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How Much Does a First Year Teacher Make in Michigan?

Michigan offers one of the highest beginning teacher and overall average teacher salaries in the United States. Michigan teachers typically earn more than the national average teacher salary and are paid even greater salaries when they complete additional education. Michigan teachers must complete a minimum of a bachelor's degree in education and apply for teacher certification before applying for employment.

First Year Salary

Michigan offers an average starting salary of about $35,557 as of 2011, according to Teacher Portal. This starting salary ranks 10th when compared with all 50 states. New teachers who teach in an area deemed to be a critical shortage area are most likely to secure a teaching job. Shortage areas include biology, chemistry, general science, English as a second language, mathematics, physics and special education.

Average Salary

The National Education Association ranks Michigan as having the 12th highest average salary in the U.S. in 2010 with an average salary of $57,958. Michigan's average salary was significantly higher than the national average teacher salary of $55,202. Teacher Portal ranks Michigan fourth on its comfort score index, which indicates that the teacher salary in Michigan will provide a comfortable living.

Geographical Differences

Each school district in Michigan sets its own salary schedule. Teachers salaries depend largely on the geographical area where the teacher is employed. For example, first-year teachers in Detroit earned about $38,297 in 2006. Those in Farmington earned $38,930, while those in Genesee earned $37,578. Benton Harbor teachers only earned about $31,347 during their first year, and those in the Traverse Bay Area earned about $33,544.

Salary Incentives

Michigan teachers earn salary incentives for completing additional college coursework. For example, Detroit, Michigan, offered a starting teaching salary of $39,647 for those with a bachelor's degree during the 2009-2010 school year, according to Detroit Federation of Teachers. A first-year teacher with a master's degree earned $41,537. Those who completed 30 graduate hours beyond a master's degree earned a salary of $41,837 and those with a doctorate's degree earned a salary of $42,137. Also, teachers in Michigan may earn incentives for supervising school activities or sports during after school hours. Michigan teachers also receive benefits such as paid health insurance and a retirement plan.


Based in Laurel, Miss., Melody Morgan Hughes covers topics related to education, money and health. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English education from the University of Southern Mississippi, a Master of Education from William Carey University and a Master of Education from Nova Southeastern University.