The Best Online Bachelor’s in Education Programs

Undergraduate teaching programs are designed for anyone with plans to launch a career around teaching, curriculum development, or education administration. This college pathway is ideal for aspiring teachers in all grade levels and subjects, as well as other school personnel such as principals and school administrators, instructional designers, paraeducators and special education teachers. Education is one of the most popular undergraduate majors in the U.S.; according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), roughly 98,900 bachelor’s degrees in education were awarded during the 2013-14 academic year.

Many of today’s students are choosing to earn their bachelor’s in education online, rather than on a college campus. The best online bachelor’s degree in education programs follow the same rigorous curriculum as brick-and-mortar options, and often include student-teaching courses that allow students to hone their skills in real-life classrooms. The asynchronous (or self-paced) structure of many online education degree programs is also conducive to students with part-time jobs, childcare responsibilities and other commitments that may interfere with classroom-based coursework.

Learn more about what you can do with an online bachelor’s degree in education and what kind of career opportunities you can look forward to with this comprehensive guide.

WILL AN ONLINE TEACHING DEGREE PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

An online bachelor’s in education program will cover the fundamental theories and methods guiding modern classroom learning. Students will take courses that explore topics like lesson planning, classroom leadership, conflict mediation and behavioral science. Many bachelor’s in education programs allow students to earn a specialized degree; some choose focus on a specific grade/age level, while others follow specialization tracks in core school subjects like English, history, math, science, art or music. Additional concentrations include curriculum and instruction, educational administration and special education. The best online bachelor’s in education programs also prepare students for post-degree requirements, such as a teaching license.
WILL AN ONLINE TEACHING DEGREE PROGRAM WORK WITH MY SCHEDULE?

An online bachelor’s in education is a flexible alternative to brick-and-mortar degree programs. Students will be able to access course lectures and readings, submit written assignments, take exams and communicate with their professors from their home computer and on their own schedule. Current technology also enables them to study on the go using a laptop, tablet, smartphone and other devices with Wi-Fi capabilities. For added convenience, online education majors will be able to arrange student-teaching opportunities at schools and administrative offices that are close to their current residence.

WHAT JOBS CAN I GET WITH MY BACHELOR’S IN EDUCATION?

Although education professionals often go on to pursue graduate degrees, a bachelor’s degree will be sufficient for many job candidates. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that a bachelor’s degree is the entry-level educational minimum for teachers at the kindergarten and elementary, middle school and high school levels, as well as preschool and special education teachers. Students who earn a specialized degree stand to boost their career standing even further. However, teachers must earn full licensure in all 50 states before they can work in public schools; licensing requirements vary from state to state, but often include an exam, a background check and a set number of student-teaching hours.

WHAT ARE THE BEST ONLINE BACHELOR’S IN EDUCATION PROGRAMS?

Choosing a program is an incredibly personal decision, and only you can properly evaluate whether a target school’s strengths match your educational needs. The following ranked list of schools should serve as a helpful starting point in your search for the best online bachelor’s degree in education programs in the United States. Our ranking is based on the courses schools offer, available specializations, student outcomes, career support services, and other criteria used to determine academic excellence. If you are considering an online bachelor’s in education, be sure to contact admissions specialists at different colleges and universities to learn more their about specific bachelor’s degree requirements and offerings.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1

University of Georgia

70.02/584.62%Athens, GA

campus_University_of_Georgia

The University of Georgia was the first state-chartered university in the U.S. It now offers more than 27 online degrees and certificates, and hundreds of online courses, spanning 17 academic colleges and majors, including engineering, business, and education. The university offers one of the state's best online teaching degrees, a BS in special education, via UGA Online. This degree completion program leads to certification for special education teachers in grades pre-K to 12 in the state of Georgia. Students earning a teaching degree online are required to make two campus visits, though the majority of work samples, including practicum and student-teaching verification, can be uploaded online via the Foliotek platform. A dedicated coordinator for the online BS in special education program is available to students seeking advising opportunities and other student support services.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
2

East Carolina University

69.92/558.63%Greenville, NC

campus_East_Carolina_University

A leader in distance education in North Carolina, ECU offers more than 80 online degrees and certificate programs, many of them multiple-award-winners for innovation and affordability. The school maintains the largest Blackboard system of any college within the University of North Carolina system, providing an online learning environment for an annual student population of more than 28,000. ECU's online bachelors degree in education is available with a focus in birth-kindergarten or family and consumer sciences education, which prepares students to teach vocational programs to middle school and high school students. Both are non-licensure, degree-completion programs available to North Carolina residents only. Online coursework, designed to mirror on-campus courses and taught by the same faculty, is supplemented by real-time chat sessions, text-based discussion boards, and orientation materials for synchronous learning online.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
3

Appalachian State University

69.32/569.73%Boone, NC

campus_Appalachian_State_Campus

With a total student population of more than 18,000, over 1,200 students at App State are enrolled in distance education programs. The school's mission includes supporting globally responsible and sustainable initiatives that inspire creativity and personal growth. To this end, the university offers an innovative online teaching degree in business and information technology education. The degree-completion program leads to licensure for grades 6-12, and includes one of five concentrations in various vocational areas such as trade and industry education, and business, marketing, and entrepreneurship education. All online education degree students at the school are assigned an academic advisor for the duration of their program; in addition, they may utilize free tutoring and career counseling services through SmarThinking and the school's Career Development Center, respectively.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
4

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

62.02/570.52%Wilmington, NC

campus_university_of_north_carolina_at_wilmington

Offering unique and diverse programs to more than 15,000 students each year, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington upholds a values system that celebrates diversity and globalization, ethics and integrity, and excellence and innovation. With 12 comprehensive online degrees and dozens more individual courses available online, UNCW has repeatedly ranked among the nation's best for its high-quality education programs. The university's online teaching degree is a BA in elementary education (K-6) offered through the Watson School of Education. Graduates of the program may be eligible to pursue licensure in the state of North Carolina. Elementary education degree online students have access to a broad system of virtual support services available through UNC Online, including online writing labs, career counseling, and peer-tutoring services.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
5

Liberty University

61.64/550.41%Lynchburg, VA

campus_Liberty_University

As the world's largest Christian university, Liberty University enrolls more than 94,000 students in its online programs. Distance learners may choose from 271 online programs in 16 academic areas, including some of the best online teaching degrees in distance education. Liberty offers a BS in early childhood education, a BS in elementary education, and a BS in special education through LU Online. Curriculum within the online teaching degrees centers on interdisciplinary studies, approaching education planning, and assessment and intervention techniques from a Christian perspective. While not mandatory, students seeking hands-on experience can complete an optional 90-hour practicum in addition to their online coursework. Academic support services for distance programs include online library access, writing labs, and other virtual study aids, as well as online courses specifically designed to provide orientation to the online learning system and prepare students for test-taking, time-management, and reading comprehension in the virtual classroom.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
6

University of South Carolina – Columbia

61.43/573%Columbia, SC

Since 1801, the University of South Carolina has carried out its mission of educating students through distinctive initiatives centered on teaching, research, creative activity, and community engagement. The school is one of only 32 public universities nationwide to receive recognition for research and community engagement from the Carnegie Foundation. USC also offers one of the best online teaching degrees, earning numerous awards for its distance learning programming and student services, including its school library media. The university's online BA in elementary education prepares educators to teach students in grades 2-6. The program is comprised of online coursework, as well as mandatory clinical hours and field experience. Students applying to the online BA degree must have completed a minimum of 45 hours of college-level coursework in a comparable major. Online students may reach out to a student advisor and/or department contact to help develop a customized degree plan through phone, email, and live-chat options.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
7

University of Northern Iowa

61.32/563.95%Cedar Falls, IA

Though the University of Northern Iowa offers a variety of programs in more than 90 academic majors, the school has earned to distinction of leading one of the top teacher-education program in the state. Through its department of continuing education and special programs, UNI offers an innovative "2+2" online teaching degree. The two-year BA program is designed for students who have already completed two years of study, or an associate degree program, to satisfy core requirements. Curriculum can be tailored to those seeking elementary education experience, or those pursuing a dual-major in elementary and middle-level education. Services provided to teaching degree online students through UNI's eLearning division include online tutoring, academic advising, tech support, and library services, as well as special services, such as counseling and activities, for non-traditional students.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
8

Arizona State University

61.32/563.43%Tempe, AZ

The online learning model at ASU-Tempe was developed with the same award-winning characteristics as on-campus curriculum. ASU's esteemed faculty, comprised of Fulbright scholars, Nobel laureates, and Pulitzer Prize winners, are known for combining technical expertise and innovative courses designed to provide students with a high-quality virtual learning experience. Students at ASU may choose from more than 100 programs online. They can take advantage of per-credit tuition prices at a set rate, regardless of residence, and a generous credit-transfer policy. The university's bachelor of arts in educational studies (BAE) is an online teaching degree intended for educators who are seeking a professional career outside of the traditional classroom setting. Though the BAE does not include teacher certification, curriculum incorporates theoretical and applicable learning and instructing methods. Online students have access to an academic advisor and may also be paired with a personal mentor, or success coach, to help guide their ASU learning experience.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
9

The Baptist College of Florida

56.62/546.94%Graceville, FL

Academic programs at the Baptist College of Florida are designed to promote a well-rounded education that prepares students for a career in Christian ministry while also contributing to personal spiritual growth. The school offers more than 20 degrees and certificate options, all available through traditional delivery or via BCF's customizable online program. Prospective Christian educators can complete an online bachelors degree in education, with a major in elementary education, through the school's Teacher Education Program. Though the majority of coursework can be completed online, students are required to complete a two-part internship and practicum in the final two semesters of the degree plan. BCF students enrolled in the online program may buy and sell books and eBooks, as well as browse digital resources within the school's comprehensive online bookstore and support center.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
10

Drexel University

55.44/567.36%Philadelphia, PA

As one of America's largest private universities, Drexel hosts approximately 26,000 students each year, with more than 5,000 enrolled in online programs. With 140 online degrees and certificates available, Drexel has been developing leading-edge distance programs since 1996. The university offers one of the largest collections of online teaching degrees in the nation, from its BS in education to a doctoral degree. The online BS degree is ideal for part-time students with some prior education experience, and prepares students for certification to teach in Pre-K through grade-four classrooms. Online education degree students at Drexel have access to a wide variety of virtual support tools, carefully developed over time by experienced faculty and online experts, including 24/7 tech support, personal academic advisors, writing labs, and career counseling.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
11

University of Alaska Southeast

55.02/516.88%Juneau, AK

With more than 40 online degrees and certificates available, it is no surprise that over 40% of University of Alaska Southeast students are enrolled in online programs. The eLearning division at UAS offers a BA in elementary education, along with an additional online teaching degree option in special education. In addition to completing the majority of their coursework online, distance students are required to schedule fieldwork experience and develop their own degree plan within the elementary education program. UAS is known for its extensive student support services, including tech support, online library and bookstore access, and multimedia labs and demos through its own UATV Web portal.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
12

Fort Hays State University

54.92/543.01%Hays, KS

Fort Hays State University has offered award-winning distance education through its Virtual College for more than 20 years. With more than 40 online programs and an enrollment of over 6,000 students around the world, the Virtual College at Fort Hays also offers one of Kansas's best online teaching degrees. The university's BS in elementary education prepares students to seek licensure to teach in elementary classrooms, providing coursework that combines pedagogy theory, clinical experience, curriculum development, and general education. Online programs in special education and early childhood are also available. In addition to support services for online students that include technical support, academic advising, online assessment tools, and career counseling, Fort Hays assembles a Virtual College Student Advisory Committee, comprised of current Fort Hays students, for each of the college's academic divisions.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
13

Asbury University

52.33/567.73%Wilmore, KY

Founded in 1890 as a Christian liberal arts school, Asbury University promotes morality, honor, and civic lifestyle standards as part of its holistic mission in the evangelical Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. The university serves a student population of more than 1,800, offering dozens of traditional programs and more than 30 online degrees and certificates. Asbury's online teaching degree is available as a degree-completion program, with or without the optional elementary teacher certification. Curriculum in the BS in elementary education is clinical by design, incorporating hands-on experience and 21st-century teaching tools to help graduates integrate seamlessly into the modern-day classroom environment. The AU online experience is highly collaborative, with discussion boards, social media sites, and direct contact information for instructors available throughout each course. Education degree online students may also take advantage of comprehensive tech support, student advising, and virtual tutoring options.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
14

University of Wisconsin-Stout

50.72/553.15%Menomonie, WI

For more than 125 years, UW-Stout has provided high-quality programs that combine applied learning and liberal arts education, and is among only 3% of schools in the U.S. to earn the coveted polytechnic designation. With nearly 50 online degrees and certificate programs and dozens more individual courses and professional certifications, UW-Stout Online is home to a student enrollment of more than 1,760. The university offers a BS in special education, which prepares graduates to teach cross-categorical special education to students ages 5-21; graduates are also eligible to receive cross-categorical special education licensure in Wisconsin. UW-Stout Online features several additional teaching degrees online in related majors, including technology education and marketing and business education. Support resources for online students include library access, Brainfuse tutoring services, career counseling, online orientation courses, and more.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
15

Mississippi State University

49.63/560.43%Mississippi State, MS

Established as a land-grant university in 1878, MSU upholds the highest standards among learning, research, and service programs, spanning 175 academic degrees, certificates, and courses in 10 subject areas. MSU's Center for Distance Learning offers more than 37 online degrees and certificate programs, including online teaching degrees in numerous concentrations. The online BS in elementary education at MSU includes a concentration in either early childhood or middle school education. Alternatively, distance students may opt for the BS in business technology education. The state's only online bachelors degree in education, the program combines online coursework with field experiences and teaching internships, which can be conveniently scheduled near the student’s place of residence. Online students may live-chat with advisors and counselors for immediate assistance during the distance learning process, as well as take advantage of online tutoring, career counseling, and other virtual support services through The Learning Center.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
16

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College

49.43/545.45%Saint Mary of the Woods, IN

What started at SMWC in 1973 as one of the country's earliest distance education programs now engages more than 800 students annually in diverse online degrees and certificate courses. Though SMWC offers a variety of online teaching degrees, all programs are designed to incorporate moral and ethical awareness and adopt a holistic approach to professional development. SMWC offers an online BS in education, with or without the teaching licensure option. Students seeking licensure must choose an REPA-approved concentration in math, reading, social and behavioral sciences, or social studies, and may select an optional minor in mild intervention or exceptional needs. Additional programs in early childhood education and special education are available online. As one of Indiana's largest online degree programs, SMWC offers distance learning support through a team of academic advisors and peer mentors, along with online tutoring options, web-based workshops, and virtual labs.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
17

Western Governors University

48.63/516.74%Salt Lake City, UT

An innovator among non-profit universities since 1995, Western Governors University takes a non-traditional approach to higher education, offering more than 60 student-focused, competency-based academic programs online. WGU's diverse undergraduate online teaching degrees are available in a variety of academic subjects, as well as in interdisciplinary studies (K-8) and special education (K-12.) All online bachelor's degrees in education at WGU can lead to teaching licensure in the student's state of residence. Curriculum in the teaching program combines online learning and practical experience, including practicums and internships scheduled at the student’s convenience under the advisement of a dedicated student mentor. Support is available to online students through web-based tutorials and simulations, academic mentoring and advising, and WGU's lively online student communities.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
18

Southwestern College

45.43/518.58%Chula Vista, CA

Established in 1885 to provide education in the Methodist episcopal tradition, it was the innovation of Southwestern College's professional studies program in 1994 that led to the school's online programs as they exist today. Among more than 30 programs and certificates available online, Southwestern's online teaching degrees are comprised of accelerated six-week courses that allow students to complete their degrees faster and save money on yearly tuition costs. The online BA in elementary education leads to teacher certification in the state of Kansas. SC also offers online programs in early childhood education and a customizable degree in general studies for education majors. In addition to support services, including online writing labs, technical support and career counseling, SC offers an interactive course scheduling/planning tool to create a personalized degree plan that meets necessary course credit requirements.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
19

University of Southern Mississippi

44.73/548.44%Hattiesburg, MS

Southern Miss was founded as a small teachers' college in 1910. Today, the school serves more than 15,000 students on multiple campuses and online, offering more than 180 programs spanning six academic colleges. Among its nearly 40 degrees and certificates offered exclusively through the online system, Southern Miss offers unique teaching degrees online, including a BS in special education. Elementary education and child development degree options are also available online. Curriculum combines theoretical study and hands-on experience, student teaching experiences, and a capstone project. The program leads to licensure for special education teachers. Online students have access to 24/7 tech support, online library resources, virtual tutoring options, and free online training courses provided by the Student Success Committee.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
20

University of Louisiana at Monroe

44.72/540.5%Monroe, LA

A leader among higher education institutions in Louisiana for more than 80 years, ULM upholds the same rigorous standards for online programs that have made students successful in traditional programs throughout the school's long history. Among over 30 online degrees in more than 10 academic areas, eULM offers a BS in elementary education, with curriculum comprised of five primary components: general studies, professional and pedagogy studies, content studies, integrative studies, and field experience. ULM's online teaching degree features a generous credit-transfer policy, and coursework is charged per credit hour at a set rate, with no out-of-state costs for online students. Each eight-week course is offered as part of an accelerated program that allows full-time students in concentrated study to graduate in as little as two years.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
21

Gardner-Webb University

44.04/553.97%Boiling Springs, NC

A Christian-based, liberal arts institution, Gardner Webb University has been providing education programs that combine faith, scholarship, leadership, and service since 1905. Among more than eight fully online degrees available in 14 academic areas, Gardner-Webb offers an online teaching degree-completion program in elementary education. The BS in elementary education provides educators with the tools they need to incorporate Christian values and faith-based teaching methods into a successful learning environment for K-6 students. Online students gain hands-on experience by completing fieldwork and student teaching hours in conjunction with distance coursework. The school also offers comprehensive tech support, student advising, and a live-chat option for immediate assistance with academic or personal issues.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
22

Dakota State University

41.03/540.7%Madison, SD

With an institutional focus on technology and career training, Dakota State offers more than 40 degrees and certificates online, spanning a broad range of majors in both traditional academics and technology/new media. Among several unique online teaching degrees available at Dakota State, the university offers a dual bachelor's degree in elementary education and special education (BSE) for aspiring K-12 educators. Curriculum is designed to provide teachers with the resources needed to serve all students, including those with behavioral or cognitive impairments or learning disabilities. In addition to completing the majority of courses online, students gain practical experience through completion of a practicum and a year-long residency, or two-semester student teaching opportunity, that also serves the capstone requirement. The program leads to teaching certification in South Dakota. Support for online students at Dakota State includes peer-to-peer and professional virtual tutoring services, live-chat discussion boards, and access to academic/personal counselors online.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
23

Wilmington University

39.73/535.06%New Castle, DE

Since opening in 1968, Wilmington University has celebrated diversity and driven innovation among its higher education programs. The school counts three primary goals among its institutional mission: excellence in teaching, relevancy of curriculum, and individual student attention. With more than 90 online degrees and certificate programs in dozens of academic areas, Wilmington also offers one of the state’s most diverse selections of concentrations within its online bachelor’s degree in education, including early childhood, elementary, middle-level, and skilled and technical sciences education. The online BS in education studies does not lead to state licensure. Online students seeking tech support have access to Wilmington's live-chat portal and help desk, and can also register for courses, find academic tutoring services, pay tuition and more by logging in to the WebCampus portal.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
24

University of Wisconsin-Superior

36.82/543.23%Superior, WI

As a historically diverse and inclusive higher learning institution, UW-Superior was among the first in the state to offer training programs for kindergarten and high school teachers. The school continues to drive innovation by offering some of the best online teaching degrees in the nation, including the elementary education program, most popular among UW-Superior students. The university offers an online BA and BS in elementary education, in either Pre-K through 6th-grade or 1st- through 8th-grade education. Students majoring in elementary education must also choose a minor in either early childhood or special education, or one of nine academic subject concentrations. The program prepares graduates for teaching licensure in their state of residence. UW-Superior offers comprehensive student support for distance learners, including online library access, tutoring services, online writing labs, tech support, and more through the dedicated Distance Learning Center.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
25

Mayville State University

31.92/541.57%Mayville, ND

Since 1889, MSU has provided programs that support the school's multi-faceted mission and values system -- to encourage leadership and self-service among students. Mayville offers more than a dozen degrees online, including an online bachelors degree in education, as well as numerous graduate programs and certificates. With a student enrollment of around 1,100, online classes can be capped in order to provide a more personalized learning experience. Tuition for Mayville's online BSEd in elementary education is a set-rate per credit, allowing students to save time and money on education costs for this accelerated program. Students are required to complete a series of courses on campus during one summer term, in conjunction with online coursework. Mayville State University's online BSEd can lead to teaching licensure in North Dakota.

Tweet thisShare thisSchool Profile
   
Timeline
4 to 5 years
Program Costs
$10,000 to $25,000 in annual tuition
Popular Minors and Dual Areas of Study
Elementary Education, Middle School Education, High School Teaching, Postsecondary Education, English, History, Science, Mathematics, Art, Music, Physical Education, Special Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Leadership
Accreditation
Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
Additional Considerations
Public school teachers must earn full licensure in all 50 states; some private institutions also list licensure as a prerequisite, but a license for private school teachers is not be required in all 50 states.

Job Placement

Due to the constant demand for qualified teachers and school personnel, students who earn online bachelor’s degrees in education face favorable employment rates. A recent survey by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW) found that experienced college graduates with a degree in an education field face an unemployment rate of 3.7%, while inexperienced education degree-holders face an unemployment rate of 5.1%; by comparison, the national unemployment rate for all occupations currently sits at 4.9%.

Using NCES data for college graduates between the ages of 25 and 29 years, the table below compares the unemployment rates for general education majors against the rates for other common bachelor’s degree fields.

Bachelor’s Degree Major Unemployment Rate for Degree-Holders
Between 25 and 29 Years of Age
General Education and Education (Other) 3.3%
Nursing 3.2%
General Medical and Health Services 3.6%
General Business 4.1%
General Engineering 4.4%
Computer and Information Systems 4.5%
Communications and Communications Technologies 4.8%
Psychology 5.8%

Source: Employment Outcomes of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients’ by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Of the careers listed, education majors enjoy the second-lowest unemployment rate after nursing degree-holders. Comparatively, the survey found that the unemployment rate for all college graduates between 25 and 29 was 4.8%.

Earning a Living

Most colleges and universities allow students to major in general education or other, more specialized education fields. As noted in the 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report, degree choice can impact earning potential for college graduates once they enter the job market. The following table explores salary expectations at two key career benchmarks for nine different education-related undergraduate major fields (including general education).

Bachelor’s Degree Field Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years)
Secondary Education $40,200 $61,400
Health and Physical Education Teaching $35,900 $60,100
English Teacher Education $35,900 $58,000
Education (General) $38,700 $57,800
Music Teacher Education $36,800 $55,600
Special Education $35,000 $51,500
Art Teacher Education $35,300 $51,300
Elementary Education $34,700 $48,900
Early Childhood Education $34,800 $41,900

Source: The 2015-16 PayScale College Salary Report

As the table indicates, general education degree-earners hold the second-highest median annual salary at the entry-level mark and the fourth-largest salary at the mid-career mark, for a salary gain of roughly 49% between the two stages. However, salaries for employees with a bachelor’s in education will depend on specific job titles as well as degree fields of study. The next table features career salary growth projections for teachers at the four major educational levels.

Occupation Median Annual Salary for Entry-Level Employees (0-5 Years) Median Annual Salary for Mid-Career Employees (10+ Years) Median Annual Salary for Experienced Employees (10-20 Years) Median Annual Salary for Late-Career Employees (20+ Years)
Elementary Teacher $38,739 $43,706 $49,846 $57,411
Middle School Teacher $40,025 $45,131 $51,137 $60,278
High School Teacher $40,896 $46,730 $53,097 $59,604
Professor (Postsecondary/ Higher Education) $59,995 $69,339 $84,320 $98,704

Source: PayScale

College professors experience the highest growth of the four professions listed, with a 64.5% salary increase between the entry-level and late-career stages. The remaining three occupations have comparable growth projections, ranging from an increase of 45% to 51% after 20 years in the workforce.

Career and Further Education Opportunities

Students who graduate with an online bachelor’s in education will be qualified for dozens of jobs at the elementary, secondary and postsecondary levels, although individual eligibility will depend on factors like district size, licensure and city/state of employment. Teaching positions at the four major grade levels are outlined below.

Kindergarten and Elementary Teachers: These teachers specialize in leading classrooms with students between the age of five and eleven. They focus on fundamental subjects like English reading and writing, mathematics, science and social studies. They often incorporate music, art, games and other activities into their lesson plans in order to engage and stimulate their young students.

Middle School Teachers: These teachers lead classrooms with students in the seventh and eighth grades; some middle schools also include sixth and/or ninth grade, as well. They build on the core knowledge and skills students have gained at the elementary level while also preparing them for the academic demands of high school.

High School Teachers: These teachers lead classrooms with students in the ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades. Most high school teachers specialize in one subject, and will prepare lessons that address advanced concepts in their area(s) of expertise. Due to the importance of high school grades for college applicants, high school teachers also work closely with students who struggle in certain areas.

Postsecondary Teachers: Postsecondary teachers, or professors, lead courses at colleges and universities. Like high school teachers, most professors specialize in a specific academic subject. In addition to lectures, labs and other classroom activities, postsecondary teachers may take on administrative duties at their school of employment or assist students through academic advisement.

Occupation Median Annual Salary Projected Industry Growth (2014-24)
Kindergarten and Elementary Teachers $54,550 6% (+87,800 jobs)
Middle School Teachers $55,860 6% (+36,800 jobs)
High School Teachers $57,200 6% (+55,900 jobs)
Postsecondary Teachers $72,470 13% (+177,000 jobs)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Professional Organizations

Making professional connections and learning about different approaches to education is crucial to your success. Professional organizations offer a great entry point for students who want to learn more about their chosen career path. Below you’ll find three of the country’s most prominent organizations established for professional educators. These organizations host networking events, provide online trainings, maintain active job boards, and offer other services for career-ready college graduates.

  • The National Council on Teacher Quality: This organization works to create policies that improve the quality of classroom education and the work environments for professional educators. The council’s website features an extensive policy library, as well as information about various NCTQ projects in all 50 states.
  • The National Educational Association: Working to improve public education from preschool to graduate-level studies, the NEA provides resources on current regulations, strategies for securing financial support and tools for creating high-quality lesson plans. Membership opportunities are available for working employees, retired professionals and students.
  • The Association of American Educators: This non-union organization seeks to create tools and resources that increase student achievement and positive classroom outcomes. The AAE currently represents more than three million members at different grade levels in all 50 states.

Despite the relative affordability of online programs, most students still need financial assistance. Students should complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to learn more about loans, grants, and other opportunities offered through the U.S. government. Additionally, private grants and scholarships are widely available through nonprofit organizations, companies, and other sources. Check out our collection of resources below to learn more about financial aid options.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE COLLEGE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR WOMEN

Online programs can provide an affordable and flexible option for women trying to balance the demands of work, family, and earning their degree. We’ve curated a list of valuable scholarships specifically for women.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.