Advance Your Career With One of These 6 Highest-Paying Master’s in Education Jobs

Is it worth getting your master's in education? Learn about how to move up in your career while pulling in the most income.

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by Kim-Ling Sun

Published October 5, 2022

Edited by Danika Miller
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Advance Your Career With One of These 6 Highest-Paying Master’s in Education Jobs
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Ever thought about how you could move up in your career in education and increase your pay?

With the significant rise in living expenses and the recent media buzz over poor compensation for teachers, you might be thinking about what your next move should be.

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Ready to start your journey?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the annual average annual salary of an education administrator is $102,650 — about double what the average K-12 teacher earns. This might entice you to leap from teaching to a more lucrative academic support role.

With the growing number of online graduate school programs, you can now conveniently pursue your master's in education and work to become an administrator, an instructional coordinator, or a counselor while you continue to work full time. We've compiled a list of fast-growing jobs you can do with a master's in education.

Top 6 Highest-Paying Jobs With a Master's in Education

You can enjoy a variety of lucrative careers when you obtain your master's in education. Careers in education over the past few years have demonstrated significant job growth.

The average growth rate in the United States for all occupations is 5%, according to the BLS. Currently, people who have a master's in education reap the benefits of fast job growth with rates ranging from 5% to 12% in the marketplace.

These are some of the highest paying jobs in education:

Top 6 Master's in Education Jobs
Job Median Annual Salary (May 2021) Job Growth Rate (2021-2031)
1. School Superintendents $127,310* N/A
2. Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals $98,420 5%
3. Postsecondary Education Administrators $96,910 7%
4. Postsecondary Teachers $79,640 12%
5. Instructional Coordinators $63,740 7%
6. School and Career Counselors and Advisors $60,510 10%

*Accurate as of October 2022

Sources: BLS, Payscale

1. School Superintendents — $127,310 per Year

  • 2022 Median Annual Salary: $127,310
  • Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): Unavailable
  • Top-Paying States: California, New York, Illinois

One career opportunity available to you with a master's in education is becoming a school district superintendent. As the superintendent, you would work in a school district's central office. Your responsibilities would include student academic achievement across the district, managing the day-to-day operations, and managing the district's budget.

This career has great salary potential, especially if you are willing to move around to more competitive areas. Salaries differ regionally, with most entry-level salaries in rural areas starting at $75,000 and increasing to around $110,000 for those with two decades of experience.

In Texas, you could step into an entry-level superintendent position in smaller populated cities like El Paso and earn an annual salary range of $150,000 - $250,000. In a bustling area like Greater Houston, area superintendents can anticipate earning an annual salary range of $250,000 to $350,000.


2. Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals — $98,420 per Year

  • 2021 Median Annual Salary: $98,420
  • Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 5%
  • Top-Paying States: New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, California

As the head principal of a K-12 school, you typically work year-round because you have a wide array of duties managing the students and school personnel of your building. Principal's oversee the development and implementation of curriculum, class schedules, and the counseling and discipline of students.

You also establish school morale, and observe and evaluate staff performance. As a principal in a larger school, you may also have assistant principals who work under you to help you carry out some of these duties.

Many educators choose to pursue a master's in educational administration to become a principal. One bonus to this career path is that immediately after graduating with your master's degree, and fulfilling your state's various requirements for licensure, you become eligible to apply for a principalship.

The average salary for a K-12 principal is $102,000, with states like New York and California offering a higher end of the salary scale at $128,000 - $138,000.


3. Postsecondary Education Administrators — $96,910 per Year

  • 2021 Median Annual Salary: $96,910
  • Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 7%
  • Top-Paying States: New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Washington, Rhode Island

A postsecondary education administrator helps run educational institutions like colleges and universities. The 7% job growth rate is higher than average, and makes pursuing this career a tempting choice.

When working in a top-paying state like Rhode Island, administrators can earn an average annual salary of $130,650. With New York administrators averaging $159,800 per year, it's easy to see why many educators are enticed to enroll in graduate school.

Duties as a postsecondary education administrator include helping oversee academics and faculty research. Other sought-out positions for those who hold this master's degree are positions such as an institution's registrar or a department's academic dean.

Generally speaking, a postsecondary education administrator needs only a master's degree. Upper-level positions in postsecondary education may require further studies and that you obtain a doctorate in educational administration depending on the institution.


4. Postsecondary Teachers — $79,640 per Year

  • 2021 Median Annual Salary: $79,640
  • Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 12%
  • Top-Paying States: Varies by discipline

Career opportunities exist everywhere for postsecondary teachers who decide to teach subject-specific courses at the collegiate level. The job growth rate for postsecondary teachers is more than double the standard job growth rate at 12%.

To teach in this setting, a postsecondary teacher should usually hold a master's degree in the subject they are teaching. If you hold a master's in education (M.Ed.), you would be eligible to teach introductory education courses at a college or university.

Due to the high demand, graduates with a master's degree in the specific content areas can look forward to a median annual salary of $94,360 as a full-time faculty member. The salary is even more attractive for those who wish to become a full-time professor on tenure track.


5. Instructional Coordinators — $63,740 per Year

  • 2021 Median Annual Salary: $63,740
  • Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 7%
  • Top-Paying States: District of Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Connecticut, Maryland

With a master's degree in education, you may want to become an instructional coordinator. For an institution to consider you for this type of position, you can also get a master's in curriculum and instruction. You will oversee a campus' curriculum and teaching standards, design and implement instructional material, and determine its efficacy.

Depending on the institution, you may oversee multiple subject areas or be asked to target an area that requires restructuring. With an average national salary of $63,740 annually, pursuing your M.Ed. seems worth the 2-year investment.

The high demand for instructional coordinators is likely to help address educational gaps brought on by years of remote learning with targeted intervention and support for personnel. Due to the current teacher shortage, your focus may not only be on the new first-year teacher but also on the master teacher who has also had to take on additional roles to meet staffing needs.


6. School and Career Counselors and Advisors — $60,510 per Year

  • 2021 Median Annual Salary: $60,510
  • Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 10%
  • Top-Paying States: California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington, Maryland

A rewarding position you can also qualify for with a master's in education is a school counselor or career advisor. As a school counselor, you will help students further develop their academic and social skills. As a career advisor, you can help students create a roadmap for their future, helping them reach their future employment goals.

These positions demonstrate double the growth rate of traditional jobs due to the impact the pandemic has had on the workforce reevaluating their career choices and work/life balance. With this demand, you can expect to earn on average a salary of $60,000 per year.

Educational and career counselors, for example, are at the top of the range with the national average salary at $60,510 per year while social workers and community specialists average $48,400 per year.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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