Master of Education

What Can You Do With a Masters in Education Degree?

Wondering what else you can do with a Master of Education Degree besides teach? While teaching may be the obvious career path for those considering an M.Ed, there are actually a number of non-teaching careers where an M.Ed is extremely beneficial, if not required. Here are eight alternative teaching careers for M.Ed holders.

Principal or Administrator

As a principal you are the leader of your school, heavily influencing and shaping the culture and learning systems in place, serving as an aid or advisor to teachers, and ensuring that every student is getting the most out of his/her education and receiving the instruction and support they need to succeed.

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Dr. Allan R. Bonilla, former principal and author of I’m in the Principal’s Seat, Now What? The Story of a Turnaround Principal, in an edweek article, remarked to those considering a career as principal, “The big question should be ‘Why do I want to be a principal?’ Hopefully it is because you have wonderful ideas for creating an exemplary school and are eager to implement them. Hopefully you have a true love for children and want to see them all succeed. Hopefully you want to foster a positive school culture in which your teachers can flourish and can motivate and inspire their students to love learning. Do you truly want to make a difference?”

School principals, according to ONet, made a median yearly salary of $89,540 (according to 2014 data). In California, the median was slightly higher at 105,960.

Special Education Teacher

Special education teachers work directly with children who have emotional or physical disabilities or who have learning impairments. Some special education teachers choose to specialize in a certain area of special education, for example teaching students with autism or those who have experienced trauma. Specializing in a specific subset of special education requires a practitioner to obtain a master’s degree with a specialization in their chosen subset. In some states and in most public schools a master’s degree is required to become a special education teacher regardless of specialization.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay in 2014 for special education teachers was $55,980.

School or Career Counselor

School counselors are important members of most elementary, middle and high schools. They help students who are struggling socially or who are having psychological issues or problems at home. They also assist students with academics, often acting as the main facilitator and mentor during the college application process. In almost all schools a master’s degree is required to work as a school guidance counselor. A common degree choice for those looking to become a guidance counselor is a master of education with a specialty in educational psychology or school counseling. To see a full list of requirements by state visit the American School Counselor Association.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median 2014 salary for school and career counselors was $53,370.

Educational Coordinator at Museum, Aquarium, Zoo, etc.

Does working in a museum, zoo, science center or aquarium sound fun? Well if you have a master’s degree in education, working as an education specialist or coordinator at one of these facilities could be a great career option. The responsibilities of this role could vary greatly but in general an education specialist is responsible for designing, implementing and teaching educational programs, distributing education materials and understanding the different learning styles of their audience.


Corporate Trainer

Working as a corporate trainer is a great career option for M.Ed. holders that love to teach but would prefer to work in a more corporate environment with adults. Typically, these positions require a master’s degree or higher and can be quite lucrative – another benefit of moving into the corporate space.

According to indeed the salary range for corporate trainer is $66k-$98k, depending upon your training specialization (sales, leadership, etc.)

Educational Consultant

Working as an educational consultant offers teachers a second option to working in the classroom every day. This can be a great second career after teaching or an option for educators looking to take a few years off from day to day teaching. To work as a consultant, most employers require a master’s degree along with actual teaching experience. Typically, consultants specialize in a specific area such as blended learning, improving student drop out rates or academic intervention, just to name a few, and work to set educational goals and implement plans to achieve those goals. Working alongside teachers and administrators, consultants assist in affecting policy, enhancing curriculum, and improving or implementing educational initializes.

According to, the median salary in 2015 for educational consultants is $92,633.

Curriculum Developer/Instruction Specialist

Working as a curriculum developer, also known as an instructions specialist, you will be responsible for developing a new curriculum or improving an existing curriculum for a school. You will provide guidance and supervision of anything relating to curriculum including textbook changes and technological materials. In addition, you may assess and train teachers to help them improve instruction techniques. This position usually requires teaching or school administration experience and almost always requires a master’s degree. In fact, according to O*Net Online, 73% of instruction specialists hold a master’s degree.

According to O*Net, the median wage in 2014 for instruction specialists was $61,550.

Content Developer/Item Writer

Typically content developers and item writers work for publishing or assessment companies and are tasked with developing content for standardized tests or writing lesson outlines and content for educational textbooks. While a master’s degree is not always required for item writers, experience in teaching almost always is. And if you want to work as a content developer it is more than likely that you will need to have a master’s degree coupled with subject specific experience in the teaching field.


A Master of Education Degree is highly versatile and can open the door to a variety of jobs and career options. At the University of San Diego, we offer a 100% online Master of Education degree with four specializations to choose from: Inclusive Learning, Literacy & Digital Learning, STEAM and Curriculum & Instruction. To learn more about our nationally accredited program visit our program page.


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