Become a Teacher in Michigan

Michigan Highlights

Avg. Elementary School Teacher Salary $62,250
Avg. Secondary School Teacher Salary $60,400
Vacation Weeks per Year 15
Pupil/Teacher Ratio 1:23
Expenditure Per Pupil $11,110

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2015
Occupational Employment Statistics report.

608 W Allegan St.
Lansing, MI 48909
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Michigan Teacher Shortage Areas

A teacher shortage occurs when there are not enough teachers in key subject areas, which has been partly caused by years of teacher layoffs during the Great Recession, a growing student population and fewer people entering teacher preparation programs, according to the Learning Policy Institute.

The following is a list of teacher shortage areas in Michigan for the 2016-17 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. (see page 77)

  • Allied Health Technology
  • Agriculture
  • Autism Services
  • Business Admin. Management & Operations
  • Chinese Language & Culture
  • Construction Trades
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Health Sciences
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Public Safety/Protective Services
  • Speech & Language Impairment
  • Automobile Technician
  • Child & Custodial Care Services
  • Collision Repair Technician
  • Cosmetology
  • Emotional Impairment
  • Information Technology
  • Personal & Culinary Services
  • Radio & TV Broadcasting Technician

Steps to Becoming a Teacher in Michigan

Important Note: Education licensure requirements, statistics and other information are subject to change. makes its best effort to keep content accurate; however, the official sources are the state education departments. Please confirm licensing requirements with your state before applying for licensure or renewal. Last updated: 11/1/2016

To earn an initial teaching certification in the state of Michigan, teaching candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Step One: Complete a bachelor’s degree and other prerequisite coursework required.
  • Step Two: Complete a state-approved teacher preparation program.
  • Step Three: Pass required exams.
  • Step Four: Submit a Michigan teaching credential application.

Continue below for more information.

Earn Your Michigan Teaching Credential

To earn your Michigan teaching credential you will have to complete required the appropriate amount of undergraduate coursework and standardized tests, as well as an accredited certification program. Michigan offers a Provisional Education Certificate, valid for up to six years, and a Professional Education Certificate, renewable every five years. You must complete a total of 18 credit hours of coursework in “a planned course of study” beyond the bachelor's degree to move from a Provisional to a Professional certificate. Novice teachers must also go through an induction/mentoring program for their first three years.

Learn more about earning your Michigan Teaching Credential or read more about getting your teaching credential on

Step One: Prerequisite Coursework in Michigan

All states require that prospective teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree and complete a state-approved teacher preparation program to receive certification.  Some states also have specific course and credit-hour requirements.

Michigan does not list specific course or credit hour requirements, but every college or university teacher preparation program will have requirements of its own. Contact your teacher preparation program or Michigan Department of Education for more information.

Michigan does require a total of 18 credit hours in “a planned course of study” to move from a Provisional to a Professional Certificate.

Step Two: Michigan Teacher Certification Programs

Teacher certification programs can be taken online or on-site. They typically include an educational theory and classroom skills seminar and a fieldwork component of student teaching in the area. A list of accredited teacher preparation programs can be found at the Michigan Department of Education.

Step Three: Required Tests for Michigan

Most states require tests to show competency in basic teaching skills as well as in the desired subject area. Michigan uses the MTTC (Michigan Test for Teacher Certification). All teaching candidates must pass a Professional Readiness Examination. In addition, there are specific requirements depending on grade level and desired content area.

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Explore your career options in education:

Boost your credentials: in this 8-week online course, you'll engage deeply with the most relevant research on effective and engaging teaching methods in the higher education context. Refine your own practices, portfolio, and teaching philosophy and set yourself apart as effective educator.

BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons is the highly respected Master of Science in Behavior Analysis program delivered online from Simmons College. The program prepares students for leadership roles in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.

Counseling@NYU offers an online master of arts in Counseling and Guidance program, with concentrations in school and bilingual school counseling to prepare students to become collaborative leaders elementary, middle, and high schools across the country. Part-time and full-time options are available to fit student schedules.

Vanderbilt University's Peabody College offers an online Master of Education in human development counseling with a specialization in school counseling for students interested in becoming school counselors and making a meaningful difference in K–12 settings.

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT) is for aspiring teachers who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need to become great educators.

The online Master of Science in Teaching program prepares aspiring teachers (grades 1-6) for initial teaching certification or dual certification in teaching and special education.

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Alternative Teacher Certification in Michigan

The Michigan Alternate Route to Interim Certification (MARTIC)  is used to address regional teacher shortages, and allows teachers to complete a certification program while working as a teacher full time. For more information on Michigan alternative certification, read through the Alternate Route to Interim Teaching Certification Program Application.

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Benefits of a Master's Degree in Michigan

It is no longer enough to only have years of experience teaching. After No Child Left Behind and other academic quantification measures, teachers are almost solely evaluated by their success in the classroom. A master’s degree in the field of education can give you more educational theory and classroom skills, as well as more hands-on student teaching experience with a mentor. After a master’s program, you will be able to achieve better results in the classroom and have more job security and higher pay.

Teachers in Detroit starting out with a master’s degree can expect to earn $3,000, more annually than a new teacher with a  bachelor’s degree. In five years, the differential rises to more than $5,000 and upwards with additional years of experience, according to the Detroit Public Schools 2015-16 salary schedule.  

Learn more about the benefits of a Master of Arts in Teaching vs. Master of Education on

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Certification Reciprocity in Michigan

Interstate reciprocity is a program that allows teachers certified in one state to teach in another state. To find out which other state teaching licenses can be used in Michigan, visit the reciprocity page.

For more specific information questions about your situation, go to the Michigan Online Educator Certification System or contact the Michigan Department of Education.

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Financial Aid in Michigan

Michigan residents are eligible for the Applegate/Jackson/Parks Future Teacher Scholarship as well as the TEACH Grant, a grant which gives financial aid to students in return for an agreement to teach in a high-need school.

Learn more about how to finance your master's degree on

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Michigan Teacher Salary and Incentives

In Michigan, teachers earned an average of $61,560  in 2012-13, according to the National Center for Education Statistics., Michigan does not provide additional pay for teachers working in high- needs schools or shortage subjects. For more specific Michigan salary data, look at the Financial Data report published yearly by the Department of Education.

Learn more about teacher salaries at

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Michigan Teacher Benefits and Retirement

Michigan public school teachers are eligible for retirement benefits administered by Michigan Office of Retirement Services at age 60 after at least 10 years of teaching service, or after serving the five years before reaching age 60. Additionally, Michigan teachers can retire at any age if they have at least 30 years of service. Reduced retirement benefits are also available for teachers who do not meet the eligibility requirements for standard benefits. Benefits are determined using final average compensation and years of creditable service.

Learn more about benefits for teachers on

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Professional Development for Teachers in Michigan

Michigan’s professional development is handled through a website called LearnPort. Michigan LearnPort currently offers hundreds of courses for teachers, including nine courses that target the challenging concepts of the Michigan Merit Curriculum in the high-need areas of math and science. A comprehensive set of courses in the Biology, Chemistry and Physics Resource Series offers quick refreshers on topics tied to the Grade Level Content Expectations.

More than 30 courses are available from the U.S. Department of Education Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative, including “Monitoring Comprehension” and “Building Teacher Leaders” as well as “Beginning to Writing” and “Linear Equations.” More than 100 six-week long, instructor-facilitated courses cover a wide range of classroom topics as well as soft skills and personal enrichment topics, with new courses added regularly.

Michigan requires novice teachers to take 18-semester credits in their first six years, guided by an Individual Professional Development Program (IPDP). Experienced teachers must complete either five credit hours or six State Board Continuing Education Units (SB-CEUs) during each 5-year licensing period.

For more information about professional development for teachers in Michigan, visit the Michigan Department of Education.

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Michigan Teaching Jobs

Michigan participates in the REAP program, which helps teachers and administrators find job opportunities, as well as support services and job fair.

Learn more about finding a teaching job on

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