Highest Paying Bachelor’s in Education Careers In 2021

A career in teaching and education can be very rewarding and exciting. With UNESCO reporting that 68 million teachers are needed to meet its 2030 education goals, dedicated educators with a bachelor’s in education are required to meet national and global demand.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in education can open up an array of teaching and administrator opportunities ranging from preschool to postsecondary settings. Having a bachelor’s degree also increases your earning potential and prepares you for master’s and or doctorate programs to further advance your salary, career, and expertise even further. 

Below is a quick glance at the highest paying careers for bachelor’s in education graduates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

  1. Postsecondary Education Administrators – $95,410 
  2. High School Teachers – $61,660 
  3. Special Education Teachers – $61,030
  4. Career/Technical Education Teacher – $58,110
  5. Elementary School Teachers – $59,420
  6. Middle School Teachers – $59,660
  7. Librarian – $59,500 
  8. Kindergarten Teachers – $59,420
  9. Adult Basic and Secondary Education Teachers – $54,350
  10. Preschool Teachers – $30,520

Highest Paying Careers in Education

1. Postsecondary Education Administrators

Postsecondary education administrators work at the public and private college and university level overseeing student services, faculty, research, and academics. A master’s degree is required to enter this field. 

Depending on the size of the school, a postsecondary administrator may oversee multiple departments or be assigned one specific department. These departments are usually responsible for admissions, student affairs, registrar’s office, curriculum, and academic policies.

Typical duties include:

  • Determine school enrollment
  • Promote school 
  • Schedule course offerings 
  • Produce data on students and classes
  • Participate in faculty appointments and tenure
  • Oversee faculty research 
  • Maintain academic records
  • Advise students 

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for postsecondary education administrators was $95,410. 

An added benefit to this position is that many colleges allow their full-time employees to attend classes for free or at a discount. 

Career Job Outlook

There is a positive long-term job outlook for postsecondary education administrators with a projected 4% increase in jobs from 2019-2029. As the number of college students increases, so should post secondary administrator positions.

Requirements to Become a Postsecondary Education Administrator

Postsecondary education administrators typically are required to hold a master’s degree, but a bachelor’s degree in various fields (accounting, marketing, social work, etc.) may be acceptable at some small colleges, universities, and community colleges. 

Work experience, especially in the college setting, is usually required to obtain a postsecondary administrator position, but working in a registrar’s office or as an assistant first could help with getting your foot in the door. Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; computer skills, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, and problem-solving skills. 

2. High School Teachers

High school teachers work in both the private and public setting teaching students in grades 9-12. High school teachers usually specialize in one core subject area (math, science, history, english) or teach elective classes (art, music, physical education). 

Typical duties include:

  • Course instruction
  • Lesson planning
  • Grading
  • Meeting with other faculty
  • Meeting with students and parents

Many high school teachers also take on additional responsibilities as club advisors or coaches that may prolong their day; however, these additional responsibilities usually come with a stipend pay.  

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for high school teachers was $61,660. 

Many teachers work a 10-month schedule and have summer, winter, and spring breaks at various times during the year. 

Career Job Outlook

There is a positive long-term job outlook for high school teachers with a projected 4% increase in jobs from 2019-2029.  

This occupation is dependent on state, regional, and local education budgets, student enrollment, and the rate of tenured teachers retiring or leaving the profession. 

Requirements to Become a High School Teacher

According to the BLS, all states require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree and public school districts require teachers to also be licensed whereas private schools do not have this mandate.

Requirements for certification and licensure include:

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum grade point average
  • Complete a student-teaching program
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a general teaching and subject matter test

To keep licenses and certifications current, many states require a set amount of professional development hours or training. Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; communication skills, patience, and resourcefulness. 

3. Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers are a wonderful asset to the public education setting. They work alongside students with learning, emotional, physical, and mental disabilities to ensure they receive high quality education and develop social skills.  

Special education teachers are needed in all grades ranging from preschool-12th grade. These teachers may work with students who are classified from mild to severe, in a classroom, small group, or one-on-one setting.

Typical duties include:

  • Assess students skills and emotional needs
  • Create and manage the student’s Individualized Education Plans (IEP)
  • Plan curriculum and projects that meet the students needs and abilities
  • Teach basic life skills as needed
  • Discuss student’s progress with staff and parents

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for special education teachers was $61,030. 

LIke high school teachers, special education teachers work a 10-month schedule and have summer, winter, and spring breaks at various times during the year. 

Career Job Outlook

There is a good long-term job outlook for high school teachers with a projected 3% increase in jobs from 2019-2029.  

This occupation is dependent on budgets, student enrollment, and the need for special education services. 

Requirements to Become a Special Education Teacher

According to the BLS, all states require special education teachers to have a bachelor’s degree and public school districts require teachers to also be licensed and hold a degree in special education. Some states may require a master’s degree in special education after job placement. 

Requirements for certification and licensure include:

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum grade point average
  • Complete a student-teaching program
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a general teaching and subject matter test

To keep licenses and certifications current, many states require a set amount of professional development hours or training. Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; communication skills, critical-thinking skills, interpersonal skills, patience, and resourcefulness. 

4. Career/Technical Education Teachers

Career/technical education teachers work in both middle schools, high schools, and postsecondary institutions. They teach students technical and vocational skills in areas such as auto repair, culinary arts, healthcare, and cosmetology that can be used to get a job after graduation.  

Duties typically include:

  • Create lesson plans and assignments
  • Help students develop skills
  • Enforce safety protocol
  • Engage with students, staff, and parents
  • Supervise proper use of tools and equipment

Career/technical teachers may also partner with local business or nonprofit agencies to create work programs for students to get hands on, real-world experience. 

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for career/technical education teachers was $58,110. 

Teachers working in middle and high schools typically work school hours when the students are on campus. Instructors that work in postsecondary schools may work evening hours to accommodate student schedules.

Career Job Outlook

There is a slower than average job outlook for career/technical education teachers with a projected 2% increase in jobs from 2019-2029.  

Requirements to Become a Career/Technical Education Teacher

According to the BLS, all states require career/technical education teachers to have a bachelor’s degree, and many may require work experience in the field they are teaching.

Requirements for certification and licensure include:

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum grade point average
  • Complete a student-teaching program
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a general teaching and subject matter test
  • Maintain licensure in the particular field of expertise (nursing, cosmetology, etc.)

To keep licenses and certifications current, many states require a set amount of professional development hours or training. Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; communication skills, organizational skills, patience, and resourcefulness. 

5. Elementary School Teachers

Elementary school teachers working in both the private and public school setting are qualified to teach transitional kindergarten (TK) through 5th grade. They teach basic core skills as well as social skills to prepare elementary school students for middle school and a successful life of learning.

Typical duties include:

  • Create lesson plans
  • Grade assignments
  • Teach social skills
  • Observe student progress
  • Report progress to parents
  • Prepare students for standardized tests
  • Supervise children at recess
  • Enforce classroom rules
  • Meet regularly with other faculty and administration

Elementary school teachers typically teach multiple subjects throughout the day and also spend time planning field trips, taking students to recess and assemblies, and escorting them to other classes such as music and art.

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for elementary school teachers was $59,420. 

Many teachers work a 10-month schedule and have summer, winter, and spring breaks that align with the school year. 

Career Job Outlook

There is a good long-term job outlook for elementary school teachers with a projected 4% increase in jobs from 2019-2029.  

This occupation is dependent on local, regional, and state education budgets, along with student enrollment.

Requirements to Become an Elementary School Teacher

According to the BLS, all states require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree and public school districts require teachers to also be licensed whereas private schools do not have this mandate.

Requirements for certification and licensure include:

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum grade point average
  • Complete a student-teaching program
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a general teaching and subject matter test

To keep licenses and certifications current, many states require a set amount of professional development hours or training. Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; communication skills, patience, physical stamina, and resourcefulness. 

6. Middle School Teachers

Middle school teachers work in both private and public settings and teach students in grades 6-8. Many teachers focus on teaching a single subject such as math and science. Along with teaching their subject, middle school teachers prepare their students to succeed in high school and help them develop life-long study skills.

Typical duties include:

  • Create lesson plans for their subject
  • Assess students abilities and weaknesses
  • Grade assignments and exams
  • Communicate with parents and guardians
  • Enforce classroom rules
  • Supervise students outside of the classroom
  • Prepare students for standardized tests

Middle school teachers may also work with special education teachers to create specific lessons for students who need extra help. They also need to be comfortable with technology and how to utilize it in the classroom. 

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for middle school teachers was $59,660. 

Many teachers work a 10-month schedule and have summer, winter, and spring breaks that align with school breaks. 

Career Job Outlook

There is a good long-term job outlook for middle school teachers with a projected 4% increase in jobs from 2019-2029.  

Requirements to Become a Middle School Teacher

According to the BLS, all states require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree. Public school districts require teachers to be licensed whereas private schools do not always have this mandate.

Requirements for certification and licensure include:

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum grade point average
  • Complete a student-teaching program
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a general teaching and subject matter test

To keep licenses and certifications current, many states require a set amount of professional development hours or training. Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; communication skills, patience, and resourcefulness. 

7. Librarians

Librarians and library media specialists help students find the resources and information they need to conduct research or learn about a specific topic. Librarians can work in a variety of settings including schools, public libraries, government, and academia. The different types of librarians include:

  • Academic librarian
  • Administrative services librarian
  • Public librarian
  • School librarian
  • Special librarian (corporate, law, medical)

Typical duties include:

  • Organize library
  • Create and maintain library databases
  • Help the public find what they are looking for
  • Research new books and material
  • Plan programs for different audiences 
  • Maintain inventory and budget
  • Train volunteers and staff

Specific job duties may change based on the type of organization and how big the facility is.  

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for librarians was $59,500. 

If working in a school setting, many librarians work a 10-month schedule and have summer, winter, and spring breaks. Hours and schedules may vary for librarians working for a government or public facility.

Career Job Outlook

There is a very good long-term job outlook for librarians with a projected 5% increase in jobs from 2019-2029.  

Most librarians and library media specialists work full-time, though part-time work may be an option at some facilities. Some librarians may also work weekends and evenings depending on facility hours of operation.

Requirements to Become a Librarian

Many schools and facilities require librarians to obtain a master’s degree in library science, which typically takes about 1-2 years to complete. 

Requirements for public school librarians differ from state-to-state and most require a bachelor’s or master’s degree to get hired. Special librarians, such as law librarians, usually need to have additional experience and education in the specific field of study.

Public school librarians typically need:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • Teaching certification
  • Passing grade on the PRAXIS II Library Media Specialist standardized test
  • Experience working in a public library

To keep licenses and certifications current, many states require a set amount of professional development hours or training. Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; communication skills, initiative, interpersonal skills, organizational skills, problem-solving skills, reading skills. 

8. Kindergarten Teachers

Kindergarten school teachers working in both private and public school settings teach transitional kindergarten (TK) and kindergarten classes. They have the important role of teaching basic core and social skills to prepare children for their educational career. 

A typical kindergarten teacher must:

  • Create lesson plans
  • Grade assignments
  • Teach social skills
  • Observe student progress
  • Report progress to parents
  • Prepare students for standardized tests
  • Supervise children at recess
  • Enforce classroom rules
  • Meet regularly with other faculty and administration

Kindergarten school teachers typically teach multiple subjects throughout the day and also spend time planning field trips, taking students to recess and assemblies, and escorting them to other classes such as music and art.

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for kindergarten school teachers was $59,420. 

Many teachers work a 10-month schedule and have summer, winter, and spring breaks. 

Career Job Outlook

There is a good long-term job outlook for kindergarten teachers with a projected 4% increase in jobs from 2019-2029.  

Requirements to Become a Kindergarten Teacher

According to the BLS, all states require teachers to have a bachelor’s degree and public school districts require teachers to also be licensed whereas private schools do not have this mandate.

Requirements for certification and licensure include:

  • Bachelor’s degree with minimum grade point average
  • Complete a student-teaching program
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a general teaching and subject matter test

To keep licenses and certifications current, many states require a set amount of professional development hours or training. Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; communication skills, patience, physical stamina, and resourcefulness. 

9. Adult Basic and Secondary Education

Adult basic and secondary educators work with adults to help them read, write, learn English, earn a high school diploma, and learn other fundamental skills. They typically work in public schools, community-based organizations, and community colleges.  

Typical duties include:

  • Plan and teach lessons
  • Adapt teaching to students needs
  • Emphasize skills that will help them find jobs
  • Assess for learning disabilities and refer them to community resources
  • Help students develop study skills
  • Formally evaluate for progress and advancement to the next level

Adult classes usually have students with various levels of abilities, so instruction needs to be adapted to fit the learning styles of the students. Adult basic and secondary education teachers are qualified to teach adult basic education, adult secondary education, and English as a second language (ESL) classes. 

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for adult basic and secondary education teachers was $54,350. 

Many teachers work in the mornings and evenings to accommodate student schedules. It is also common to teach part-time.

Career Job Outlook

The job outlook for adult basic and secondary education teachers is poor with a -10% decrease in jobs from 2019-2029. Of course, job growth varies by geographic area.

Requirements to Become an Adult Basic and Secondary Education Professional

Adult basic and secondary education teachers must have at least a bachelor’s degree and a license or certification. Professional development training may also be required to keep up with evidence based research on how best to teach adults. 

Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; communication skills, cultural sensitivity, patience, and resourcefulness. 

10. Preschool Teachers

Preschool teachers educate and care for children ages five and younger of various ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. They typically work at public and private schools, and daycare centers. 

Duties of a preschool teacher typically include:

  • Teaching students basic skills (identify colors, shapes, numbers, letters)
  • Planning age appropriate curriculum
  • Organizing fun activities, crafts, and games
  • Developing consistent schedules and routines
  • Assessing for signs of emotional or developmental problems
  • Communicating with parents and other staff members

Depending on the facility or district, preschool teachers typically work 10-month school years with summer, winter, and spring breaks. 

Career Salary

The BLS reports that the 2019 median income for preschool teachers was $30,520.

Preschool teachers working in daycare settings may work year-round and have longer hours.

Career Job Outlook

The job outlook for adult basic and secondary education teachers is slow with a 2% decrease in jobs from 2019-2029.  

This occupation is dependent on region and state and local education budgets, and student enrollment.

Requirements to Become a Preschool Teacher

According to the BLS, preschool teachers typically need to have at least an associates degree, but a bachelor’s degree is required to work in Head Start programs. 

Requirements for preschool teachers include:

  • Associates degree
  • Bachelor’s degree prefered
  • Child Development Associate credential (CDA)
  • Licensed to teach early childhood education 
  • Pass a background check
  • Pass a general teaching and subject matter test

To keep licenses and certifications current, many states require a set amount of professional development hours or training. Other important proficiency qualifications, according to the BLS, include; communication skills, patience, physical stamina, creativity, and resourcefulness. 

Highest Paying States for Teachers

The states that have the highest annual mean salaries for  teachers, according to the BLS, include: 

  1. District of Columbia- $78,810 
  2. New York- $67,470
  3. Massachusetts- $66,430 
  4. Connecticut- $64,810
  5. Alaska- $63,780

Can I Earn My Bachelor’s in Education Online?

Online bachelor’s degree programs are becoming more abundant, and many schools offer the option to complete the degree on a part-time or full-time basis to accommodate busy schedules and working professionals.

A typical online bachelor’s degree program takes about four years to complete, though part-time learners may take longer. Many schools also offer an online teaching credential program that incorporates both online and in-person learning. However, the field work and student-teaching portion of the program must be completed in person. 

Sources:

  1. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/media-services/single-view/news/close_to_69_million_new_teachers_needed_to_reach_2030_educat/
  2. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm
  3. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm
  4. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/special-education-teachers.htm
  5. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/career-and-technical-education-teachers.htm
  6. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm
  7. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/middle-school-teachers.htm
  8. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/librarians.htm
  9. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/adult-literacy-and-ged-teachers.htm
  10. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm
  11. https://www.bls.gov/oes/2017/may/oes250000.htm