Licensed teachers who have bachelor’s degrees often ask themselves the question, “How much more can I make with my M.Ed?” They’re often surprised to learn how much an M.Ed. degree would really improve their career opportunities and boost their wages. Whether an individual wishes to continue teaching or would like to start a new career, the M.Ed. puts the candidate in the position to work in areas other than education. Earning the M.Ed. is never a bad idea.
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What is an M.Ed.?
The M.Ed. is a graduate degree in education. It stands for Master’s in Education. To work as a teacher, an individual must have at least a bachelor’s degree. Just having a bachelor’s degree isn’t enough to be a teacher; teachers must also have a teaching license. If the individual chooses to pursue the M.Ed. he or she must still have a teaching license before he or she can teach. The M.Ed. does more than just prepare a student to teach.
It qualifies them to apply their knowledge in more than just public schools but also other settings, including higher education, home schools, charter schools, nonprofit education programs, and even corporate environments. Students in the M.Ed. program use research to develop instruction and curriculum that meets the needs of the students. The difference between the Master in Education and the Master of Arts in Teaching is that the Master of Arts is to help teachers be more effective in the classroom while the M.Ed. helps the teacher advance his or her education for careers outside of the classroom.
Wage Increase after M.Ed.
Recent surveys show that schools typically offer an increase in pay to teachers who have earned a master’s degree. The amount of the pay increase depends on the school district as well as the state in which the teacher works. The pay increase demonstrates the higher value the school puts on the teacher. Here are the potential wage increases, in terms of percentages, a teacher may be offered when replacing their bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
• Secondary school teachers – 24%
• Elementary and middle school teachers – 28%
• Special education teachers – 24%
• Preschool and kindergarten teachers – 43%
• Education administrator – 44%
The five top-paying states for teachers are Alaska, New York, Connecticut, New Jerse, and California.
M.Ed. Offers Other Career Opportunities
While teaching may be the obvious choice when someone earns an M.Ed., this degree prepares and qualifies individuals for careers other than just teaching. The M.Ed. degree qualifies candidates for many leadership positions. Here are some potential positions available to M.Ed. graduates.
• Principal or Administrator
• School or Career Counselor
• Educational Coordinator
• Director at Zoo, Museum or Aquarium
• Corporate Trainer
• Educational Consultant
• Curriculum Developer/Instruction Specialist
According to the BLS, kindergarten and elementary school teachers earned a median wage of $56,900 as of May 2017 while high school teachers earned $59,970. Career and technical education teachers earned $55,240. These positions can be obtained with a bachelor’s degree. Based on these figures, these teachers can earn wages that are anywhere from 24% to 43% after earning the M.Ed. Because of their added value to the education system, earning the graduate degree also increases their demand when applying for a job.
The decision to pursue an M.Ed. might be the best decision a person makes. Today, more than ever before, workers need advanced degrees to find promising employment. Once they learn how much more they can make with a M.Ed., most students aspire to earn this degree.