Enrollment Tips

Career Options for Grads with Master of Education Degrees

By The Room 241 Team October 11, 2012

Are you a college student working on your Master of Education degree and preparing to embark on a teaching career? Perhaps you are a working teacher looking at more rewarding higher education jobs? Or maybe you’re considering a career change and investigating a move into one of many fulfilling jobs for teachers?

If your passion is to teach, you’ll be happy to know that career options for teachers are wide and diverse, and not simply limited to the traditional classroom environment. Teachers bring a wide range of skill sets that are coveted by large business concerns, government agencies, and modest or small start-ups: a college education and/or a master’s degree; superior skills in grammar and writing; an ability to perform basic math at a high level; and a working knowledge of group dynamics and managing difficult people.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for K-12 teachers will continue to grow at an annual rate of about 9 percent for the next several years, with some areas such as special education increasing at a slightly higher rate. Yet qualified teachers can find other niches that offer comparable rewards in job fulfillment and remuneration.

Here’s a  short list of those “alternative” jobs for teachers:

Education administrator

This is probably the most popular alternative to a traditional higher education job and typically the most lucrative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, administrators earn an average of $74,000 annually and provide important oversight in curriculum development, faculty supervision and training, and parent-teacher relations. Virtually all administrative positions require a Master of Education degree, however, and some even require a PhD in a relevant field.

Special education facilitator

In this capacity, you would coordinate a team of teachers, assistants, therapists and social workers to establish goals for individual students impaired with learning disabilities, speech problems, mental retardation, physical challenges and emotional imbalances. You might also customize approaches to group needs as you work in schools, institutions, and private homes. Those holding a master’s degree in special education can expect to earn a median $55,220 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Reading specialist

The numbers are growing for those finding teaching careers as reading specialists, with qualified candidates earning about $59,000 annually.  Many of these  jobs concentrate on college test preparation or working with disadvantaged youth.

Vocational training

Teachers trained in the vocational arts can find careers outside the classroom in dedicated technical programs, occupational training centers and private companies. Pay scales for these jobs are more varied and determined by demand and region.


Teachers bring elevated people skills to any job, and especially counseling positions which require good listening, motivational support and discretion. Social service departments, employment agencies, human resource organizations and of course schools and institutions all offer jobs for teachers in guidance and support capacities.

Adult education

Many colleges and universities offer adult education programs, both in-class and online. These course offer teaching opportunities for teachers acting as independent contractors on a quarterly or semester basis. While pay may not be commensurate with more established teaching careers, continuing education courses can offer more scheduling flexibility, especially if you’re attending grad school or pursuing a master in education degree.

Learn More: Click to view related resources.

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