How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher in Michigan

Oct 20, 2021

Have you always had a passion for working with young children? Consider choosing to teach in Michigan, where the growing economy has led to a swell in the search for great teachers; in 2016, Michigan was first in job growth in the Midwest. Join the movement as a kindergarten teacher in Michigan.

Salaries and Educational Requirements for Kindergarten Teachers in Michigan

Average Salary for Kindergarten Teachers in Michigan (2019)* $60,320
Required Degree Bachelor's or higher
Degree Field Early Education, Elementary Education
Testing Requirements SAT & Michigan Test for Teacher Certification

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor's Degree or Higher

To take the first steps toward certification, all hopeful kindergarten teachers in Michigan will need to receive their bachelor's degree in early education. There are over 20 approved, accredited programs to choose from, and an updated list of accepted programs is available on the Michigan Department of Education's website. During the program, students will be required to complete a student teaching portion, through which they gain experience in the classroom and start to build a portfolio to use in future hiring situations. While these programs vary, most will offer classes focusing on teaching philosophies, child development, and creating inclusive learning spaces.

Step 2: Complete All Required Testing

A prospective teacher should be able to use the scores from the SAT to fulfill Michigan's Basic Skills Examination requirement. The Department of Education (DOE) asks that applicants have a score of at least 480 in Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and a score of 530 or higher for Mathematics. If an alternate test was taken during high school (for example, the ACT), the Department of Education may be able to honor those scores instead -- all up-to-date rules can be found on the DOE's website.

The next step for a prospective kindergarten teacher in Michigan is to take the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification, or the MTTC. Future kindergarten teachers need to take the Early Childhood Education (General and Special Education) test, which runs approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes online and 4 ½ hours long when taken on paper. The paper-based test is only offered during certain months of the year, while the computer-based test is offered year-round. A $130 fee is required for the online test and a $75 fee is required for the paper test, but both mandate that students meet the score of 220.

Step 3: Submit Certification Application

After all testing is complete, students must pass a federal background check (be sure to report any convictions during this time to expedite the process) and become certified in CPR and first aid. Finally, once all of the requirements are finished, students can apply for a Standard Teaching Certificate through Michigan's Online Educator Certification System (MOECS) and pay the $160 fee. Students will be guided through a self-registration process after creating the initial account with their name and social security number. These certificates will be valid for five years after they are issued.

Certification Resources for Future Kindergarten Teachers

Do you have any other questions about teaching young children, taking the MTTC, or getting certified in Michigan? Students interested in pursuing kindergarten teacher certification can use the following links to explore detailed guides and prepare for the required exams.

  • SAT Prep Information
  • MTTC Early Childhood Education Prep Information
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