Doctor of Education: Salary and Career Facts

Find out what you can do with a Doctor of Education degree. Check out program requirements, state licensing regulations, career options and earning potential. Schools offering Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Education Administrator Do?

Some of the tasks you may encounter in an administrative position include assessing faculty and staff, meeting with students, handling financial records, creating new courses, fundraising or participating in staff workshops. Depending on the level of administration you decide to take on, you might be asked to meet with parents, discuss academic suspensions with students or mediate disputes between students and teachers.

The following chart gives you an overview about entering this field.

Degree Required Doctoral degree
Education Field of Study College subject area, administration, education
Key Responsibilities Prepare lesson plans; present lectures and lessons; assign work, administer tests and grade student work and tests; supervise students and instructors; communicate with parents about student progress and conduct
Licensure and/or Certification All principals must be licensed or certified
Job Growth (2018-2028) 4% for all principals; 7% for all postsecondary administrators; 11% for all postsecondary instructors*
Median Salary (2018) $95,310 for all principals; $94,340 for all postsecondary administrators; $78,470 for all postsecondary instructors*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Do With a Doctor of Education?

A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) can open the doors to a variety of career fields. Much of the coursework in an Ed.D. is dedicated to the history and philosophy of the educational process, and it allows candidates to develop the skills to understand and work closely with students, other faculty, parents, administrators and other educators. Most professionals in this field show an aptitude for running a public school, teaching college students or handling the duties of an administrative department at a postsecondary institution.

A Doctor of Education program usually focuses on developing students' research, teaching and leadership abilities. Common career paths might include post-secondary instruction or school administration. Administrative positions in schools vary depending upon the educational level you're interested in. You might consider employment as the dean of a high school, superintendent of a school district, principal of a middle school or director of admissions at a university. Ed.D. programs are designed for individuals who have previous professional experience as teachers or administrators.

What Can I Make?

Most states require principals and teachers to be licensed, so check with your state's education board to see what requirements you might need to meet. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2018, elementary, middle and high school principals made a median salary of $95,310 ( In 2018, the median salary for postsecondary education administrators, which includes deans, was $94,340. As of 2018, the five highest-paying states for post-secondary administrative positions were Delaware, New Jersey, California, New York and Maryland.

According to the BLS, full-time university professors reported median annual earnings of $72,470 in 2015. Earnings for post-secondary instructors varied according to experience, subject and location.

What Will I Learn?

Your studies will focus primarily on ethical, social, legal and business topics related to education. You'll learn leadership, problem-solving, decision-making and relationship development skills that may help in your future career. In many instances, you'll also learn advanced research tools and techniques. Most programs will expect you to complete a dissertation on the subject of your choice.

Some colleges offer specializations in educational leadership while others focus on research. Areas of emphasis might include K-12 administration or higher education administration. You'll encounter a range of study topics, like curriculum design and instruction, budgeting and finance, research methodology, leadership principles, research issues and assessment techniques.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are quite a few careers related to education administration, but they typically require bachelor's or master's degrees rather than an advanced doctoral degree. Instructional coordinators, for example, are responsible for formulating and reviewing classroom curricula, and the career requires a master's degree. There are also corporate jobs, such as executives and human resource managers, that involve administrative duties comparable to those of a principal or dean, though they do not focus on education. An executive oversees all of the operations of a company and implements plans that will allow each department to meet the company's goals. Human resource managers are responsible for seeking out and hiring new employees and working with them and upper management to make sure things are running smoothly between both parties. The latter two careers require bachelor's degrees in relevant fields.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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