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Education And Career Overview For Education

Are you interested in pursuing a career in education? While most people assume the only profession available in the education field is teaching, there are actually a number of potential occupations to consider.Some lesser-known professional opportunities include:

  • Adult Literary Teacher
  • Curator
  • Instructional Coordinator
  • Library Technician
  • Community Education Officer
  • English as a Foreign Language Teacher
  • Archivist
  • Museum Worker
  • Librarian
  • Teacher Assistant
  • Education Administrator
  • Learning Mentor

Degree Options

In most cases, individuals interested in an education career will need to complete some level of higher education. Program options include associate, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. As with other professions, those who attain a higher level of education will qualify for more positions and earn a higher salary.

Associate Degree

An associate degree in education is often considered a good starting point for individuals interested in the field but unsure if it’s for them. This type of program offers the opportunity to explore profession while also attaining basic skills that will prepare students for further study. While some of these programs will qualify candidates for elementary teaching positions, most do not include licensure. Full-time students can expect to complete approximately 60 credit hours or coursework within a two year period.

Undergraduate Degree

Most people interested in education begin by earning an undergraduate degree. A bachelor’s degree in education is generally a minimum requirement for most teaching positions. Unlike associate degrees, these programs usually help students complete licensure requirements as part of the course of study. As with most undergraduate degrees, full-time students can complete these 120 credit hour programs in about four years.

Graduate Degree

In most cases, graduate degrees are not required for education professionals. Many do, however, seek advanced degrees in order to qualify for higher pay, advancement opportunities, and more job options. Those interested in management roles, however, will need a master’s degree in education administration or leadership. Librarians and instructional coordinators also need graduate degrees. While programs vary, most consist of 30 to 60 credit hours of coursework that can be completed within two years.

Doctoral Degree

While unnecessary for most teachers, doctoral degrees in education are available. Those who enroll in doctoral programs usually strive to become a college professor and enjoy conducting research within their given concentration. Doctoral programs take approximately three years to complete.

Fields of Study

Because every profession needs qualified teachers, educators can work within almost any field. In most cases, an educator will select an area of concentration and strive to become an expert within it. Some of the most prominent fields of study within education are:

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • English
  • Health
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Social Science
  • Technology
  • Speech Communication
  • Spanish
  • Library Media and Information Science
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Special Education
  • Teacher Leadership

Students can also receive specialized training in early childhood education, elementary education, middles school education, secondary education, adult education, and special education.

Career and Salary Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education and training job availability is expected to grow by nine percent between the years 2016 and 2026. This increase is due to enrollment projects, but these may be limited by state and local budgets. Salaries for professionals in this field trend above other occupations, with a median annual wage of $48,740 in 2017. (Based on national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary)


Education Occupations. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved on August 9, 2018 from:

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