How To Become a Teacher in Michigan


In this article, you'll learn how to become a teacher in Michigan, including education, assessments and other requirements needed to attain your teaching license.

Michigan Teacher Certification Roadmap

Areas of Teacher Certification

Michigan currently issues the following certificates:

  • Provisional Certificate
  • Two-Year Extended Provisional Certificate
  • Professional Education Certificate
  • Interim Occupational Certificate
  • Occupational Education Certificate
  • Preliminary School Psychologist Certificate
  • School Psychologist Certificate Temporary Teacher Employment
  • Interim Teaching Certificate
  • School Guidance Counselor License
  • Temporary School Counselor Authorization
  • Preliminary School Counselor Authorization
  • Administrator Certificate

Endorsement areas include:

  • Agriscience and Natural Resources
  • Arabic (Modern Standard)
  • American Sign Language
  • Anishinaabemowin Language and Culture
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Bilingual Education
  • Business, Management, Marketing, and Technology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Communication Arts
  • Computer Science
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Dance
  • Early Childhood
  • Earth/Space Science
  • Economics
  • Educational Technology
  • Emotional Impairment
  • English
  • English as a Second Language
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • French
  • Geography
  • German
  • Greek
  • Health Education
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Hebrew
  • History
  • Industrial and Technology Education
  • Integrated Science - Elementary
  • Integrated Science - Secondary
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Journalism
  • Language Arts
  • Latin
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Library Media
  • Marketing Education
  • Mathematics - Secondary
  • Mathematics - Elementary
  • Middle Level
  • Music Education
  • Other World Language
  • Political Science
  • Physical Education
  • Physical Education for Students with Disabilities
  • Physical Science
  • Physical or Other Health Impairment
  • Physics
  • Polish
  • Psychology
  • Reading
  • Reading Specialist
  • Russian
  • School Counselor
  • Social Studies - Elementary
  • Social Studies - Secondary
  • Spanish
  • Speech
  • Speech and Language Impairment
  • Technology and Design
  • Visual Arts Education
  • Visual Arts Education Specialist
  • Visual Impairment

Each endorsement area has requirements for certificate endorsement.

Michigan Teaching Certificate Requirements

General requirements for becoming a Michigan teacher are:

  • A bachelor's degree
  • Completion of a teacher preparation program
  • Passing score on the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) Basic Skills and appropriate subject area exam
  • Fingerprinting and background check
  • Completed application

Provisional Certificate

The initial teaching certificate is issued in Michigan upon successful completion of a state approved teacher preparation program and passage of the appropriate Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC) exams. It is valid for up to 6 years.

Provisional Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization

This teacher certificate is issued to those who hold a valid, acceptable teaching certificate from another state and meet all the requirements for the Provisional Certificate, except for passing the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). The Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization (T2EA) allows out-of-state candidates one year to meet Michigan testing requirements.

Professional Education Certificate

Michigan’s advanced teaching license/credential requires the completion of 18 semester hours of graduate study or a master’s degree, in addition to three years teaching experience. You may also be eligible for the Professional Education Certificate by achieving National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certification. You must also meet the basic reading requirements (Six semester hours of teaching of reading or reading methods for elementary and three semester hours for secondary) and complete three semester credits of reading diagnostics and remediation, which includes a field experience.

Professional Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization

This teaching certificate requires out-of-state candidates to hold a valid, acceptable certificate from another and meet all the requirements for the Michigan Professional Education Certificate, except for the reading methods coursework. Once issued, you must complete the reading requirements within the year in order to be issued a Michigan Professional Education Certificate.

Interim Teaching Certificate

Interim teaching certificates are an alternative route to teaching. With this certificate, you may teach in a public school while completing your requirements for teacher certification through a state approved alternate route teaching program. To qualify, you must hold a bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate, or professional degree from a regionally accredited college or university, with a GPA of at least 3.0. You must also pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification Basic Skills and appropriate subject area exam(s) prior to acceptance or admission to an alternate route program.

While working under the Interim Certification you will receive observation and coaching. Once you complete three years of satisfactory teaching experience under the Interim certificate, you may be recommended for a Michigan Provisional Certificate or Professional Education Certificate.

School Guidance Counselor License

To become a Michigan School Guidance Counselor you must complete 30 graduate level semester hours in an approved school counseling program, a 600 clock hour internship, and pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification.

Education Requirements

In order to become a teacher in Michigan, you must possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree. If you do not meet this requirement, here are some of the top online education degree programs to help you meet the requirements of becoming a teacher.

Michigan Test for Teacher Certification

Michigan requires all candidates for teacher certification take the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). The MTTC is composed of Basic Skills test for Math, Reading and Writing, and an appropriate subject area exam for areas of endorsement.


Michigan requires fingerprinting and criminal history checks for anyone seeking to become a teacher. You may get your fingerprints taken at a Michigan LiveScan Fingerprint location. Once taken, your fingerprints will undergo a state and federal criminal history background check. Here's the complete Michigan criminal history requirements and documentation.

Certification Reciprocity

Reciprocity is a mutual, cooperative agreement between States regarding the interchange and transfer of teacher certificates. Reciprocity is not automatic. Michigan offers a Provisional Temporary Teacher Employment Authorization for anyone who holds an out-of-state teacher certificate. However, this certificate is valid for 1 year, during which time you must meet all the requirements for a provisional teaching certificate.

Michigan Alternative Teacher Certification

There are three main alternative routes to certification programs in Michigan: Central Michigan University, Wayne State University, the Ferris State University troops to teachers program.

The main focus of Central Michigan University's Alternative Route to Certification (ARC) Program is on preparing math, science, and industrial education teachers for rural school districts.

Wayne State University's Pathways Alternative Route to Certification Program focuses upon special education and bilingual education for urban school districts in the Detroit area.

The Ferris State University Michigan Troops to Teachers collaboration is a Federal program developed to place qualified active duty personnel and reservists into teaching positions. The focus of the program is on finding special education, bilingual education, math, science, and industrial education teachers for high-need, low-income school districts in rural and urban settings.

Here's an overview of Michigan Alternative Teacher Certification programs.

In addition to these programs, Teach for America Detroit offers another option for working professionals with a bachelor's degree to transition to a second career as a teacher. A similar program, the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship serves Michigan in offering an alternative teacher certification program by recruiting qualified professionals and helping them with assistance and training to meet the Michigan requirements for becoming a teacher.

Become a Substitute Teacher in Michigan

If you have a college degree but don't qualify for a teaching certificate, you may consider reading how to become a substitute teacher in Michigan. You may substitute teach while you attain your teaching credentials through an accredited online program.

Teacher Jobs In Michigan

You may apply directly for a teaching position with the school or school district in which you wish to teach. This list of Michigan schools offers a directory of 549 Michigan Public School Districts and provides links to each Michigan school district Web site.

In addition, Michigan REAP is an online recruitment and application service for educators. You may browse teacher jobs, or post your resume so school districts can find you when they are looking for teachers.

Michigan Teacher Salaries

Michigan teacher salaries vary by school district, as well as education level and number of years teaching. This Michigan teacher salary schedule offers salary information for teachers in Michigan. It shows teachers salaries ranging from $30,122.40 to $66,001.68.

Resources for Teacher Certification in Michigan

Michigan Department of Education
Office of Professional Preparation Services
P.O. Box 30008
Lansing, MI 48909
(517) 373-3310

Interested in how to become a teacher in another state? Return to the How to Become a Teacher main page, or click on one of these neighboring states below.