How to Become a Teacher in Michigan

How to Get a Teaching Certificate in Michigan

The Michigan teacher certification process is a necessary step towards an educational career. Applicants need to hold a certain level of credentials in order to qualify. These apply to both the educational and professional areas as well as the Michigan teacher certification renewal process.

For example, all applicants must hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. While a major in education may be helpful, it is not necessary. After satisfying this requirement, students must also complete a teacher certification program as approved by the Michigan Department of Education. Applicants must also complete a subject area exam for any topics that they would like to specialize in. Finally, they must also successfully complete both a standard first aid course as well as a background check.

In addition to this standard Michigan teacher certification, applicants can also consider a Professional and Advanced Professional certification. Professional certification requires a standard certification as well as three years of teaching experience, additional coursework, and a graduate degree in education. Advanced Professional certification requires Professional certification, 5 years of teaching, and the completion of an approved Michigan Teacher Leader program.

Michigan Teacher Certification Programs

Those who want to know how to get a teaching certificate in Michigan should anticipate the additional educational requirement of teacher certification programs. This is in addition to a bachelor's degree.

These programs exist to ensure that even students who did not major in education have the opportunity to learn the most up-to-date principles of instruction. For example, students may have the chance to learn advanced lesson-planning skills. Other possible areas include the latest educational technology, ways to engage with students, and tutoring resources. These will likely be skills that students can apply across their education careers.

Additionally, this education may also focus on Michigan-specific areas. This may include local history or culture. This requirement helps teachers specialize in localized education for their students. Even those who wish to be a substitute teacher in Michigan will need to educate themselves in these areas.

Furthermore, these tests are more than a requirement for the Michigan teacher license. They can also be crucial resources to help students prepare for the required exams as well. Thus, they're a vital part of the licensure process in many ways.

In addition to these programs, students also have access to other preparation resources. These are not required by the state but may prove useful during the exam period. For example, applicants can review the specific content areas covered by the test as offered by the state. They may also choose to complete a full-length practice exam.

How to Become a Teacher in Michigan

Students who want to pursue a certification to become a Michigan teacher should anticipate a few educational requirements. First, students must successfully complete a bachelor's degree. While students who major in education may find that they feel better prepared for their career, it is not a requirement.

After completing a bachelor's degree, students must then complete a state-approved teacher certification course. These are specifically designed to prepare future teachers for both their exams and practical careers. Some topics covered may include:

  • Lesson planning, which usually covers how to create a cohesive education plan for students.
  • Mediation techniques, where applicants can learn the best way to resolve issues between students.
  • Safety courses, which gives applicants the opportunity to learn basic first aid such as CPR.

These programs are not the same as masters degrees. However, students may still be able to find higher education opportunities that offer a master's degree in education alongside the certification program.

Michigan Test for Teacher Certification

There is no general education test that students must pass to earn their teaching certificate. Successful completion of a Michigan-approved teacher preparation program will fill this requirement instead.

However, there are a variety of tests that aspiring teachers must pass to teach those subjects. For example, only those who successfully complete the Biology exam may teach it in the state of Michigan.

The format of each test varies between subjects. However, many are computer-based, multiple-choice, and last for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Most also come with preparation materials that potential test-takers can use to increase their chances of a passing grade.

Michigan Teachers Licensing Application Process

Students must start earning their Michigan teaching license by seeking out a state-approved teacher preparation program. This will include classes pertaining to teaching skills as well as Michigan-specific topics. Passing this course is integral to earning certification. Then, they need to register with the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). Once they have an account, they will need to complete additional topic tests if applicable. Finally, they can submit their application to the state to finish the process.

Michigan Alternative Teacher Certification

Applicants who hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree and are already employed as teachers may opt to take the Interim Teaching Certificate (ITC) program instead. This lasts up to five years, and it cannot be renewed. With the ITC, students can continue their educational careers and progress towards a standard certificate. However, they must complete the program, pass the exams, show proof of successful teaching over three years, and earn a recommendation from the alternative route provider.

Those who want to teach specific subject areas will need to demonstrate that they currently do so. However, applicants are encouraged to note that there are several endorsements that are unavailable through this path. These include but are not limited to special education, law, and technical education.

This path is recommended for those who see a job opportunity but are not yet certified. It can also be helpful for applicants who currently work in schools but not in a teaching capacity. However, any individual can contact an approved alternate route program. This may help them find educational opportunities through which they may complete the ITC.

Certification in Michigan for Out-of-State Educators

Michigan has an Interstate Compact Agreement (ICA) with multiple other states. That means that those associated state preparation programs and certificates will be recognized. This does not apply to temporary, preliminary, or interim certificates. However, those who took alternative routes in other states are eligible.

Nevertheless, each applicant will be assessed to ensure that it satisfies the requirements of the ICA. This includes a separate application to the state. After proving that they've had at least three years of teaching experience, applicants must also answer a series of questions to ensure that they hold the required education. They must also demonstrate that they hold current training in first aid and CPR. Upon successful completion, students will be eligible for the Michigan Standard Teaching Certificate.

Michigan Teacher Employment Outlook & Salary

As of May 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there are 36,190 elementary school teachers excluding special education. As of 2018, the state of Michigan estimates that it will experience a growth rate of 3.5%. This will translate into roughly 2,910 annual openings. Given that the country-wide elementary teaching positions are projected to have a growth rate of 7% from 2020-2030, Michigan's growth rates are slower than the national average. The annual mean for an elementary school teacher's wage is estimated to be $68,850.

Secondary school teachers have similar employment opportunities. This area of education will experience a 3.8% growth rate, which translates into about 1,740 job openings per year. As for the Michigan teacher salary statistics for this position, the BLS estimates that high school teachers can expect to earn an annual mean wage of $62,930.

Expert Contributor

Amy Mayers

Amy Mayers, M.Ed. has taught middle school math for over 7 years. She is a Texas certified teacher for grades 4-12 in mathematics and has passed the TExES Math 4-8 and the TExES Math 7-12. Amy graduated with a B.S. in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Houston and a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of St. Thomas.

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