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Substitute Teacher Certification in Michigan

There are four types of substitute teacher certifications, or permits, in Michigan. Each one has distinct requirements. This article provides information about all the different permits and how to get them.

Overview of Michigan Substitute Teaching

Becoming a substitute teacher in Michigan has different requirements depending on the type of substitute teacher role being filled. At the most basic level, at least 60 college credit hours are required to be a substitute teacher in Michigan. Those who wish to be substitute teachers need to get hired at an individual district, and then the school district has to apply for a substitute teacher permit from the state.

Education/Experience Required At least 60 college credit hours (with a grade C or higher) from an accredited institution
Permit Validity Period One year
Permit Renewal Some can be renewed, depending on the permit
Mean Salary (2018) $31,930 *
Estimated Job Growth (2016-2026) 10% (for teachers and instructors, all other, nationwide)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Get Hired at a School District

Substitutes are hired through each individual school district, so applicants should look for job openings at the school districts where they would like to work and follow their application processes. These will vary by school district. When a school district decides it wants to hire a substitute teacher, it will apply for the relevant substitute teaching permit with the state department of education.

Understand the Different Substitute Permits and Education Requirements

There are four different kinds of substitute teacher permits in Michigan.

  • Daily Substitute: This is for substitutes who fill in on an as-needed basis and won't teach for more than 90 days in one assignment. (However, this time limit can be extended if the substitute receives a satisfactory observation and approval from the state superintendent.) Applicants need at least 60 college credit hours with a grade C or higher from an accredited institution.
  • Full-Year Basic Substitute: This permit doesn't have a time limit per assignment. Applicants need to meet the same college credit requirements as a daily substitute, and they need to have majored in the subject they are teaching or pass a state skills test in the subject if it is a core subject area.
  • Full-Year Shortage Substitute: When a qualified regular teacher can't be found to fill a position, the school can hire a shortage substitute teacher. This substitute needs to have a Michigan teaching certificate and have majored or passed a skills test in the area they are teaching if it is a core subject.
  • Expert Substitute: Expert substitutes can be hired if they have a specialization in a certain area. They must have at least 60 college credit hours (and likely more) in addition to five years of work experience. Other relevant licenses and qualifications may be required depending on the subject.

Understand the Permit Validity and Renewal Requirements

Any substitute permit, no matter its kind, is only valid in the school district where the substitute works. Each type of substitute permit has its own validity period and renewal requirements.

  • Daily Substitute Permit: The daily substitute permit is only valid for one year and cannot be renewed.
  • Full-Year Basic Substitute Permit: It can be renewed three times, for a total validity period of four years. It can be renewed once if a teacher receives an effective rating during evaluations and enrolls in a teacher preparation program approved by the state. It can be renewed two more times if the substitute completes six college credit hours each year.
  • Full-Year Shortage Substitute: This can be renewed three times as long as the teacher receives an effective evaluation rating or higher.
  • Expert Substitute: This can continue to be renewed as long as the substitute has been rated as effective.

Complete Other Requirements for Permit Application

The permit application process is completed by the school district. However, the school district will need to ensure applicants get fingerprinted for a background check, which is required by the state. They may also need to submit transcripts, test scores and other relevant document to prove the substitute teacher's qualifications. These will depend on the substitute permit the applicant is seeking.