer teaching the alphabet or trigonometry? Would you rather tie shoes or fill out reference letters? Do young teenagers bring out the best in you? You must decide which areas and what grade levels are the best fit for you. This is a personal decision that should be made based on your preferences and talents. The Michigan Department of Education's website could help you make a decision as they have information on educators and schools in the state.
Complete Your Education Requirements for Teaching in Michigan
Michigan requires a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree in order to become a teacher. In addition, prospective educators must complete a teacher preparation program. The college or university in which you complete your education must be accredited.
The majority of accredited programs are blended or joint programs. This means that, upon completion of required exams, you receive a teaching certificate in conjunction with the Bachelor's Degree. This is the type of program that the majority of teachers, who know from early on that they want to teach, will complete. If you already have a Bachelor's Degree, see the Alternative Teacher Certification in Michigan section below.
Complete a Teacher Preparation Program
Teachers in Michigan are required to hold a teaching certificate or provisional certificate when teaching in the classroom. As mentioned, this certificate is often gained through CAEP certified colleges and universities. However, out of state teachers must apply for certification through the Michigan Board of Education and be evaluated by the OPPS (Office of Professional Preparation Services).
Teacher education programs typically consist of a set curriculum as well as some type of fieldwork. Curricula consists of classes on the science of teaching, methodology of teaching, and educational technology classes. Classes will also cover typical developmental stages for students of varying ages. The fieldwork aspect will vary from college to college, but observations in classrooms will be necessary. In addition to observations, student teaching will be required of all teaching candidates. A successful student teacher who is capable of demonstrating the creation and implementation of age appropriate lesson plans, writing reflections on those plans, and creating a work based portfolio will likely receive both a degree and certification.
Alternative Teacher Certification in Michigan
An alternate route to teacher certification in Michigan is available for you if teaching was not your first choice.
Michigan Alternate Route to Interim Teaching Certification (MARITC)
This will allow you to complete an expedited program for teaching after transitioning from a previous career. This still requires a Bachelor's Degree and the completion of a transitional program, but is much shorter than returning to gain a Bachelor's in Education in the traditional manner. Upon the completion of the program, the passing of all required tests, and a recommendation for endorsements, this can result in the right to teach. However, the expedited program must be taught by a school that is certified to do so.
Please note that special education and early childhood-general cannot be obtained through this method.
Teaching Certificate in Another State
If you hold a teaching certificate from another state, you may be able to quickly begin work in Michigan if you can meet the following:
- At least 3 years of successful teaching in an position valid to your teaching certificate.
- After certification, you have earned at least 18 semester credit hours in a state board-approved college or university, or you have earned, at any time, a state board-approved graduate degrees (Master's Degree or Doctorate).
- Met the reading credit requirement established under state board rules applicable to the level you will teach (elementary or secondary).
If you meet all other requirements for a Michigan teaching certificate, but do not meet all of the above listed requirements, you will be able to receive a one-year nonrenewable temporary teaching certificate. The temporary teaching certificate can be granted even without passing the Professional Readiness Examination and subject-area tests.
Pass the Required Tests for Michigan
Prior to actually receiving your teacher certification, you must pass certain basic skills and subject competency exams. These tests are used to test your knowledge of the field in which you are about to enter. These tests are required for all areas and for alternate route students.
Tests include the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) and the Professional Readiness Examination (PRE). These tests are a requirement regardless of certification area. To find available tests visit the Michigan Test For Teacher Certification.
Apply for your Michigan Teacher Certification
The Michigan State Board of Education requires all potential educators to complete the following when applying for teacher certification:
- Create an account with MOECS
- Log onto MOECS and select ‘educator'
- Follow the self-register instructions
- An email will be sent with further information
- You will need copies of a bachelors, fingerprint clearance, and proof of test scores
- A fee may be required to receive licensure
- Certain areas of certification such as occupational therapist, school counsellor, and school administrator may require further information.
Please note that Michigan applications must be submitted by school districts, or other agents, not an individual.
Michigan Department of Education
608 W. Allegan Street
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909
Find a Teaching Job in Michigan
You have jumped through all the hoops, met all the requirements, and now it is time to begin your career as an educator in Michigan!
The state Department of Education in Michigan uses a number of third-party websites in order to make sure that job postings are widely viewable. Teachers are encouraged to browse the Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the Michigan Regional Education Applicant Placement (MIREAP) to find opportunities that match their criteria.
Currently, there is an ongoing need for applicants qualified to teach special education at the elementary and secondary levels, English, science, technology, and mathematics.
Teacher Labor Unions in Michigan
Once hired, teachers can join the Michigan Education Association (MEA) as well as the American Federation of Teachers (AFT Michigan). Both are labor unions that support teachers individually and as a demographic throughout legal and labor issues. Labor unions also help in facilitating networking and professional development opportunities.
Teaching in Private Schools
Should an applicant wish to seek alternative employment to the public school system, they may apply to any of Michigan's 980 private schools which service just over 150,000 students. Teachers are advised that 77% of the schools have a religious affiliation, and almost 20 of those schools are gender-segregated. Teachers may find pay, opportunities, contracts, and retirement to be different from their public school counterparts.
Retirement for Public School Teachers
Teachers who retire from the public school system can draw a monthly fixed pension through the Office of Retirement Services (ORS) Public School Employees.
Teacher Shortage in Michigan by Subjects or Discipline (2014-2015)
The following list of teacher shortage areas in Michigan has been obtained from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, Teacher Shortage Area (TSA) list for the 2014-2015 school year
- Early Childhood Special Education
- Occupational Instruction
- Special Education Teachers
Number of Public School Teachers By Grade
The table below lists the number of public school teachers in Michigan by grade level during the 2012-2013 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Pre-kindergarten & Preschool Teachers||1,084|
|Middle & High School Teachers||33,967|
|Ungraded Class Teachers||16,757|
Data obtained from the State Nonfiscal Public Elementary/Secondary Education Survey Data 2013
Number of Private School Teachers By Grade
There are more than 730 private schools with an estimated 8,400 private school teachers in Michigan. The table below details the number of teachers by grade level during the 2011-2012 school year.
|Grade Level||Number of Teachers|
|Elementary School Teachers||4,657|
|Middle & High School Teachers||1,276|
|Combined K-12 School Teachers||2,457|
Data obtained from the Private School Universe Survey (PSS) 2012
Continue Your Education and Professional Development
Professional development helps teachers and their colleagues engage in capacity building, advocacy, and support systems for their profession and students. The state is clear that professional development is meant to occur over time and has a self-reflective component.
Professional Development in Michigan
he state Department of Education in Michigan strongly supports rigorous professional development for educators throughout the state. Michigan's guidelines ensure that professional development opportunities are effective and are designed to improve the learning outcomes for all students. Michigan is committed to continuous improvement, collective responsibility, and goal alignment throughout the various educational stakeholders. Effective professional development allows each teacher to become a leader and increases learning and leadership effectiveness.
Teachers in Michigan are encouraged to use the state Department of Education as a resource in order to find professional development opportunities that are relevant for their career goals and classroom profile. Teachers are also welcome to search through resources like Michigan Online Resources for Educators (MORE) in order to round out their professional development opportunities.
Employment and Teacher Salary in Michigan
The state of Michigan is actively recruiting teachers across its 550 public school districts. Preschool, elementary, and secondary teachers are needed - especially in subject areas like occupational subjects, special education, languages, sciences, and math. As a beginning teacher, you can expect a salary of approximately $35,901 - comparable to the annual per capita state salary of $37,497. Teachers can also expect regular raises in salary due to tenure and additional teaching certifications. Teachers are advised to apply to districts with high student enrolment first - that is, areas like Detroit, Utica, Plymouth-Canton, and Dearborn.
Salary Range$45,680 - $91,530
Elementary school teachers have a salary range between $45,680 to $91,530 a year in Michigan. There are around thirty five thousand employed elementary school teachers. Read about what it takes to become an elementary school teacher.
Elementary School Teachers
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||9,620||$63,430|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||4,450||$62,980|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||3,540||$68,040|
|Lansing, East Lansing||2,060||$69,770|
|Holland, Grand Haven||920||$60,760|
|Muskegon, Norton Shores||740||$75,320|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Elementary School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2021)
Salary Range$57,250 - $103,630
English teachers have a salary range between $57,250 to $103,630 a year in Michigan, with over 2,510 employed in the state. See details on how to become an english teacher.
English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor)
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||320||$76,990|
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||200||$60,230|
|Lansing, East Lansing||160||$80,570|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for English Language and Literature Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1123)
Salary Range$47,270 - $89,850
As a high school teacher in Michigan you can expect to make between $47,270 - $89,850. There are around twenty one thousand employed high school teachers. Take the next step and learn to how to become a high school teacher.
High School Teachers
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||6,110||$64,010|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||3,340||$64,720|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||1,930||$60,220|
|Lansing, East Lansing||1,360||$61,630|
|Saginaw, Saginaw Township North||720||$55,690|
|Holland, Grand Haven||630||$68,280|
|Niles, Benton Harbor||380||$57,460|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for High School Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2031)
Salary Range$62,460 - $119,280
In Michigan, a history teacher's salary may range from $62,460 to $119,280. There are around 400 employed history teachers. Get more information about becoming a history teacher.
History Teachers (College Professor)
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||80||$68,050|
|Lansing, East Lansing||30||$82,050|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for History Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1125)
Salary Range$38,420 - $75,420
Kindergarten teachers in Michigan, can earn between $38,420 to $75,420 a year. There are around two thousand employed kindergarten teachers. Read about what it takes to become a kindergarten teacher.
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||450||$52,180|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||360||$51,140|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||340||$55,530|
|Lansing, East Lansing||110||$54,460|
|Muskegon, Norton Shores||70||$53,350|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Kindergarten Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2012)
Salary Range$38,420 - $144,970
As a math teacher in Michigan you can expect to make between $38,420 - $144,970. Michigan is home to about seventy thousand math teachers. See our guide on how to become a math teacher.
Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor)
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||280||$83,890|
|Lansing, East Lansing||180||$82,490|
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||170||$63,240|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||90||-|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Mathematical Science Teachers (College Professor) (SOC Code: 25-1022)
Salary Range$17,900 - $59,010
P.e. teachers have a salary range between $17,900 to $59,010 a year in Michigan. Michigan is home to about eight thousand p.e. teachers. See our guide on how to become a p.e. teacher.
Coaches and Scouts
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||1,630||$37,410|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||810||$29,200|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||600||$43,190|
|Holland, Grand Haven||420||$27,120|
|Niles, Benton Harbor||300||$49,330|
|Saginaw, Saginaw Township North||80||$36,900|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Coaches and Scouts (SOC Code: 27-2022)
Salary Range$22,050 - $48,100
In Michigan, a preschool teacher's salary may range from $22,050 to $48,100, with over 6,840 employed in the state. See details on how to become a preschool teacher.
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||2,440||$31,820|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||890||$32,680|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||610||$31,000|
|Lansing, East Lansing||440||$26,830|
|Muskegon, Norton Shores||120||$36,040|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Preschool Teachers (SOC Code: 25-2011)
Salary Range$35,720 - $118,130
As a school administrator in Michigan you can expect to make between $35,720 - $118,130. Michigan is home to about eight thousand school administrators. Take the next step and learn to how to become a school administrator.
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||360||$56,390|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||270||$55,270|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||70||$54,090|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program (SOC Code: 11-9031)
Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||1,460||$96,190|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||1,120||$90,800|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||630||$90,170|
|Lansing, East Lansing||310||$82,950|
|Holland, Grand Haven||170||$90,110|
|Saginaw, Saginaw Township North||120||$87,450|
|Niles, Benton Harbor||100||$87,300|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Education Administrators, Elementary, Middle, and High School (SOC Code: 11-9032)
Salary Range$36,770 - $87,500
School counselors in Michigan, can earn between $36,770 to $87,500 a year, with over 4,910 employed in the state. See our guide on how to become a school counselor.
Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||890||$61,230|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||740||$58,010|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||450||$59,760|
|Lansing, East Lansing||280||$53,280|
|Holland, Grand Haven||150||$47,090|
|Niles, Benton Harbor||140||$46,300|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Educational, Guidance, School, and Vocational Counselors (SOC Code: 21-1012)
Salary Range$38,190 - $78,910
School librarians have a salary range between $38,190 to $78,910 a year in Michigan. Michigan is home to about two thousand school librarians. Read about what it takes to become a school librarian.
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||600||$54,230|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||460||$57,870|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||210||$58,670|
|Lansing, East Lansing||160||$53,190|
|Holland, Grand Haven||90||$52,990|
|Niles, Benton Harbor||90||$54,780|
|Saginaw, Saginaw Township North||60||$46,510|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Librarians (SOC Code: 25-4021)
Salary Range$29,050 - $90,250
In Michigan, a special education teacher's salary may range from $29,050 to $90,250. Michigan is home to about seven thousand special education teachers. Interested in becoming a special education teacher?
Special Education Teachers (Preschool)
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||60||$50,290|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||-||$31,220|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Preschool) (SOC Code: 25-2051)
Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School)
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||560||$59,780|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||250||$62,560|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||220||$58,580|
|Lansing, East Lansing||150||$67,520|
|Muskegon, Norton Shores||70||$64,960|
|Niles, Benton Harbor||60||$57,400|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Kindergarten and Elementary School) (SOC Code: 25-2052)
Special Education Teachers (Middle School)
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||410||$63,760|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||290||$60,920|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||180||$60,490|
|Lansing, East Lansing||60||$74,720|
|Holland, Grand Haven||-||$60,560|
|Saginaw, Saginaw Township North||-||$62,090|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (Middle School) (SOC Code: 25-2053)
Special Education Teachers (High School)
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||600||$66,470|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||260||$71,070|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||260||$63,190|
|Lansing, East Lansing||170||$69,030|
|Holland, Grand Haven||60||$60,990|
|Niles, Benton Harbor||60||$59,180|
|Saginaw, Saginaw Township North||50||$62,540|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Special Education Teachers (High School) (SOC Code: 25-2054)
Salary Range$20,700 - $34,450
In Michigan, a substitute teacher's salary may range from $20,700 to $34,450. Michigan is home to about twenty four thousand substitute teachers. Read about what it takes to become a substitute teacher.
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||2,140||$23,050|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||700||$26,410|
|Lansing, East Lansing||130||$20,470|
|Holland, Grand Haven||110||$28,890|
|Muskegon, Norton Shores||60||$26,980|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Substitute Teachers (SOC Code: 25-3098)
Salary Range$21,100 - $37,730
In Michigan, a teaching assistant's salary may range from $21,100 to $37,730. There are around forty thousand employed teaching assistants. Interested in becoming a teaching assistant?
|Warren, Troy, Farmington Hills||7,810||$26,600|
|Detroit, Livonia, Dearborn||6,000||$29,500|
|Grand Rapids, Wyoming||3,900||$27,020|
|Lansing, East Lansing||2,160||$26,510|
|Holland, Grand Haven||810||$28,210|
|Muskegon, Norton Shores||720||$26,920|
Data taken from BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (http://www.bls.gov/oes/) for Teacher Assistants (SOC Code: 25-9041)
Top School Districts Supporting Teachers in Michigan
Teachers work hard every day and the more support they have the better they can succeed at inspiring our future. This is why Teacher.org has ranked school districts in Michigan that excel in supporting teachers inside and outside of the classroom. 220 school districts in Michigan were analyzed with the top 50 school districts being featured below. The school districts were scored on several factors which represent how well a school district supports their teachers.
For more information on school district rankings, see our methodology page: http://www.teacher.org/school-district-ranking-methodology.
Continued List of School Districts in Michigan
Data obtained from the Public Elementary/Secondary School Universe Survey