Michigan Teacher Salary Information

It's a widely held assumption that teachers don't earn much money. Fortunately for prospective educators, that assumption often doesn't hold water. The real salary situation is much more complex and subject to a great deal of geographic variation. Michigan starting teacher salaries, for example, averaged $35,901 in 2013, according to the National Education Association, more than the national average but less than the highest-paid teachers, in New York State.

In order to truly evaluate Michigan teacher salary data, however, it's important to consider the cost of living. And on that measurement, Michigan teachers do quite well: median monthly housing costs for homeowners are 12 percent lower than the national average.(1)

Not only that, but Michigan teachers are eligible for competitive retirement benefits, including pension plans and health insurance through the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System.(2) Add to that the fact that teachers enjoy famously long vacations, and suddenly the compensation for being a teacher looks very attractive indeed.

Fringe benefits and cost of living aren't the only factors affecting Michigan teacher salaries, though. What grade level you teach can also have an effect on your earnings.

Salaries also vary quite a bit depending on where you live, reflecting cost-of-living differences. Here are average annual starting teacher salaries from the National Education Association, 2013, and median annual teacher salaries by grade level, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook:

Type of Teacher Average or Median Annual Salary
Starting Teacher (Average) $35,901
Kindergarten Teacher (Median) $55,400
Elementary School Teacher (Median) $62,340
Middle School Teacher (Median) $58,570
High School Teacher (Median) $61,380
Substitute Teacher (Median) $23,320

Whether your scene is urban Detroit or the natural beauty of the Great Lakes, Michigan has a lot to offer would-be teachers. Start researching teacher education programs today!

(1) 2009 American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau
(2) Michigan Office of Retirement Services
(3) U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth
(4) BLS