How to Become a Teacher in Detroit
The state of Michigan requires all educators who wish to teach in public schools to become certified through the Michigan Department of Education. Teachers who have earned a bachelor’s degree and have completed a teacher preparation program are eligible to take the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). Those who pass the two-part exam will earn an initial teaching certificate and will be eligible to work in the Detroit Public Schools District. Requirements for private and charter schools in Detroit may vary on an individual basis.
Detroit School District Steps for Becoming a Teacher
Prospective teachers with Detroit Public Schools must meet minimum qualifications to be considered for employment, including holding a bachelor’s degree and maintaining Michigan teaching certification. The traditional pathway to certification is completing an approved bachelor’s degree program with a teacher preparation component. If you already have a bachelor’s degree but did not complete teacher preparation, you can complete an approved alternative program to earn certification. Then, follow these steps to apply to jobs in the Detroit Public Schools system.
Step 1: Complete an online application.
To apply for open positions within Detroit Public Schools, search for open positions online and submit your letter of interest, resume, and supporting documents to the address listed in the job posting. Due to the large volume of inquiries, the Detroit Public School System does not typically accept general applications or applications for positions that are not open. New hires must be prepared to provide Detroit Public Schools with all requested documentation, which typically includes official transcripts and proof of Michigan teacher certification.
Step 2: Be interviewed by a school leader or panel.
Often, a school leader will contact you for an interview for the position. You may be asked to prepare supplemental documents, such as lesson plans or reference letters. Ask for details before the interview.
Step 3: Complete the hiring process.
Once you have been offered a position with the school system, you will likely need to complete the hiring process with the human resources department or other hiring authority. Details will be provided by the school or the school district at the time of a job offer.
How to Become a Substitute Teacher with the Detroit School District
Candidates interested in substitute teaching positions in Detroit Public Schools must have a bachelor’s degree and be able to pass a criminal background check. Apply to the substitute teaching pool using the online job bank and submitting a cover letter, resume, transcripts, and any certifications if applicable. Check for critical shortage substitute opportunities if you have any specialized skills, such as bilingualism.
Detroit Teacher Certification Requirements
Michigan law requires all teachers to be certified in order to lead classrooms in public schools. To become certified, candidates must have completed a bachelor’s degree and approved teacher preparation program. Candidates must also pass the Michigan Test for Teacher Certification (MTTC). Find more information about the traditional route to teacher certification on our Michigan teacher certification page.
Prospective teachers who have not completed a teacher preparation program can opt for the alternative path to certification, which places candidates in the classroom while they complete a teacher preparation program. Learn more on our Michigan alternative teacher certification page.
2025 14th St
Detroit, MI 48216
Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in Detroit
Private and charter schools may have different hiring requirements than Detroit Public Schools and are not required by the state to hire certified teachers. In some cases, non-public schools will hire well-qualified applicants for teaching positions who have the required education but not Michigan teacher certification.
Private and Charter Schools
There are many private and charter schools in the Detroit area that post job openings for new teachers. Here are a few well-known ones to check out.
Private Schools in Detroit
- Christ the King School
- Cornerstone Schools
- Detroit Waldorf School
- Friends School in Detroit
- Loyola High School
Charter Schools in Detroit
Detroit Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
Average salaries earned by teachers in Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia vary based on the age range taught, according to 2015 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Kindergarten teachers earn an average of $47,760, which is below the state average of $56,320 and the national average of $54,510.2,3,4 In contrast, elementary school teachers in the Detroit area earn similar average salaries ($61,230) compared to an average of $62,220 at the state level, both of which are higher than the national average of $57,730.2,3,4 Finally, middle school and secondary school teachers in Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia earn average salaries above the state and national averages; middle school teachers earn an average of $64,080 compared to $63,680 in Michigan and $58,760 nationally and secondary school teachers earn an average of $63,590 compared to $60,400 statewide and $60,440 nationally.2,3,4
According to long-term projections from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget, teaching positions may decline in the Detroit Metro area between 2012 and 2022. The most significant change will be among secondary school teaching positions, which may decrease by 10.4% or 790 positions overall.1 Kindergarten teaching positions may decrease by 2.2% (15 positions), elementary school teachers may decrease by 4.3% (590 positions), and middle school teachers may decrease by 4.7% (305 positions).1
Detroit Teaching Jobs Boards
Begin your job search by browsing online job boards with postings in the Detroit area. Here are some online job boards to get started.
Additional Resources for Teaching in Detroit, Michigan
- Detroit Public Schools
- Detroit Federation of Teachers
- Association of Independent Michigan Schools
- Teach For America Detroit
1. Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget – Data Search: http://milmi.org/datasearch
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia Metropolitan Division: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19804.htm#25-0000
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Michigan: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mi.htm#25-0000
4. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#25-0000