Whether you want to become a teacher or enhance your teaching credentials and skills, getting a master’s of education in K-12 education could be just what you need to get your career to the next stage.
A master’s degree in K-12 education will prepare you to teach students from kindergarten to high school; often a master’s degree will provide you with continuing education in a primary subject area or grade level. For many, a master’s degree in K-12 education will open the door to a rewarding career in administration or possibly teacher education.
Another good reason to earn this master’s degree is that you can often qualify immediately for an increase in salary and/or a lead teaching role as soon as you graduate.
With your master’s degree, you can expect to work in these areas potentially, depending upon your career interests:
- K-12 teacher: This teacher is responsible for overseeing either one group of students for the entire day, or teaches several sets of students per day in a particular subject area. Most often, the holder of a master’s in K-12 education will work in a specific subject area with middle school or high school students. A master’s degree also can put you in position to work in a supervisory role as a senior teacher or teacher leader.
- College professor or instructor: Some educators will use this advanced degree to work in postsecondary education; in many cases this may involve teaching other K-12 teachers. With many years of experience and a master’s degree, you may become a teacher educator and work at a community college or university teaching undergraduate students for a career in K-12 teaching.
- Education administrator: Oversee the operational and day to day activities of an educational facility or school – from a childcare center to a university. Many educational administrators start their careers in the teaching field and eventually progress into administration after 10 years or more as a teacher, plus earning their master’s degree. A master’s is very important in the educational administration field as you will have to work with parents, the school board, teachers, and other critical stakeholders.
Why Earn a Master’s in K-12 Education?
No matter your field, statistics show that full time workers with a master’s degree will earn $10,000 per year more than those with just a bachelor’s.
When you look at the salaries of educators in particular, you will see a similar result. K-12 teachers who have just a bachelor’s degree will earn an average salary of $40,000 per year, while those with a master’s will earn more than $50,000 per year.
Earning your master’s in education will also open the door to more career possibilities. Many educational career positions now require having a master’s degree, and the number of these types of positions will only increase in the future.
Last, with a your K-12 master’s degree, you will improve your teaching skills and help you to develop new skills that can expand your career. The curriculum will likely teach you new ways to teach, and you will probably take classes in administration, academic technology and pedagogy. These courses will turn you into a more well rounded educator.
To earn your master’s in K-12 education, you will have to meet these sort of requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree in education
- 0 GPA in undergraduate work
- Experience in teaching or working with K-12 youth
- Three recommendations; one of which should be from an employer who is familiar with your work with children
- GRE scores may be required if your GPA is below 3.0
- Writing samples/statement of purpose
Curriculum and Courses
If you are working full time or are otherwise committed time wise much of the day, a good option is the online Master’s in K-12 Studies through Capella University. This program is fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, so you can be confident that the program is of high quality.
You can customize your K-12 master’s program by selecting a concentration area that meets your professional goals. Some of these specializations include Math, Science, Social Studies and Administration.
With this two year degree, you will focus on the application of current theory, research and educational technology to the design of instructional models and curriculum. You also will develop skills in classroom management, assessment and other advanced educational techniques to strengthen your instruction skills.
Your required courses include:
- Foundations for Master’s Studies in Education: Theory, Practice, and Purpose
- Standards-Based Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
- Understanding Competency-Based Curriculum and Instruction
- Classroom Management Strategies
- Digital Citizenship and Technology Applications
- Strategies for Eliminating the Achievement Gap
- Assessment and Improvement of Instruction
- Personalized Learning: Instruction and Assessment
- Adaptive Instruction and Assessment
- Instructional Coaching to Improve Teaching and Learning
Career Outcomes and Job Titles
Your career and job titles will vary tremendously; this hinges upon your chosen specialization. However, your possible job titles could include:
- K–12 teacher
- School curriculum coach
- K–12 vocational teacher
- College instructor
- Curriculum coordinator
- School administrator
- Corporate trainer
- Adult education teacher
Job and Salary Outlook
- Principal — The job demand for principals will increase nationally by 6% by 2024, which is an average growth rate. However, other types of educational administrators may see a higher rate of growth, especially in areas of the country with higher population growth and rapid student enrollment rates. Generally, principals and educational administrators with years of teaching experience will find that they are in the highest demand. The median salary for principals is $90,400 per year, with the top 10% earning more than $130,000 per year.
- K-12 Teacher — Demand in this field will increase by 6% by 2024, which is about average job growth. Growth in some areas will increase due to higher student enrollment, while it may fall in other areas. Many K-12 teachers will find that they will be in higher demand if they have their master’s degree and more than five years of teaching experience. The median salary in this field is $51,000 per year.
- Post Secondary Teacher — Job demand in this field will increase by a healthy 13% by 2024, which is faster than average. We expect that enrollments will increase as more students are going to college; it is becoming more important to have at least a bachelor’s degree today to get a decent job. You should find good jobs available to teach aspiring K-12 teachers. The median salary in this field for education teachers is $61,000.
Scholarships and Grants
- US StudyAbroad: This organization offers many scholarships for teachers and aspiring teachers who are interested in studying and teaching abroad. You can receive scholarships and stipends of up to $5000 per year.
- Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program: This scholarship was established to address the vital need for more K-12 teachers in science, math, technology and engineering.
- International Association for K-12 Online Learning: This association provides outstanding educational and networking opportunities for K-12 educators all over the globe. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to transforming education to a more student learning centered model.
- National School Boards Association: This nonprofit organization represents state school boards associations and 100,000+ local board members. It believes that a good education is a civil right and public education is one of the most important institutions in America.