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Job market for teachers

At a glance       

  • The field of education offers both rewarding career paths and opportunities for higher earning potential.
  • Higher-paying jobs in education include roles as superintendent, school principal, college administrator, professor, instructional coordinator and special education teacher.
  • Salaries are affected by more than a given role. Education, experience and geographic location all impact earning potential.
  • If you’re eager to gain more skills in the field of education, explore online education degrees at University of Phoenix.

Top jobs in education

The field of education offers a wide range of rewarding career paths. Educators help shape the leaders of the future, and they provide everyone from preschoolers to adult students the opportunity to change their lives through education.

The drawback? Careers in education also have a reputation for low pay. However, there are opportunities to defy that stereotype outside traditional teaching roles in primary and secondary education. In fact, from administrators to instructional coordinators, there are several well-paying jobs in education to consider.

Additionally, the fields of education, training and library occupations have a job outlook with a projected growth of 7% between 2021 and 2031, which is about average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That equates to nearly 658,200 new jobs in this field over the next decade.

Between stable job growth and a range of salary options, education is a field that has more diversity of opportunity than you might think. But it’s first important to learn what role would be a great fit for you. Here are some higher-paying jobs in education to consider.

Salary ranges are not specific to students or graduates of University of Phoenix. Actual outcomes vary based on multiple factors, including prior work experience, geographic location and other factors specific to the individual. University of Phoenix does not guarantee employment, salary level or career advancement. BLS data is not geographically based. Information for a specific state/city can be researched on the BLS website.


A superintendent is one of the top positions in the education field. Superintendents report directly to a school board, and they act as the top executive of a county’s education system.

Education: Becoming a superintendent typically requires a master’s degree, and sometimes a doctorate is preferred, often in a specialty such as school administration or leadership. However, these requirements can vary by state.

Salary: Superintendents, which BLS categorizes as executive positions, earned between $60,300 and $208,000 in 2021, according to BLS. The job outlook for this profession has a projected growth of 6% from 2021 to 2031.

School principal

School principals are responsible for supervising and managing the daily operations of a school. This can include leading teacher training and meetings, attending school board meetings, managing disciplinary action for students and contacting parents. Principals can work in public or private schools, and their duties normally require them to work year-round.

Education: To reach this level of school leadership, an educator needs to gain significant teaching experience and earn a master’s degree in education, educational administration or educational leadership. This education and training provide aspiring principals with leadership, communication, management and teaching skills to create a positive learning environment at their school.

Salary: As of May 2021, school principals earned between $61,480 and $153,520, according to BLS. The job outlook for these roles has a projected growth rate of 5% between 2021 and 2031.

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College administrator

In the postsecondary education sector, college administrator is one of the top positions. College administrators oversee the operations of colleges and universities. This includes academics, student activities, and services and research conducted by the faculty. College administrators can work for both private and public colleges and universities, including both in-person and online institutions.

Education: To be hired as a college administrator, most institutions require a master’s degree and experience working in an administrative capacity at a college or university. Doctoral degrees are required for positions such as a dean and provost.

College administrators need to develop skills specific to the department they are overseeing. These skills can include communication, interpersonal aptitude, financial management, problem-solving and leadership.


Professors, or postsecondary teachers, educate students who have graduated from high school and are pursuing postsecondary education. Professors work at colleges and universities and teach one subject to students. They are responsible for teaching students, acting as mentors, attending faculty meetings, conducting research and publishing their work.

Education: Educators typically need a PhD or other doctoral degree to become a professor. Some colleges and technical schools may hire professors who have a master’s degree and a suitable amount of professional experience.

Salary: As of May 2021, professors earned between $46,690 and $172,130, according to BLS. The job outlook has a projected growth of 12% between 2021 and 2031, according to BLS, which is much faster than usual. However, the availability of tenure-track positions depends on your area of expertise and your geographic location. 

Instructional coordinator

Instructional coordinators can work in all fields of education — primary, secondary or postsecondary. Instructional coordinators oversee the curriculum and instructional practices of a school. These education professionals work closely with teachers to ensure that all students experience a positive learning environment.

Education: To be hired for this position, you typically need a master’s degree and work experience. Some teachers with extensive experience may be hired for this role, depending on the school and the state a teacher lives in.

Special education teacher

Special education teachers can work with students of any age, and they have specialized knowledge in providing a quality educational experience for students with physical, mental or learning disabilities.

Education: To be hired as a special education teacher, you must earn an undergraduate degree in special education and take the necessary exams to be licensed by your state. Some schools prefer applicants who hold a master’s degree in special education, due to the role’s highly specialized nature.

Salary: According to BLS, special education teachers earned between $46,180 and more than $100,040 in May 2021. This career has a job outlook with a projected growth of 4% between 2021 and 2031. 

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Reasons for higher salaries

The differences in earning potential among educators can be attributed to a variety of factors, including: 

● Experience: The longer you work in the field, the more experience you have. Many schools pay their more experienced staff higher salaries.

● Advanced degrees: Earning a master’s degree, a doctoral degree or even taking a few graduate courses as a part of your continuing education can impact your earning potential as an educator. Advanced education demonstrates a more specialized or in-depth level of expertise.

● Earning a state license: While some states may allow people to teach without earning a license, earning one may increase your earning potential.

● Geographic location: Geographic location can have a major impact on an educator’s earning potential. For example, a high school teacher in New York makes a mean annual salary of $92,660, while a high school teacher in Mississippi earns a mean annual salary of $48,030 according to BLS.

Earn a degree in education at University of Phoenix

If you’re eager to expand your knowledge and skill within education, there are several paths to consider. University of Phoenix offers the following online degrees and certificates as well as continuing teacher education:

  • Master of Arts in Education/Administration and Supervision— If you’re seeking to gain real-world, field-based experience in school administration, this degree will teach you several top skills to work in the field and prepare you for school principal licensure.
  • Master of Arts in Education/Special Education — This degree helps cultivate strategies for teaching students with disabilities and creating individualized learning plans. Other skills taught are curriculum development and differentiated instruction.
  • Continuing education for teachers: Organized by course topic and searchable by state, continuing education courses cover topics ranging from math to gifted education.
  • Education certificates: From alternative licensure to post-master’s skill development, University of Phoenix’s certificate programs are designed to enhance educators’ skills in meaningful, applicable ways.                     

Learn more about additional online education degrees and certificates at University of Phoenix!


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