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14 Highest Paying Jobs in Education

List of the highest paying jobs in educationThere are many fulfilling jobs in education.

These careers offer rewarding opportunities to help people young and old grow intellectually and develop new skills. School jobs entail a wide range of broad, management-level responsibilities, while still fasciliating personal, one-on-one connections.

You can go into lots of different fields with an education major, so let’s take a closer look at the best jobs for anyone who has a bachelor’s degree in education. While some of these jobs will require further education, many will be available once you complete your bachelor’s degree and teaching certification!

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Summary of Skills for an Education Major

A teaching degree prepares people for the challenges of the classroom, but the skill acquired during an education major can be applied to many different fields. Providing instruction is one of the most obvious skill sets. Teachers learn to effectively communicate concepts, helping people understand topics that range from ethical theories to advanced calculus.

Many education majors specialize in a specific form of teaching, so they will likely acquire advanced skills in science, math, music, or other important subjects. These skills can often be applied to different jobs, including careers in education.

Problem-solving is another important skill for education majors. With this degree, you’ll learn to assess complex problems, and create a useful, clear solution. For example, teachers will need to create a comprehensive plan for teaching students who are at different skill levels while still providing a challenging yet useful education.

Teachers also need to be skilled in teamwork in order to provide a quality education to their students. While the “team” isn’t as clearly defined as a business team, the group can still include other teachers, students, parents, administrators, and more. Getting everyone to work towards the same goal can be tough, and an education degree prepares you for these challenges.

There are many other skills that are acquired during an education degree. From management to speaking to evaluating performance, an education major gives students a full inventory of high-demand skills.

Determining the Best Jobs in Education: Our Process

To make this list, we looked at two important elements of a job choice: salary and expected job growth. Obviously there are other factors that matter, such as job satisfaction, but these are two important parts that can easily be compared side-by-side.

To generate our information, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a section of the U.S. Department of Labor. This government agency lists average salaries for many different careers. According to their data, the average salary across all jobs in the United States for 2016 was $37,040.

We also looked at estimates on job growth. The current job growth listings from the BLS are estimates for the period of 2014 to 2024. The expected job growth across all careers is 7%.

Best Entry-Level Jobs for Education Majors

While the long-term career opportunities are extensive for someone with a education degree, here are the highest paying education degree jobs you can get right out of school.

#1   High School Teacher

Avg. Salary: $58,030
Top 10%: $92,000

One of the most traditional jobs in education is the role of a high school teacher. These professionals work in either public or private schools and can teach a wide range of subjects, but every high school teacher must have proper certification and licenses, which are administered by the state. 

High school teachers have a challenging job, but they make an average of $58,030 a year. If you are among the top 10% of this field, you can expect to make over $92,000 annually. Job growth is 8%, making it a steady career choice. 

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#2   Special Education Teacher

Avg. Salary: $57,910
Top 10%: $93,090

Students have a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. It is the job of special education teachers to help them learn and develop useful skills for future careers and general living. Teaching can include many topics, such as reading, writing, math, and science. Most special education teachers work in public schools, although some work in private schools and childcare centers. 

The pay for this career sits at an average salary of $57,910. The top 10% of special education teachers enjoy an annual salary above $93,090. The job growth for this career is expected to be 8%, fueled in part by increased awareness of special education needs. 


#3   Middle School Teacher

Avg. Salary: $56,720
Top 10%: $89,000

Middle school teachers are typically responsible for educating students from 6th through 8th grades. They build on the fundamentals of education that were established during elementary school, and prepare students for the content and structure of high school. Like most education jobs, they also need proper licensing and certifications through the state. 

Pay for a middle school teacher is just slightly below that of a high school teacher. They make an average salary of $56,720 a year and the top 10% earn over $89,000. Expected job growth is also steady at 8% from 2014 to 2024. 

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Highest Paying Jobs in Education

Now let’s look at the best careers in education for earning a strong income. While many of these are school system jobs,  some are in the private sector and a few are jobs in higher education.

 Training & Development Manager  Average salary: $105,830

If you’re looking for a high-paying job that lets you utilize your education and teaching experience, but don’t necessarily want to stay in traditional school jobs, then a career as a training and development manager may be perfect for you. This career requires someone who can staff, plan, and coordinate programs that enhance knowledge, which sounds perfect for teachers. Although your education major will help, you’ll likely need further training in human resources or management, and you may need a master’s degree. People in these positions earn an average salary of $105,830, while the top 10% of this career can make over $184,990. Job outlook is excellent as well, with an expected rise of 10% from 2014 to 2024.

Required Education: HR Certificate or Master’s in HR

 School Principal  Average salary: $92,510

If you have worked in education jobs for a few years and are ready to take the next step, working as a principal may be right for you. In this career, you will oversee all the operations of a specific elementary, middle, or high school. Tasks may include defining curriculums, overseeing teacher staff, and providing general guidance for the institution. To work as a principal, you will need to build on your education major with a master’s degree in education leadership or education administration. If you become a principal, you’ll work in a career that has an average salary of $92,510. If you work your way to the top 10%, you’ll enjoy a salary over $135,000. Job outlook is similar to other careers in education, with an expected growth of 8%.

Required Education: Master’s in Education Administration

 Postsecondary Teacher  Average salary: $75,430

One possible career field for education majors is working as a college teacher, either on-campus or online. Working at universities and training the next generation of teachers can be very fulfilling. Post secondary teachers will instruct students on academic and technical subjects, teaching both the practice and theory of education. If you become an experienced postsecondary teacher, you may also publish papers related to the field. Postsecondary teachers earn an average of $75,430 a year, and the top 10% can earn over $168,000 annually. Job growth is also excellent, sitting at 15%. This figure, however, includes both part time and full time postsecondary teachers.

Required Education: Master’s or Doctorate

 Art, Drama, or Music Teacher  Average salary: $68,650

If you have a passion for the arts and want to spread this joy to young students, consider a career teaching art, drama, or music. This type of career can include everything from painting to design to crafts. Music teachers may work with bands, orchestras, choirs, and more, while drama teachers can cover everything from set design to acting to musical singing. The average salary for this career in $68,650, making it very lucrative employment in education. If you are in the top 10% of this field, you can expect to make an annual salary over $140,000.

Required Education: Bachelor’s and/or Teaching Certification

 Instructional Coordinator  Average salary: $62,460

This is another career that is outside the scope of typical educational jobs. In this career, you will oversee school curriculums and teaching standards, working to create the most effective teaching system possible. Specific tasks may include developing instruction material or coordinating education with teachers and principles. This career typically requires a master’s degree and teaching experience. Working in this field, you’ll enjoy the benefit of a career that averages $62,460 a year, with a top 10% earning over $100,000. Job growth is expected to be at 10% because of a high emphasis on student performance, which can be enhanced with the expertise of an instructional coordinator.

Required Education: Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction

 Human Resources Specialist  Average salary: $59,180

While it may not be considered on of the traditional educational jobs, one of the main duties of a human resource specialist is to develop skills among employees and implement training. This makes it a great fit for people who have degrees and experience in education. To become an HR specialist, you may need to leave the teaching field and work as an HR assistant for a year or two. Customer service and other business positions can also be beneficial. The average pay for this career is $59,180, while the top 10% will enjoy a salary above $101,000. The career is also expected to have 7% job growth, which is right alongside the national average.

Required Education: HR Certificate

 Librarian  Average salary: $57,680

If you are considering a career outside of school system jobs but still desire the opportunity to develop minds and work with children, a career as a librarian may be right for you. In this job, you’ll help people of all ages find information and conduct research for both personal and professional purposes. The career will generally require an advanced degree, however; specifically a master’s in library science. The average salary for librarians is $57,680, while the top 10% earn a salary over $90,000. Job growth is also strong, with an expected rise of 9% between 2014 and 2024. Check out our list of the top online MLIS degrees for librarians-to-be.

Required Education: Master’s in Library Science

 Elementary School Teacher  Average salary: $55,490

Anyone who enjoys working with young children will love the career of an elementary school teacher. These skilled professionals help educate children by planning and implementing courses, working directly with students, teaching lessons, communicating with parents, and performing many other tasks. One important role for elementary teachers in today’s environment is to prepare students for standardized teaching. Teachers of younger students enjoy a strong salary, although it is less than the salary of high school or middle school teachers.The average salary of this career is $55,490, while the top 10% will earn over $88,000. Job outlook is also standing at 8%, similar to other educational jobs.

Required Education: Bachelor’s in Education

 School & Career Counselor  Average salary: $54,560

This career calls for people who can develop the academic and social skills of students, helping them to succeed in future schooling as well as their professional jobs. One of the biggest tasks for counselors is to help the student decide which career or academic path they should pursue. This career requires professional certifications and related experience, as well as a master’s degree in school counseling. The pay and growth for this school system job is strong. School counselors earn an average salary of $54,560, with the top 10% commanding a salary over $93,000. The job is expected to grow by 11%, fueled by the rising need for development guidance and an increase in career centers at private colleges.

Required Education: Master’s in School Counseling

 Adult Literacy / Diploma Teacher  Average salary: $50,650

Adult literacy is a common problem, but these professionals are here to help by providing instruction on reading, writing, and language. While it’s possible to work without it, most jobs in this field will require a bachelor’s degree of some type, and education is a great fit. Some positions may even require a master’s degree, and specific positions may need certification and licensing. The average pay for this career is $50,650, and the top 10% can expect to earn a salary over $84,000. Job growth, however, may be less attractive, as the career is actually expected to shrink by 6%. (Negative 6% growth.) This is actually good news, however, as the reduction is caused in part by larger high school graduation rates.

Required Education: Bachelor’s in Education

 Childcare Center Director  Average salary: $45,790

Children who are too young for kindergarten need education and guidance too. In many cases, this role is taken by preschool and childcare center directors, who supervise and lead staff, design educational programs, and oversee daycare activities. A bachelor’s degree in education will be beneficial for this career, and experience in childhood education can also help. People working in one of these educational jobs enjoy an average salary of $45,790 and the top 10% can earn over $82,000. Job growth sits at 11%, largely due to an expected growth in the need for daycare, as well as the demand for preschool education.

Required Education: Bachelor’s in Education


Selling Your Skills as an Education Major

If you decide that teaching is not right for you, you may think that it will be impossible to get a job outside of a school. Fortunately, you have a wide range of skills that can be applied to many different career paths.

For example, leadership is an important part of working as a teacher, and the same skills are required by business management positions. Tell potential employers about how you led classes, worked with parents, took guidance from principles, and brought everything together to provide a high-quality education. This will show employers that you are suited for a management position. 

Focus on what you can do and provide direct examples of work that you have done in the past. You might not have the perfect experience, but using your teaching degree or experience to demonstrate your value will give employers a chance to understand how you can enhance their company or organization.

Continuing Your Education

Like all good careers, staying on top of the field and maintaining an education is important. For many teachers, the need to stay certified and licensed requires them to take courses or pursue education beyond the bachelor’s degree. In a way, teachers must be lifelong learners, so having an attitude of constantly learning new things will help you create better students.

For formal education, such as master’s degrees and doctorates, you need to be very specific on what type of career you want to pursue, as the higher you go in education, the more specialized and specific it becomes. You’ll learn fewer soft skills that can apply to many jobs, and more hard skills that apply directly to the job you seek. For example, if you want to be a principal, you will need to pursue a master’s degree in education administration or a similar field. This master’s degree will generally take two to three years to complete.

Even if you’re not interested in a master’s degree, you may need to complete specialized training for specific jobs. A special education teacher, for example, will often need a degree that specifically applies to special education.

Amazing Education Jobs Await You!

You can have a world-class education from the comfort of your home. Online teaching degrees are a great way for busy professionals or parents to acquire the skills they need to start one of the highest paying jobs in education.

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Will a Master’s in Education Leave You Unemployed?
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