Top 7 Master’s in Education Careers That Aren’t Just Teaching

What can you do with a master's degree in education besides teaching? Learn about the seven best careers in education outside the classroom.

portrait of Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.
by Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.

Published October 3, 2022

Reviewed by Dr. Samantha Fecich

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Top 7 Master’s in Education Careers That Aren’t Just Teaching
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When you think about jobs that need a master's in education degree, the first thing that probably comes to mind is teaching, right? Well, it turns out there are several jobs you can do with a master's in education besides teaching.

If you know you want to work in education but aren't sure you want to become a teacher, don't worry! Many master's in education careers include professional pathways outside the classroom.

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Ready to start your journey?

With a master's in education, you have tons of career options at your disposal. You could become a school principal, a career counselor, or a corporate trainer. Other options include education careers like consultant and nonprofit director.

Check out these seven careers you can pursue with an education degree besides teaching, including earning potential, growth rate, and job duties.

1. Principal

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $98,420
Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 5%

Becoming a principal is one of the most popular career choices for those who earn an education degree but don't want to teach longterm.

In grades K-12, you'll manage operations at your school, including overseeing the curriculum, managing teachers and staff, and setting long-term goals. You'll also meet with parents, the superintendent, and other stakeholders about your school.

You'll generally need a master's degree in education with a focus on educational administration for this career. Most principals also have a background in teaching.

Jobs at public schools generally require an administrator license, too.


2. Instructional Designer

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $63,740
Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 7%

Looking to have a little more influence behind the scenes? As an instructional designer, you'll create teaching materials, monitor learning outcomes, and set teaching standards.

Also known as instructional coordinators or curriculum specialists in school settings, these professionals help schools develop and implement curriculum materials. You'll also measure the effectiveness of the curriculum.

Outside school settings, instructional designers create training programs, instruction manuals, and other educational materials. Whether you go into the private sector or a school setting, you'll generally need a master's degree to work as an instructional designer.


3. Educational Consultant

Median Annual Salary (August 2022): $63,000
Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): N/A

If you want to remain in a school setting — just not as a teacher — then you might consider becoming an educational consultant.

In this role, you'll advise students, families, and schools. You'll also help students navigate college admissions and the financial aid process.

Some consultants help families identify educational opportunities for their children. You may also work with schools and recommend changes to teaching standards, educational technologies, or other tools.

Most educational consultants bring a background in education, including teaching. A master's degree can help you attract clients. What's more, consulting is one of the most common self-employed education careers.


4. Career Counselor

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $60,510
Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 10%

When it comes to professions with an education degree that aren't teaching, career counselors rank high. In this role, you'll recommend career paths to high schoolers, college students, and adults.

You'll conduct aptitude assessments to evaluate students' strengths and create plans to obtain the education or training necessary for different careers. Career counselors may also teach skills like interviewing, resume writing, and networking.

Also known as career coaches or college advisors, these professionals must have strong communication and research skills. You must motivate your clients while providing practical advice.


5. Dean

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $96,910
Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 7%

If you become an academic dean, you'll most likely work in colleges and universities where you'll manage academic and administrative departments. For example, you could oversee departments or entire schools.

As an administrative dean, you'll manage student affairs, admissions, financial aid, and other administrative services.

So what are the requirements to work in higher education? These careers sometimes expect a background in college-level teaching.

Academic deans typically earn tenure as professors before moving into administrative roles, which requires a doctorate. Administrative deans are more likely to hold a master's degree and work experience in their administrative unit.


6. Corporate Trainer

Median Annual Salary (May 2021): $61,570
Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 8%

Not all jobs that need a degree in education have all that much to do with actual education.

In your job as a corporate trainer, you'll help organizations identify and meet their training and development needs. You'll design training materials that align with the corporation's goals and values. You'll also deliver training programs and evaluate their effectiveness.

Looking to break into the field? A master's degree and a background in education can help. Teaching and training share many similarities, especially in their duties and expectations.


7. Nonprofit Educational Director

Median Annual Salary (Aug. 2022): $59,670
Job Growth Rate (2021-2031): 12%

Nonprofit education organizations help students gain valuable skills, train teachers for the classroom, and educate the public. And nonprofit educational directors lead these organizations.

As a director, you'll set long-term goals, manage staff, and align the organization's goals with its vision. You'll also oversee grants, donations, and fundraising while managing the budget.

A background in education and graduate-level training in educational administration can help prepare you for roles like nonprofit educational director. These careers also require strong communication and leadership abilities, along with a strong commitment to the organization's goals.

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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