High School Teacher Certification Michigan

Apr 14, 2018

Find out how to complete all testing requirements, educational components, and certification steps to become a secondary school teacher in the state of Michigan.

Michigan is currently experiencing a teacher shortage in several subjects, including math and world languages. Anyone interested in teaching at a secondary school level could find many opportunities available.

Michigan Teacher Salary Information and Requirements

Average Salary for Teachers in Michigan (2017)* $62,910 (Secondary School)
Required Degree Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Education, Content Area to be Taught
Testing Requirements SAT, MTTC Subject Exams

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Pursue a Bachelor's Degree

The first step for all future secondary school teachers in Michigan is to complete an approved, accredited teacher preparation program and graduate with a bachelor's degree in the content area one aims to teach. Secondary teachers can choose a teaching major and sometimes a minor as well. Teaching majors include core subjects like biology, English, physics, and political science. Every program will be slightly different due to the chosen content area, but most will require students to take classes about:

  • educational psychology and human development
  • diversity in education
  • teaching reading and writing (the state requires 3 semester credit hours of reading courses for secondary teachers)
  • teaching exceptional students

Every program will require students to complete a student teaching portion as well. Before they begin their student teaching, however, students are required by the state of Michigan to take the SAT. This exam is used as the basic skills examination for all teacher candidates. Candidates are required to score at least a 480 on the reading and writing sections in addition to a 530 in the mathematics section, and they can re-take the test as needed to meet the passing score requirements.

Step 2: Take All Required Tests

After securing passing scores on the SAT during their schooling, prospective secondary school teachers will then need to take any Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) subject exams that correspond with the subject area they will teach. For example, an English teacher would take the English exam, a 2 ½ hour test made up of 100 multiple choice questions. Future math teachers would take the Mathematics (Secondary) exam, made up of 80 multiple choice questions, over the span of 2 ½ hours. The MTTC website offers an updated list of all possible tests in addition to detailed information about each exam. Pricing for each exam can be found on the individual test pages, though many content exams are $130.

Step 3: Obtain CPR and First Aid Training Certificate

Future teachers are then required to complete CPR (child and adult) training and first aid training before seeking their initial teaching certificate. Online-only courses are not acceptable as some techniques require hands-on presentation and practice. The American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and a number of other providers have been approved by Michigan's educational system and award the necessary CPR and First Aid certificate.

Step 4: Complete the Certification Application

The last step is to complete the application process for teacher certification in Michigan. Teacher candidates can create a profile through Michigan's Online Educator Certification System to submit all of their certification documents. Once they have finished the online application, they can print the Standard Certificate themselves and sign it before a notary. This certificate will be valid for five years in the state.

Study Resources for Future Michigan Teachers

Confused about any testing requirements, or wanting to practice before the big test? Check out the detailed study guides below for MTTC and SAT practice.

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