There is a common perception that people who work in education are underpaid. But when you look at the employment and salary data, it’s clear that’s not necessarily the case.
The truth is that there is a broad salary range for careers in education, and your paycheck will depend largely on your location. And the type of institution you work for can also have an impact on your salary – private schools can often afford to pay higher salaries than public schools can.
Read on to learn about the highest paying jobs in education, and some of the best places to work if you want to be a teacher (but check out our Teaching & Education homepage for other info)!
High Paying Jobs
It makes sense that in Education, the highest paying jobs require the most advanced degrees. So, if you want to bring home the best salaries in Teaching and Education, plan on getting your doctoral degree and spending several years building up your resume.
Do you want to make your living as a teacher, while also conducting research and publishing books and articles? You might enjoy working as a college professor.
Postsecondary teachers, or college instructors, teach every imaginable subject. People in this job might have additional responsibilities, too, like advising students or other administrative duties.
At most colleges and universities, you will need a Ph.D. in order to work in this career. For some areas of expertise, though, professional experience and a master’s degree might be sufficient.
If you want to teach at technical colleges, on the other hand, substantial work experience in a field like automotive maintenance or computer programming might be more important than holding a specific degree.
Wondering how much you can make as a college professor? Salaries vary depending on your field and the institution, but the average median pay is $75,430 per year.
The top manager of a school system is the superintendent. Aside from the school board, which is usually the body that can hire and fire them, the school superintendent is the highest authority in their system.
All of the principals in a district report to the superintendent, and the responsibility for budgeting and management lie with the them as well.
Superintendents usually begin as teachers and advance into positions as principals or assistant principals. Along with this professional experience, a doctoral degree is highly preferred for this role.
Again, salaries vary by location. But on average, school superintendents can expect to earn salaries around the average of $118,000 per year.
Fastest Growing Jobs
If you find value in organizing and providing access to information, you might like working as an archivist. In this role, you would be in charge of documents and records, and your duties might include appraising, cataloging, and preserving these items.
You can find archivists working in settings like museums, historical sites, colleges and universities. To work in this role, you will probably need a master’s degree in a related field.
Because of the need to store and preserve different kinds of information, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an employment increase of 13 percent by 2026, and reports a median salary for archivists around $47,230 per year.
Where to work
A 2016 report from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that public teacher salaries vary wildly by location. So, if public school teacher salaries are a good indicator of education salaries in general – where should you work if you want to bring home the biggest paycheck?
The highest paying states for teachers are Massachusetts, with average salaries of $76,981, and New York at $77,957. On the low end were South Dakota at $42,025 and Mississippi, with average salaries of $42,744.
As you make decisions about your career, you should consider the cost of living, though. After all, the two highest-paying states are also among those with the highest cost of living.