If you are a teacher and you would like to take on a position of greater responsibility in the school education system, then you might want to consider the M.Ed. (Master of Education) degree. Obtaining this degree will open a range of careers for you. It also ensures that your skills are up to date, focusing on areas, such as the integration of digital technology. Naturally, it is also interesting that an M.Ed. degree is likely to significantly increase your salary compared when you only hold a bachelor’s degree.
It should be noted that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted an increase in the number of jobs for postsecondary education administrators of 9% from 2014 to 2024. Below are a number of job opportunities that are available to you:
#1 Elementary School Teacher
Elementary school teachers are focused on the education of children in grades one through to six. At this level, they are unlikely to have specialized in a specific field of the discipline of education. Rather, their role will be around the fundamental teaching of important foundational skills in a range of different disciplines. This includes history, science, arithmetic, writing, and reading comprehension to name but a few.
Typical duties of an elementary school teacher include:
- Evaluating students and their progress, communicating about this with their parents and guardians, and also with school administrator.
- Planning, administration, and evaluation of projects, lessons, and tests
- Being responsible for overall discipline within the classroom
- Being responsible for keeping records on students, remaining aware of new administrative and legal regulations, and adhering to these at all times
- Providing educational instruction to individual students and entire classrooms.
The median annual salary for an elementary school teacher, according to Payscale.com, is $43,793.
#2 Special Education Teacher (Middle School)
M.Ed. degree holders who focus on special education generally choose either pre-secondary or secondary education. In secondary education, they focus on either middle school or high school. Middle school special education teachers work with students who have special educational needs, including physical, behavioral, and learning disabilities, in grades six to eight. Usually, these students are aged between 10 and 14, and they will have a range of psychical and/or mental disabilities that affect their capacity to learn in a mainstream school environment. Special education teachers may be employed in regular schools, helping children with disabilities join mainstream classrooms for all or part of the day. They may also be employed in special education schools, where children’s disabilities are so profound that they are unable to join their non-disabled peers. The goal of a special education teacher is to create and deliver on a curriculum that enables children with disabilities to achieve higher educational attainment and to develop intellectually as much as possible.
Typical day to day duties of a special education teacher in middle school include:
- Teaching pupils in private or public schools in middle or junior high grades
- Changing standard teaching methods so that they are more relevant and appropriate to the needs of the special child
- Preparing and creating materials that are relevant to the needs of the student for activities, such as translating texts into braille for blind students
- Grading the tests and assessments of students and maintaining their records in accordance with the relevant laws and school regulations
Payscale.com reports that median annual salary of the middle school special education teacher is $48,333.
#3 Instructional Designer
The position of instructional designer is one of the most popular for M.Ed. degree holders. They are responsible for the development of new instructional materials, including customer training courses, across all levels of education. They often work in adult education and corporate training, ensuring that skills and knowledge remain up to date after someone has left school. They are responsible for the creation of the full training materials in such a way that users are able to properly understand the subject. This means they must analyze the needs of their learners, understand the subject that must be mastered, and develop training in an appropriate manner. Often, this includes developing online training courses, as well as relevant assessments to these courses.
The most common tasks of an instructional designer include:
- Understanding the needs of learners and using this to design, develop, and implement instructional materials
- Create tests and assessments on instructional materials
- Working together with a range of partners to develop the focus of the design of the training course
Payscale.com reports that an instructional designer earns a median annual salary of $61,012.
#4 School Counselor
The position of school counselor goes outside of the role of teaching, but it could be very interesting for M.Ed. degree holders. School counselors are responsible for making sure that students can achieve their academic goals, and also their professional, social, and personal development. They help students to adjust into new schools, or transition between different levels of schools. Furthermore, they can provide advice, information, and guidance on college choices and career options. They also liaise with college recruiters.
The most common daily duties of a school counselor include:
- Communicating with a range of students to determine which obstacles and barriers are impeding their progress, and finding ways to overcome them in collaboration with students and their families
- Identifying special needs in students, including mental health challenges, and communicating about these with parents, guardians, and external agencies
- Consulting with teachers and parents on new strategies, methods of communication, and educational obstacles
- Intervening when there are stressful, challenging, or dangerous situations to create a safe, peaceful, and harmonious school environment
- Listening to the needs and desires of students, and ensuring they are in contact with the relevant teachers, support services, external agencies, and parents to meet those needs and wants.
Payscale.com reports that the median annual salary is $48,737 for school counselors.
#5 School Principal
In order to become a school principal, an M.Ed. or other relevant master’s degree, is a requirement. Essentially, a school principal is the head of the school, whether that is a kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, junior school, or high school. In many states, school principals have to obtain a license in order to take on such a position. Some principals go on to become school superintendents, for which a master’s degree is also a requirement. School principals may also work in special education schools, as well as in correctional facilities.
They have extensive duties including:
- Overseeing and managing student behavior both in the classroom and beyond
- Managing staff within the school and ensuring that their needs are met
- Managing the overall school operations, including determining appropriate class sizes, implementing the curriculum, and organizing appropriate extracurricular activities.
According to Sokanu.com, the median annual salary for school principals is $90,410.
By completing an M.Ed. degree, there are numerous new career paths available to you, and you should receive significant financial compensation for such vital roles. On the other hand, generally, people enter the field of education for the personal rewards of making a difference in a young person’s life and their educational attainment. With an M.Ed. degree, you will be able to play a far greater role in this, and it would be impossible to put a price on this type of personal satisfaction.
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- Postsecondary Education Administrators. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm
- Master’s in Education M.Ed. Degree. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.teacher.org/degree/masters/