Become a Teacher in Michigan

Michigan Highlights

Avg. Elementary Teacher Salary: $77,900
Avg. Secondary Teacher Salary: $78,810
Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15 

 Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics External link  report

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: 08/10/2018

This page is sponsored by our partner Rossier Online, a master level teaching degree program delivered online that enables you to earn a Master’s degree and teaching credential. Learn more about how the University of Southern California can help you become a transformative teacher in Michigan.

To become a certified teacher in Michigan, you will need to fulfill these 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.

Our goal is to make this process as easy as possible, and we are dedicated to updating with new information on a regular basis.

Step One: Michigan Prerequisite Coursework

All states require that certified teachers have at least a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, some states have undergraduate credit hour requirements for certification in specialty areas. Michigan, however, does not have any undergraduate credit hour requirements.

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Master’s Requirements

Many schools of education now offer online MAT programs that provide increased flexibility by allowing aspiring or working teachers to attend class and complete coursework from any location that has an Internet connection. Online MAT programs are a practical option for students who have professional and personal commitments that make it difficult to obtain teaching certification through a full-time program.

The best online programs offer the same curriculum as the school’s on-campus program and apply the same admission requirements. Providing students with the ability to communicate with instructors and classmates in a face-to-face online environment is another hallmark of a good online program. In addition, candidates in online MAT programs should be provided with the opportunity to complete student teaching fieldwork in the local community.

Learn more about getting your MAT online with our partner USC Rossier School of Education.

Step Two: Michigan Teacher Preparation

Teacher preparation includes the completion of an accredited teacher education program. Typically teacher education programs consist of a combination of curricula and fieldwork. The curricula often includes instruction on foundational knowledge and skills, pedagogy (or the art and science of teaching) and preparing students to research, design and implement learning experiences in their field of study. The fieldwork component can include field observations, student teaching and an internship.

While the involvement in an education program may seem financially daunting, a number of financial resources specifically for teachers exist around the country. For more information on this, visit our page on scholarships for teachers. For more scholarships for teachers exclusive to Michigan, visit our Michigan Teacher Scholarships page.

Alternative Certification

Graduates of accredited colleges or universities whose bachelor’s degree was not in education, and who have not yet earned a traditional teaching certificate, can still receive an alternative teaching certificate by satisfying certain requirements. Click here for more information about alternative certification in Michigan.

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Step Three: Michigan Required Tests

State Tests

All teaching candidates in Michigan are required to complete and pass a basic skills assessment as well as any content area assessments needed for their desired level of certifications. Michigan requires all teaching candidates to complete tests through the Michigan Tests for Teacher Certification (MTTC).

Basic Skills Test: MTTC Professional Readiness Requirement

All candidates pursuing a provisional teaching certificate must take and pass the Professional Readiness Examination before enrolling in their student teaching program. The Professional Readiness Exam consists of three parts: reading, math and writing.

Basic Skills Test: MTTC Professional Readiness Requirement
Certification Required Tests

Required for all teaching candidates, regardless of level of certification

Professional Readiness Exam

Elementary Education

All elementary-level candidates must complete and pass both the Elementary Education test along with any other corresponding subject-area tests.

Secondary Education

All secondary-level teaching candidates must complete and pass the subject-area test(s) for each academic area in which they’re seeking certification


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Step Four: Michigan Application Requirements

The Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) is an online portal designed to act as a one-stop shop for teaching candidates’ certification needs. After creating an account, applicants are able to apply for certificates/endorsements, renew licenses and keep track of all their certification data.

MOECS also provides assistance regarding teacher background checks and fingerprint clearance. For more information on employment clearance, email or call 517-373-3310. Contact Stephanie Whiteside at 517-335-1167.

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Michigan Certification Reciprocity

Michigan has interstate certification reciprocity with other states. Visit the Michigan Department of Education to inquire about your specific situation. Please see our interstate reciprocity disclaimer for more information.

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Michigan Teacher Salary

  • Incentives to teach in high-needs schools or shortage subject areas: Michigan provides loan forgiveness for teachers teaching in high-needs schools or teachers teaching in shortage subject areas
  • Policies in place that articulate elements of effective induction: Michigan has strong induction policies in place which include professional development, training, and mentoring programs
  • Average Elementary Teacher Salary: $62,720
  • Average Secondary Teacher Salary: $62,910
  • Teacher Salary vs. State Average Salary: The average teacher in Michigan makes 158% of the salary of the average worker in Michigan
  • Average Number of Vacation Weeks Per Year: 15

Teacher salaries were provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ May 2017 Occupational Employment Statistics report.

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Michigan Certification Resources & Links

606 West Allegan Street
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, Michigan 48909

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