Is IT Worth Getting a Master's in Education?
A master's in education can benefit many careers and not only those that require one for employment. If you are a teacher just beginning a career, you may want to advance your career with a master's. Explore just how a master's can benefit your career and how to achieve one below.
Is a Master's in Education Right for Me?
Before you embark upon a master's in education (M.ed), it is important to consider which type of career you are planning to achieve. Different careers require different types of educational master's degrees. For instance, if you want to teach, you would benefit more from a Master of Science in Education (MS.Ed) than an MA, which is more research based and for those planning on getting a doctorate. Likewise, if you wish to become a principal or administrator, you will want to acquire a Master of Education (M.Ed) in Educational Leadership, which can be achieved both on campus and online at some schools.
Careers that Will Benefit from a Masters in Education
Elementary School Teacher
Elementary school teachers work with students in grades 1-5, generally in the age range of years 6-12, instructing different subjects such as science, math, history and reading. While a master's is not required to teach at this level, those with a master's can earn a higher salary. As reported by Payscale.com, as of 2019, elementary school teachers with a master's in elementary education earned $46,000, while those with a bachelor's degree earned $45,000.
Middle School Teacher
Middle school teachers instruct students at the beginning secondary grade level, generally age 13-15, which in most schools is grades 6-9. Teachers generally specialize in one academic subject, such as math or English and rotate teaching different groups of students throughout the day. According to December 2019 Payscale.com data, middle school teachers with Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degrees earned an average salary of $48k, while those with a Master's of Education (M.Ed) earned $52k.
High School Teacher
High school, or secondary teachers, work with students ages 16-18 and grades 10-12. High school teachers focus on one subject and teach all high school grade levels. These teachers also prepare students for entering college post graduation. According to Payscale.com, as of 2019, a high school teacher earned an average salary of $52k with a Master of Arts (MAT) and around $55k with a Master of Education (MEd).
Special Education Teacher
Special Education teachers are people who work with students individually or in small groups, assisting students with special needs in general or separate class environments. Special Education teachers can begin working with a bachelor's degree but could make more with a master's. For instance, a special education teacher working in a secondary school setting in 2019 earned an average salary of $45,000 with a bachelor's, while those with a master's degree earned $52,000. For special education teachers in all grade levels, the BLS reported a median wage of $59,780 annually, as of May 2018.
School counselors work in elementary, middle and high schools to offer support towards students with academic, as well as emotional and social difficulties. School counselors are clinical workers in a school setting, and all clinical counselor positions require a Master in Education (M.Ed) in Counseling for certification. A school counselor's median annual wage was $56,310, according to May 2018 BLS data.
School Social Worker
School social workers require a Master in Social Work to begin a career as a clinical social worker in a school setting. They collaborate with teachers and parents to improve the quality of experience for students with specific emotional, social and mental disorders. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for a school social worker was $49,470, as of May 2018.
Career counselors work with students in high school as well as college, preparing them for their future careers. They might also work with people who need to change jobs. A career counselor must earn a master's to begin counseling in a school setting, which can be an M.Ed in Counseling or an MS in Counseling. Along with school counselors, career counselors earned median annual salaries of $56,310 in 2018, according to the BLS.
A principal manages, observes and evaluates the quality of staff and effectiveness of school systems to ensure a quality learning environment for all. To become a principal, one must acquire a Master of Science in Administration, or an Master of Science in Educational Leadership, as well as licensing certification. As of May 2018, the BLS reports that principals earned median salaries of $95,310 annually.
Master's Degree Salary & Job Growth For the Field of Education
|Job Title||Average Salary with a Master's Degree ( 2018-2019 )||Job Growth (2018-2028)|
|Middle School Teacher||$48,000-52,000**||3%*|
|High School Teacher||$52,000-55,000**||4%*|
|Special Education Teacher||$52,000**||3%*|
|School Social Worker||$49,760*||11%*|
All sources were found at *BLS.gov and **Payscale.com.
Admissions Requirements Needed for Master's of Education Programs
All Master's of Education programs have general admissions requirements. To prepare for entering a program, make sure you have all of your academic transcripts, as well as your GRE scores. Most programs require at least a bachelor's degree to be considered, so you will want to provide your GPA status and grade scores. You could be required to write an entrance essay and provide letters of recommendation as well as your current resume and a personal statement.
Most programs have similar coursework that you are required to complete in order to graduate. Below is a list of some expected courses you could take during a Master's of Education program:
- Education Theory
- Methods and Strategies in Education
- Using Technology in the Classroom
- Education and Culture
- Educational Leadership and Policy (for M.ed in Educational Leadership)
- Counseling Strategies & Theory (for M.ed in School or Career Counseling)
The education field has many exciting career opportunities, from teaching to counseling to administration. While not all jobs in education require a master's to begin a career, having a master's in education can potentially provide a larger salary and potential advancement in your career.