How to Become a Teacher in Detroit
The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPCSD) is the largest public school district in Michigan, with over 100 schools educating an estimated 50,000 children.1 The state of Michigan requires all educators who wish to teach in public schools to become certified through the Michigan Department of Education. Requirements for private and charter schools in Detroit may vary. Read more below about how to become a teacher in Detroit’s public, private, and charter schools.
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 Tests 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.
Teacher Certification Programs in Detroit
The Detroit-area colleges and universities listed below offer teacher preparation programs that have been approved by the Michigan Department of Education. You can read more about Michigan teacher certification programs on our Michigan schools page.
- Concordia University
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- University of Michigan-Dearborn
- Wayne State University
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 provide Detroit Public Schools Community District 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.
2025 14th St
Detroit, MI 48216
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 submit a cover letter, resume, transcripts, and any certifications applicable. Be sure to check for critical shortage substitute opportunities if you have any specialized skills, such as bilingualism.
Private and Charter School Teacher Requirements in Detroit
Private and charter schools may have different hiring requirements than the Detroit Public Schools Community District 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. The required education is typically a bachelor’s degree, preferably in education or a teachable subject. However, candidates who do have state certification may be more competitive for open positions.
The Largest K-12 Schools in Detroit
To help you compare public, private, and charter schools in Detroit that may have openings for qualified teachers, we compiled the following table comparing the largest schools in the Detroit metro.
|Munger Elementary/Middle School
|Brown Ronald Academy
|King John R. Academic & Performing Arts Academy
|Cass Technical High School
|Western International High School
|East English Village Preparatory Academy
|Old Redford Academy-Elementary School
|Detroit Service Learning Academy
|Detroit Edison Public School Academy
|University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy
|Detroit Cristo Rey High School
|Al-lkhlas Training Academy
See Table Notes and References at bottom of page.
Detroit Teacher Salary and Jobs Outlook
The average salaries earned by teachers in Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia vary based on the age range taught. Kindergarten teachers in the Detroit metro earn an average of $60,180, which is slightly above the state average of $59,140 and the national average of $58,370.2-4 Similarly, elementary school teachers in the Detroit area earn an average salary $73,430 that is higher than the average of $66,180 at the state level, both of which are higher than the national average of $62,200.2-4 Finally, middle school and secondary school teachers in Detroit-Dearborn-Livonia also earn average salaries above the state and national averages; Detroit middle school teachers earn an average of $65,670 compared to $64,540 in Michigan and $62,030 nationally and secondary school teachers earn an average of $66,500 compared to $62,950 statewide and $64,340 nationally.2-4
According to long-term projections from the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, teaching positions should see moderate growth in the Detroit area through 2026. Growth is projected at 5.8% for both kindergarten and elementary school teachers, with similar growth of 5.9% projected for middle school teachers.5 Secondary school teacher positions are expected to grow by just over 6% during the same time period.5
Detroit Teacher Shortage Areas
The US Department of Education bases some student loan forgiveness programs on teacher shortage areas, meaning that your chances of qualifying for loan forgiveness may be stronger if you are teaching a subject that has been formally identified as a shortage area. You may also qualify for other funding opportunities or a more competitive salary based on your endorsement(s). Note that shortage areas may change from year to year, so you should be sure to check with state education agencies, your selected education program, and your student loan providers about funding options. For the 2020-2021 school year, the following subject areas were submitted as shortage areas in Michigan (statewide):
- Bilingual Education
- Career and Technical Education
- Computer Science
- Elementary Education
- English as a Second Language (ESL)
- Family and Consumer Sciences
- Language Arts (Reading and Literacy)
- Physical Education
- Social Studies
- Special Education (all certificate types)
- Visual Arts, Music, & Dance Education
- World Languages (all certificate types)
Detroit Teaching Jobs Boards
Begin your job search by browsing online job boards with postings in the Detroit area. Below are some online job boards to get started, and you can also check our jobs board for open positions in Detroit and surrounding areas.
- Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD): The administration arm of Detroit’s public schools.
- Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT): Union representing Detroit’s public school teachers and other eligible employees.
- Association of Independent Michigan Schools (AIMS): A not-for-profit organization promoting independent schools in Michigan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: What is the typical Detroit teacher salary?
Answer: Teachers in the Detroit metro area make more on average than teachers statewide or nationally.2-4 Kindergarten teachers in the Detroit metro earn an average of $60,180; elementary school teachers earn an average salary of $73,430; middle school teachers earn an average of $65,670; and secondary school teachers earn an average of $66,500.2
Question: What are the teacher shortage areas in Detroit?
Answer: The Michigan Department of Education publishes loan forgiveness-eligible shortage area lists. Current shortage areas include career and technical education, bilingual education and English as a Second Language, special education, and world languages.6
Question: What are the benefits packages for Detroit teachers?
Answer: Detroit teachers receive many benefits that are supplemented or paid in full by the Detroit Public Schools Community District. These include a pension plan, health and life insurance, paid sick leave, and paid holidays. The district also offers employee assistance programs and additional insurance options.
Table Notes and References:
1. Niche, Best Schools in the Detroit Area: https://www.niche.com/k12/search/best-schools/m/detroit-metro-area/
1. Detroit Public Schools Community District: https://www.detroitk12.org/domain/148
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Detroit-Warren-Dearborn Metropolitan Division: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_19820.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Michigan: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mi.htm#25-0000
4. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2018 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, United States: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#25-0000
5. Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives: https://milmi.org/datasearch/
6. Michigan Department of Education, Critical Shortages – Federal Loan Forgiveness: https://www.michigan.gov/mde/services/ed-serv/educator-retention-supports/loan-forgiveness-programs-for-educators