The Top 10 Highest Paying Careers in Education

An image of a principal for our ranking of The Top 10 Highest Paying Careers in Education

A career in education can be a rewarding one, but if you’re interested in the highest paying path in education, it pays to do some research. Here are the Highest Paying Business Degrees based upon the most current information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics and The U.S. Department of Education.

Ranking The Top 10 Highest Paying Careers in Education

Higher Education Management – M.Ed., MEd, Ed.M, or Ed.D. / D.Ed.

A master’s or doctoral degree in higher education prepares you for careers as:

  • academic dean
  • vice president of student affairs
  • registrars
  • director of student services.

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Featured Programs – Master’s


Featured Programs – Doctoral


Training to qualify as a dean is based in courses like:

  • administration of higher education
  • curriculum and instruction in higher education
  • higher education students and clientele
  • organizational theory in higher education
  • the history of higher education
  • comparative studies of institutions
  • interdisciplinary and instructional procedures
  • case studies
  • theoretical modeling
  • organizational reform and innovation

Deans also:

  • prepare college catalogs
  • schedule classes
  • research demographic statistics
  • analyze enrollment through the administration of student services

As an example, earnings for academic deans are based upon their specialization. Salaries range from $125,400 in nursing fields to $150,000 in business fields.

Education Administration – M.Ed., MEd, Ed.M, or Ed.D. / D.Ed.

A master’s degree in Education Administration is among the highest paying education degree which qualifies graduates to work as school principals. School principals are among the highest paid professionals in the educational system. They manage the daily operations of educational programs. School principals are highly trained professionals. They administer, execute, and determine the educational standards, policies, and procedures. This includes:

  • preschools
  • day care facilities
  • schools

Featured Programs – Master’s


Featured Programs – Doctoral


School principals also:

  • hire teachers and other staff
  • develop academic curricula
  • monitor student progress
  • offer training to staff
  • prepare budgets

They also handle relations among:

  • parents
  • students
  • staff
  • communities

Often school principals may also act as directors of training and education programs in:

  • organizations
  • correctional facilities
  • museums
  • vocational schools
  • community service programs

Earnings for principals who work in elementary through senior high schools range from $71,192 to $97,486 annually.

Graduate Degrees in Educational Leadership – M.Ed., MEd, Ed.M, or Ed.D. / D.Ed.

An educational leadership degree provides you with the opportunity to complete studies in the highest paying education programs. A minimum of a master’s degree in educational leadership helps qualify you  to work as Superintendent or Chief Academic Officer.

However, many administrative positions in higher education institutions require candidates to possess a doctoral degree.

Featured Programs – Master’s


Featured Programs – Doctoral


Graduates work as:

  • academic deans
  • chief academic officers
  • registrars
  • directors of financial aid

They manage college level student affairs and act as leaders in the education system.

Courses include the areas of

  • school law
  • educational financing and budgeting
  • school leadership
  • curriculum development and evaluation
  • community relations
  • research design and data analysis
  • counseling
  • politics in education

These courses provide graduates with the skills and knowledge to establish careers as professionals in colleges and universities. Earnings for Chief Academic Officers who complete doctoral degree programs often earn $158,000 annually. Academic deans generally have salaries ranging from $92,622 to $150,000 yearly. Graduates who advance to positions as registrars or directors of financial aid earn $71,764 to $74,261 annually.

College and University Professors – Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in areas of specialty

Doctoral degrees in education are also among the highest paying degrees in the educational system. There are career opportunities for graduates who complete doctoral degrees in:

  • humanities
  • engineering
  • science
  • information technology
  • history

Master’s degree graduates often gain employment as middle or high school educators. Some may work as part time or temporary positions or as instructors in 2 year community colleges. Courses are rigorous, research intensive. They’re also based on the most contemporary theoretical knowledge in the student’s chosen field/s. Earnings for professors are based upon institution of employment, geographic location, and field. Generally salaries range from $41,600 to $83,960 annually.

Instructional Design – M.Ed., MEd, or Ed.M

One of the highest paying education degrees is also a Master’s of Education in Instructional Design. It offers graduates the ability to develop and implement curriculum and instruction plans.

Featured Programs – Master’s


Featured Programs – Doctoral


Graduates advance as professionals in education performing research regarding:

  • methods of instruction
  • training teachers
  • selecting textbooks and other instructional materials
  • assessing educational programs
  • measuring student performance

Instructional coordinators also devise ways of :

  • improving educational standards
  • maximizing efficiency of educational programs
  • implementing new technology in classrooms

Many specialize in one subject or academic field, like:

  • reading
  • science
  • math
  • language arts

Instructional coordinators, curriculum specialists, personal development specialists, and directors of instructional materials earn $42,070 and $75,000 annually.

Librarian – M.S. in Library Science

A master’s degree in library science is one of the highest paying education degrees.

Librarians manage library resources and assure that library materials are current. Librarians also manage staff. They assist students and teachers in meeting research and other informational needs. Librarians also maintain and organize library resources, materials, and other information sources. They assure retrieval and access of information.

Master level courses in library science include:

  • collection development and management
  • organization and representation of knowledge and information
  • cataloging
  • library management
  • academic library management/public library management
  • school media
  • introduction to research
  • evaluation of information systems
  • evaluation of library sources
  • reference services

In addition to earning a master’s degree, many school librarians earn teaching licenses to meet State requirements. Earnings for school librarians range from $42,240 to $65,300 annually.

Special Education – M.Ed or B.S. in Special Education

A bachelor’s or master’s degree in special education is one of the highest paying education degrees available. Special education teachers work with infants, children, and teens. These individuals have emotional, mental, and/or physical disabilities. Teachers foster problem solving, motor, or social skills. Special education teachers work with students individually or in special resource classes. They:

  • develop curricula
  • set goals

They also help students to maximize their:

  • independence
  • knowledge
  • abilities.

Featured Programs – Bachelor’s


Featured Programs – Master’s


Training to become a special education teacher includes courses like:

  • teaching methods for special population
  • legal issues in special education
  • behavior management in the classroom
  • assessment of exceptional children
  • vocational aspects of disabilities
  • development of individualized educational programs,
  • observation and student teaching in special education

Earnings for special education teachers range from $40,480 to $63,500.

School Counseling – M.Ed. or M.S. in Counseling

Master’s of Education in School Counseling degree is among the highest paying education degrees. Courses include:

  • group counseling methods
  • introduction to school counseling
  • developmental psychology
  • school and multicultural society
  • pre-practicum for school counseling
  • appraisal in counseling and development
  • curriculum administration for school guidance and counseling programs
  • practicum for school counseling
  • internship for school counseling
  • career development and lifestyle counseling for school counselors
  • introduction to exceptional learners

Graduates advance to positions in elementary, middle, and high schools. They offer to students counseling in such areas as

  • personal
  • educational
  • vocational
  • social,
  • mental health

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School counselors work closely with staff and students to evaluate and develop:

  • academic abilities
  • talents
  • personalities
  • interests

School counselors earn salaries of $38,740 to $65,360 annually.

Teachers – B.S. or B.A. in chosen specialty, plus certification

A Bachelor’s Degree in Education offers graduates the ability to gain employment in some of the highest paying positions in the educational system.

Bachelor degree programs in education provide graduates a liberal arts based degree focused upon:

  • teaching
  • instruction
  • delivery of academic excellence

An undergraduate degree in education requires students to select a major or minor courses of study in:

  • music
  • art
  • reading
  • science
  • mathematics
  • physical education

They qualify to teach these subjects upon completing teaching certification programs. Bachelor degree provide the knowledge, training, and skills necessary to advance as elementary or middle school teachers.

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Earnings for teachers range from $47,100 to $51,180 annually. Changing educational standards increasingly require teachers to possess a master’s degree to qualify  as middle school teachers because. These positions often are highly specialized.

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