“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
—William Arthur Ward

Everyone in the world has had a teacher that meant something special to them. With how much time kids spend in school, and how central it is to their day-to-day life, it’s no wonder teachers always seem to have some of the greatest impacts on our lives.

Teaching Education BadgeTeachers don’t just fill our heads with information. They also support and care for us in the classroom, with their encouragement and passion. They set us on the trajectory that we will follow for the rest of our lives.

The importance of teaching and education is why College Choice has ranked the Best Online Bachelor’s of Education Degrees!

What Do Teachers Do?

Teaching is a skilled approach to sharing your knowledge with others. Great teachers make the process fun and age-appropriate. They measure student progress and communicate with every parent whose child they teach.

Teaching is a set of interventions tailored to the pupil’s age, learning abilities, and personality. A teacher has the training to spot potential learning difficulties and request evaluations and interventions.

Teachers can find positions throughout the country, in normal public schools, as well as in more new or innovative environments, such as religious schools, private schools, and charter school programs.

And for students worried about the cost of education, the federal government can sometimes forgive your student loans for a certain amount of service in public schools!

So not only do teachers get paid back morally through the difference they make for kids, but they also get paid literally through loan forgiveness!

How Much Money Can You Make If You Study Teaching & Education?

Despite all the jokes made about teachers’ salaries, it is actually a very stable and reliable career path. Depending on the grade level, salaries range between $32,000 and $80,000 with an average of $57,000.

Most teachers have at least a Bachelor’s degree, though many teachers pursue graduate education for administrative positions or in order to increase their expertise and pay as a teacher.

Teachers in Alaska, New York, and Connecticut tend to be the most well-compensated, with median salaries of around $77,000. And adjusting for cost of living, Illinois, Michigan, and Connecticut offer the best ratio of average salaries to cost of living expenses.

Consider these teaching and education careers and their mid-range salaries:

  •        School Administrator/Principal: $73,710 to $114,950
  •        Substitute Teacher: $21,850 to $36,550
  •        Guidance Counselor: $41,650 to $70,930
  •        Pre-School Teacher: $22,750 to $38,350
  •        Middle School Teacher: $45,370 to $71,850
  •        Elementary Teacher: $44,450 to $71,170
  •        High School Teacher: $46,110 to $74,160

What Kinds of Education Degrees Are Available?

At the Bachelor’s degree level, students prepare for careers as Kindergarten through Sixth Grade, Middle School, and High School Teachers. Bachelor’s degrees also suit Career and Technical Instructors, Special Education Teachers, and Literacy and GED Instructors.

Undergraduate coursework introduces students to theories and practices in modern education, while also often including internships and hands on experiences in education.

A Certificate program in Education or teaching supplements the experience and education that teachers already have. Most programs focus on post-bachelor’s students looking to either advance their accumulated knowledge, or to lead into a graduate degree program.

A Master’s degree in Education leads to positions as Librarians, Instructional Coordinators, Archivists, or Curators.  

Masters programs expand on what students learned in their undergraduate program, especially as It concerns teaching theories and curriculum design, often with a particular focus like elementary or special education.

Finally, the terminal education degrees are the EdD or PhD. As an EdD, or Doctor of Education, leaders and administrators can work anywhere from universities to elementary schools, but they also find work in government programs and nonprofit organizations.

The EdD program of study includes a hands-on approach to learning.

The PhD candidate conducts in-depth research in their chosen topic. The degree normally leads to positions in educational research. The PhD researches how and what to change, whereas an EdD implements that change.

A PhD program will last four to six years and includes either a dissertation or thesis. The EdD concludes after 60 credits of coursework. The PhD salary averages $55,459 while an EdD averages $83,360.

What Kinds of Education Specialties Are There?

The earliest exposure our children have to education may be their Preschool Teacher. For private preschools, they need a certificate or an Associate in Early Childhood Education. Public Preschool Teachers need a Bachelor in Early Childhood Education.

Check your state’s requirements for both teaching degrees and teacher licensing. A number of states made the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential mandatory for teaching preschoolers.

The CDA is a three-year, renewable qualification. Some states mandate that Preschool Teachers have prior work experience as a Childcare Worker or Teacher Assistant.

Preschool Teachers earn a median salary of $28,790. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) issued an Occupational Outlook Handbook covering the years 2014 to 2024. In its listings, Preschool Teaching will grow by 7 percent with nearly 30,000 newly created jobs.

Kindergarten and Elementary (K-6) Teachers must complete a Bachelor’s degree. Teachers in public schools maintain a state license while private schools have no licensing constraints.

Check your state’s requirements to become a K-6 Teacher. Some states mandate that educators complete a specific concentration such as English, Art, or Science. Student teaching remains a fundamental component of hands-on training.

A number of states want their K-6 teachers to obtain Master’s degrees. A background check may be required before hiring. Teachers attend Professional Development or Continuing Education classes to maintain their teaching certification.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers earn a median salary of $55,490. The BLS Handbook states that 87,800 new K-6 teaching jobs will open up by 2024. That is a 6 percent growth rate.

School Librarians acquire their Master of Library Science after a one- or two-year program. To work in public schools, librarians need their teaching certification.

Elementary and Secondary School Librarians earn a median salary of $59,510. These positions grow at a slower rate of 2 percent, and just 2,700 new Librarian positions will open up by 2024.

Becoming an Elementary through High School (K-12) Principal requires a Master in Education Administration or in Educational Leadership. Most school principals began their careers as teachers.

State requirements vary, but most principals need licensing as a school administrator. This does not apply at private schools. Principals frequently stay after school, attend school functions, and lead meetings with their staff. Principals work through summer vacation.

K-12 Principals report a median salary of $92,510. The BLS sees a 6 percent acceleration in job creation, which will produce 14,000 new openings within the next seven years.

For students at the undergraduate level, College Choice has put together a list of the Best Online Education Degrees. We’ve also looked at graduate level programs, including the Best Masters in Education Degrees.

Many students also prefer the convenience of online educations, so we’ve also ranked the Best Online Masters in Education Degrees and the Cheapest Online Masters Degrees in Education.

Teaching

Teaching is considered one of the most noble professions in the world. Helping students to learn while also supporting their emotional and physical growth isn’t easy, but many consider it incredibly rewarding.

Every person can name those special teachers that made a difference in their lives, and its those types of teachers that the best teaching programs strive to produce.

We will never live in a world without schools, which is why the demand for teachers is always steadily and consistently growing.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the number of teaching jobs to grow by 6% over the next decade, and that’s with over 2.5 million elementary, middle, and high school teachers already employed.

And despite all of the jobs made about teachers’ salaries, the median income is actually above the national average in the U.S., at $58,000 per year.

Master’s degree programs gives teachers the extra boost they need to become even more effective instructors in the classroom, while also boosting that take home pay.

As a result, CollegeChoice has ranked the Best Masters in Teaching Degrees, for educators who know they are ready to make a difference in kids’ lives.

Special Education

Special education is a field that responds to highly-specialized needs within education. Teachers respond to students’ learning, mental, emotional, or physical disabilities by adapting general lesson plans or basic skills to respond to each student’s unique set of needs and abilities.

No two students face the same challenges or bring with them the same skills, and it’s up to special education teachers to respond to that complexity.

Like many professions within education, special education is a consistent field in terms of job security. Schools will always be around and will always have children with mild to severe disabilities that need specialized care.

This is why the job market for special education teachers is expected to grow by around 6% over the next decade, on top of the almost half a million jobs that already exist in the field today.

CollegeChoice has put together a list of the Best Special Education Degrees. Many future students also pay close attention to the cost of their education, so we’ve also compiled the Cheapest Online Special Education Degrees.

And finally, we looked at the ease and convenience of online education in the Best Online Special Education Degrees.

Elementary Education

If you love teaching ABCs and 123s, and your dream is to prepare our children for the future, a degree in Elementary Education may be perfect for you. Teaching is both a noble and necessary profession, and today our schools employ over 3 million teachers!

Teachers are expected to not only prepare lessons, problem solve and grade papers, but elementary teachers have to deal with youngsters who can present some unique challenges.

As a teacher, you have the opportunity to inspire, instruct and accompany students on their journey through learning and life in general. You’ll have to have a deep love for what you do, and hopefully money is not the driving factor.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, kindergarten and elementary school teachers make about $55,000 per year. Of course, salaries can vary based on the school district.

College Choice has published a ranking of the top Elementary Education Degrees, including Purdue University, Marshall University, and University of Richmond.

If you’re looking for more flexibility in obtaining a degree, we’ve also ranked the top online programs for a Master’s in Elementary Education, as well as the best online programs for a Bachelor’s in this field.

School Counseling

From elementary school all the way through college, school counselors are responsible for supporting the academic, personal, and developmental health of thousands of students across America.

It’s an important job that requires patience and excellent listening skills, as counselors are important resources for today’s youth and tomorrow’s leaders.

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for school and career counselors was nearly $55,000 in May 2016. Salaries can vary based on location and whether a counselor works in a public or private school.

The job outlook isn’t bad either– employment of school and career counselors is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024.

While licensing for school counselors is determined on a state-by-state basis, all states require at least a master’s degree before someone can be hired as a school counselor.

College Choice has ranked the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Educational Counseling Degrees, as well as the overall Best Online Master’s in School Counseling Degrees.

If flexibility isn’t an issue and you’re looking for a more traditional on-campus experience, check out our ranking of the Best Master’s in School Counseling Degrees.

Curriculum & Instruction

What students are learning is just as important as how their learning it. No two teachers will have the same way of delivering a lesson, and once a teacher is experience in the classroom, they will have their own ideas about how to best teach students.

If teachers want to make direct changes to how we shape students’ curriculum, they can pursue a master’s in curriculum and instruction.

Teachers with this education may become instructional coordinators, who work with school districts and individual schools to craft better ways to teach students. These coordinators earn an average of almost $65,000/year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Like many education fields, coordinators can also expect consistent growth in their job market, of around 7% over the next decade.

CollegeChoice has looked at both the Master’s and Doctoral levels of graduate education covering curriculum and instruction. For Master’s students, we looked at the Best Online Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.

While for PhD candidates, we put together a ranking of the Best Online Doctorates in Curriculum and Instruction.

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