Getting Teacher Certification in Michigan

Jul 26, 2019

Teachers in Michigan need to be certified in order to work within the state. Here is an overview of the requirements needed to get your teaching certification in the state of Michigan.

In order to hold a teaching position in Michigan you will need to hold a teacher certification. Here is how to get certified to teach in Michigan.

Average Salary* $59,140 (Kindergarten), $66,180 (Elementary school), $64,540 (Middle school), $62,950 (Secondary school)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree or higher
Degree Field Education with a focus in your chosen discipline
Testing Requirements Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC)

Source: *U.S. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Identify Your Certification Pathway

There is more than one way become certified in Michigan and the one you want to follow will vary depending on your experience and personal situation.

Traditionally, future teachers in Michigan simply enroll in a bachelor's degree program at a college or university. From there you'd complete your coursework and take a Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) at the end of your training. This pathway is the most common and simplest to complete.

Accelerated programs are available for those who already have a bachelor's degree or higher. This pathway is best suited to those who have changed majors to teaching from another child-related study. These courses utilize pre-existing training to get to the point of being able to take the MTTC sooner than normal. Accelerated residency programs are similar to regular accelerated programs, but they also allow you to be able to teach in Michigan while completing the coursework towards certification. Accelerated programs of both kinds are available at many universities and colleges.

Alternative Certification Pathways allow a teacher to teach full time in Michigan while adding new certifications or endorsements to their repertoire. This pathway is best suited to teachers moving into the state or who wish to add new disciplines. Alternate pathways require at least a pre-existing bachelor's degree as well as a valid Interim Teaching Certificate (ITC). If you drop out of the alternative certification pathway you will lose your ITC. You must also have at least a 3.0 GPA, have previously passed MTTC courses, and know CPR and/or first aid.

Step 2: Complete the Background Check and Required Preliminary Courses

All certification pathways have three basic requirements before you can start them:

  • Pass a Successful Background Check
  • Complete Required Reading Courses
  • First Aid and CPR certification

A regular background check is required for every state you have lived in within the last five years. The only exception is if you lived in a National Finger Print File (NFF) state within the last five years. NFF states do not require additional background checks.

Required reading courses teach you how to help students learn to read. Six credit hours in teaching reading is required for all teachers in Michigan. Secondary school teachers need an additional three hours in teaching reading for disciplines related to their endorsement.

CPR and first aid certification can be obtained via the Red Cross, the local National Safety Council affiliate or any other state-certified source. Many of these training courses are free.

Step 3: Complete Your Certification Pathway

Certification pathways may be completed online or in person. It is allowed to take these courses out of state; however, you will need to contact the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification in order to take an additional evaluation test to prove to the state of Michigan that you have completed your courses. If you take your certification pathway courses within the state, you will need to use the Michigan Online Educator Certification System instead to start your teacher certification application.

Step 4: Pass the MTTC

People who do not live in Michigan may need a Professional Education Teaching Certificate to take the MTTC. If you have at least thee years of successful teaching experience at the grade level you are applying for and at least eighteen post-bachelor's hours of study you can skip right to the MTTC. If you do not have these qualifications, you will need a Professional Education Teaching Certificate to be able to take the MTTC. You can apply for this via the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS). You may also be required to undergo additional testing.

The MTTC is taken in person and will be completed on a computer. The MTTC is taken via appointment only, but testing dates are available every day except Sundays year round. Each test will require a testing fee that varies depending on your discipline.

The MTTC may be taken until passed; however, on the fourth failure or higher you will need to seek academic counseling in order to improve your skills. Once the MTTC has been passed it will remain valid for five years.

Step 5: Get Your Certification

Upon successful completion of the MTTC, log into the MOECS and apply for your desired teaching certification. There is an application fee associated with applying for certification. This fee only covers applying for the certification and does not cover certification printing, paperwork processing or anything else. The application fee for most certifications is $160 for in-state applicants and $210 for out-of-state applicants.

Renewal certifications are acquired the same way as a brand new certification. Simply use the MOECS system to apply and send in your application fee. Renewal fees in Michigan are $160.

From there just check the MOECS to see how your certification application is doing. Summer and the month of January are the busiest times of year. It may take longer to be approved if you applied during these months.

Once completed, your certification details can be gathered from the MOECS site. You can also print your certification out and renew your certification there.

Get Started Towards Certification

Getting certified takes a lot of study. Here are a few courses to help you towards your Michigan teacher certification:

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