Teachers that have moved forward to Masters level education have found that there are many more possibilities available to them beyond the standard scope of teaching. Advancing a degree can mean more opportunity in different fields, with similar goals as standard teaching positions. Read more about the career possibilities available to master-educated teachers below.
What Can I Do With a Masters in Education Online?
The most interesting aspect of obtaining an online Masters in Education is that it is not only reserved for individuals that are interested in working in schools or universities. While the online Masters in Education is a great way for current teachers to extend their credentials, it is also a way to reach out to other fields that require educational professionals. Education applies to many different fields, such as job training, coaching, and the development of effective educational programs. Having the knowledge of the institution of education can get you on track for a diverse set of working options that can be flexible to what you desire out of a career. Our experts have provided a few of the potential fields to use your online Masters in Education below.
Degree: Masters in Business Education
Businesses use the expertise of Masters level educators to provide their employees with high-quality job training and ethical preparation. This training is not limited to any certain branch of business, since all businesses have policies and procedures that employees should be aware of. Depending on the organizations, Masters level educators may be responsible for the initial introduction of work policies to new employees, or continued training in regards to safety or changes in procedures to seasoned employees.
School or Career Counseling
Degree: Masters in School Counseling
People that are looking for a path to greater success look to career counselors to help them organize their learning and training experiences. With a Masters in Education, you could possibly be the connecting source of information for individuals that are seeking a better career and need the guidance to get them into the right educational programs. In this field, it is important to have a great understanding of education in relationship to career outcomes, as well as the communication skills needed to properly guide people through a path to career success.
Educational Policy Development
Degree: Masters in School Administration
At the local, state, and government level, groups of education professionals work hard to ensure that the education system is effective and constantly changing in response to technology and society. Policy development is an important part of educational systems at all levels. Hiring agencies desire applicants that have some experience working in the field of education, as well as an advanced degree in their field. With an online Masters in Education, you could be a part of this highly influential field, making changes to the educational policy within your region.
Degree: Masters in Curriculum and Instruction
A teacher is only good as the curriculum that he or she follows. Curriculum of particular subjects requires thorough investigation and research, in order to decide what path an educator should take in teaching students in the most profitable way. If you were to work in this field, you would likely work with a team of others in deciding the best curriculum for different grade levels, as well as reviewing results of particular subjects to determine if any changes need to be made. This is a great way for Masters level learners to continually increase the effectiveness of educational programs from a wide standpoint.
Salary information for Masters in Education
- Instructional Coordinator – $62,270 on average per year (BLS
- Postsecondary Teachers – $72,470 on average per year (BLS
- Career and Technical Education Teachers – $52,800 on average per year (BLS
- Elementary School Teachers – $54,550 on average per year (BLS
- Middle School Teachers – $55,860 on average per year (BLS
- High School Teachers – $57,200 on average per year (BLS
- Special Education Teachers – $56,800 on average per year (BLS
- Postsecondary Education Administrators – $88,580 on average per year (BLS
- School and Career Counselors – $53,660 on average per year (BLS
Different Types of Teaching Careers
There are many different paths you can take as a teacher with your Masters in Education degree. From working as an Early Childhood Teacher to being a Professor, or working at a corporation, the paths teachers take are many. Below are some of the top teaching careers.
Masters in Early Childhood Education
Masters in Elementary Education
Masters in Middle School Education
The most standard type of teaching career is within the K-12 educational levels. Teachers in this area focus of the development and education of children ranging from entry level to those on the collegiate path. Generally, the focus of teaching in these programs is basic math, science, history, English, and composition. The curriculum changes significantly as the grade level increases and teachers generally focus on a specific grade level throughout their training.
Degree: Masters in Special Education
Special education teachers focus on the needs of children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. This type of teaching requires specialized training, since the majority of the work is done alongside individuals that require special care and attention. Teaching in this field is unique and teachers find the work to be very rewarding. Various subjects are taught in special education programs and teachers are generally required to teach several different subjects on a daily basis.
Degree: Masters in Postsecondary Education
Postsecondary education can envelop any educational program after high school. Teachers in this realm can work for universities, trade schools, or even in career training programs. This path typically includes a specialty, since different teachers are available for different subjects. In educational programs that come after high school, it is important the teachers have the ability to provide relevant information that can contribute to further education on a professional path. Masters level graduates are a great fit for this section of teaching due to their advance education.
Degree: Masters in Business Education
Professional teachers are usually employed by businesses or corporations to work specifically with employees. Teaching in this field requires a solid understanding of a company’s ethics and policies, so that properly training is given to employees that are new to the company or needing advanced training. Teachers are useful to the field of business, due to their expertise in reaching different individuals on different levels and passing the information in a way that can be understood by all.
Paying for your Masters in Education Online
In many communities in the United States, teachers are sorely needed. Low income areas and those with under served student populations are in desperate need of qualified teachers. The federal government, as well as state governments, recognize this need, and both are eager to reward teachers interested in serving in high needs areas.
There are a number of student aid incentive programs available to teachers. Most often, they offer federal loan forgiveness options to teachers in low income areas, especially those who specialize in ESL, math, science, or special education. Others include cancellation of federal student loans after several years of payment, as well as special programs for specific populations such as military service members.
Interested in learning how you can receive tuition assistance for your teaching degree? Read on to study options at the federal and state level, as well as other special programs available.
Federal Student Aid for Teachers
If you have or are planning to take out federal student loans for your teaching degree, great news: you might be eligible to have some or all of your student loan debt forgiven under federal student aid programs.
With the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, education students at the bachelor’s and master’s degree level are able to enroll in qualified programs and earn grants of up to $4,000 each year, and then go on to serve in high need education areas.
TEACH Grant Awards
Students enrolled in the TEACH grant program can earn up to $4,000 per year in grants. If you fulfill your service obligation as required by the program, this is money that you won’t have to pay back after graduation.
TEACH Grant Requirements
To qualify for a TEACH grant, you’ll need to enroll in a degree plan that is eligible for the program. These programs are only offered at participating schools, and are designed to specifically prepare you for work as an educator in a high need field that serves low income students. You will also be required to maintain good academic achievement while enrolled, typically by maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25.
After graduation, teachers in the TEACH grant program agree to serve full time as a teacher for a total of four academic years in a high need field for low income students. These include:
- bilingual education and foreign language
- special education
TEACH grant service must be completed within eight years of graduating. If you are not able to meet this obligation, grant funds are converted into a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program
Similar to the TEACH grant program, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program offers teachers the opportunity to wipe out some or all of their federal student loan debt. Like the TEACH grant, the requirements for this benefit are strict, most notably that you’ll need to have served in a low income school.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program Awards
Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, you may be eligible for forgiveness of federal student loans. These include Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, as well as Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. PLUS Loans are not eligible for this program. Teachers can qualify for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 in federal student loans. Most teachers will receive up to $5,000 in loan forgiveness, however, highly qualified teachers who have worked in math, science, or special education will receive up to the full amount of $17,500 in loan forgiveness.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program Requirements
To be eligible for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, you must be in good standing with your loans, and you must have been employed as a full time teacher for five complete, consecutive years after the 1997-1998 academic year. Like the TEACH grant, the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program requires service in a low income elementary or secondary school.
There are specific eligibility requirements for schools, and this designation is typically only for schools that qualify for Title I funds. If you are in doubt, there is a directory that highlights designated low income schools that are eligible under the program.
Teacher Loan Cancellation Program
Closely related to the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, the Teacher Loan Cancellation Program allows teachers to cancel Federal Perkins Loans with qualifying teaching service at a low income school or in high need subject areas. Teachers may also have options for federal student loan deferment under this program.
Teacher Loan Cancellation Program Awards
Under this program, up to 100% of your Federal Perkins Loans may be eligible for cancellation. The amount canceled depends on the number of years of teaching service, with higher percentages offered for later years. In the first and second years of service, 15% will be canceled, with 20% canceled in the third and fourth years, and the final 30% canceled in the 5th year.
Teacher Loan Cancellation Program Requirements
This program is only eligible to teachers with Federal Perkins Loans, and requires specific areas of teaching service. To qualify, teachers are required to teach full time in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school serving low income families, or in a high needs area including:
- special education
- bilingual or foreign language education
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
Unlike the TEACH grant or Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is open not just to teachers, but to all public servants. However, teachers can greatly benefit from this program, as it allows teachers and other public servants to qualify for forgiveness on the remaining balance of federal student loans after 120 qualifying payments.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Awards
After making payments on a qualified federal student loan repayment plan, participants in this program may qualify to have their entire remaining balance of federal student loans forgiven.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program Requirements
Full time public servants, including teachers may qualify for this program, however, it takes a significant amount of time to reach the point of eligibility. The program requires that 120 qualifying payments (or, 10 years of regular monthly payments) must be made while working full time as a public servant. Additionally, the payments must be made on a qualifying repayment plan, such as the Income-Based Repayment Plan or the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan. Only federal Direct Loans are eligible for forgiveness.
State Student Aid for Teachers
A number of states offer financial incentives to teachers interested in serving in high need areas, including low income schools and under served subjects or population areas. Typically, qualifying teachers will have the option to have some or all of their federal student loans forgiven by the state — which may make up any gaps left over after federal student aid programs. A few state student aid programs for teachers include:
- Teach for Texas Loan Repayment Assistance Program: Offered to classroom teachers in educational fields and communities that have a shortage of teachers, particularly bilingual education, mathematics, special education, science, computer science, and foreign languages. Award: up to $2,500.
- Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program: Provided to teachers and students pursuing a career in special education, this tuition waiver applies to attendance at public universities in Illinois. Award: Full tuition and fees waiver for up to four calendar years.
- New York Loan Forgiveness Program: Certified classroom teachers and clinicians working in shortage areas and bilingual education in New York City public schools can have their student loans repaid by the state of New York. Award: Up to $24,000.
- Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority Teacher Scholarship Program: Kentucky residents who are enrolled full time in a teacher certification program can earn a scholarship each semester in this service commitment program. Award: Up to $2,500 per semester.
Other Teacher Assistance Programs
In addition to federal and state student aid programs for teachers, there are further still options for tuition assistance and loan forgiveness. These programs are government based, and can also offer perks beyond tuition assistance.
Teach for America
Part of the government service program AmeriCorps, Teach for America recruits teachers to join low income community schools. The program includes salary, health insurance, and retirement benefits, as well as the possibility for additional AmeriCorps benefits including federal loan forbearance, interest accrual payments, and education awards. AmeriCorps members may also take advantage of graduate school partner benefits to earn a master’s degree while working with the corps: some students have received full fellowships including tuition, living expenses, and health insurance.
Troops to Teachers
Troops to Teachers offers counseling services to service members as they transition into teaching roles. Current and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are interested in teaching may be eligible for this assistance program, including financial stipends. Participants will find support in certification and employment, as well as stipends of up to $5,000 for certification. Or, those who choose to teach in high poverty schools may receive a $10,000 bonus in lieu of the $5,000 stipend.
Earning a teaching degree online can be expensive, but with the help of student aid programs, it doesn’t have to be. Carefully research your options for student aid before, during, and after your degree program: you just might be eligible for loan forgiveness, cancellation, or special awards for your teaching service.
Becoming a Teacher: Must Have Guides
New teachers: your first year of teaching will probably be the most difficult one of your career. Sure, you’ll be prepared with classroom and curriculum education, student teaching, and intense training, but there’s only so much you can learn before simply diving in and doing it yourself.
The hard truth is that in your first year, you just might get it wrong: your classroom may run out of control, you may make missteps with parents, or fail to effectively implement new lessons. These growing pains are normal, as any veteran teacher will tell you, but there’s one big thing you can do to be more prepared to take on the challenges of first year teaching: read highly recommended books for new (and experienced) teachers.
We’ve highlighted 15 essential books for any new teacher’s bookshelf. These include resources for setting up your classroom, developing successful students, practicing effective communication, stopping bullying, and so much more. With these incredibly useful books, you’ll be prepared to take on your first year of teaching with confidence and practical resources for success.
- The First Year Teacher’s Survival Guide: Ready to Use Strategies, Tools and Activities for Meeting the Challenges of Each School Day: This award winning book has been a trusted, bestselling teacher resource for years. You’ll find everything you need to not only survive, but thrive in the classroom in your first year as a new teacher. Find out how to work with Common Core, use technology in the classroom, motivate students, and much more. The book also includes checklists, self assessments, and more, making it a truly interactive resource.
- How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character: Paul Tough shares an interesting assertion in this book: the smartest kids in your class may not really turn out to be the most successful. Why? Tough explains that grit, perseverance, and curiosity may better determine future success than raw intelligence. Read this book to find out which qualities are most important to successful students, and see how you as a teacher can help students develop these important qualities.
- Teach Like a Champion 2.0: 62 Techniques that Put Students on the Path to College: A follow up to the international bestseller first edition Teach Like a Champion, this book has been updated to share the best tips and techniques for supporting students on their path to college readiness. The book includes resources for classroom management, student engagement — and comes complete with step by step teaching guidelines and video clips of teachers modeling techniques in the classroom.
- The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher: Study classroom management and teaching with this bestselling book designed for both new and established teachers. You will learn about classroom structure and organization for success in any grade level, and find practical advice for effective teaching. Along with this book, you’ll get access to an implementation DVD as well as research and photos that can help you put classroom ideas into action. Recommended by the National Education Association.
- Reluctant Disciplinarian: Advice on Classroom Management from a Softy Who Became (Eventually) a Successful Teacher: Gary Rubenstein’s first year of teaching was a disaster. With no classroom management skills, he lost control — but, he eventually got it back and learned how to become a successful teacher. Learn from his mistakes in this book that explains how you can effectively manage a classroom with confidence, routine, and decisive answers.
- See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers: Teaching isn’t always perfect, and this book dishes out the raw truth. Read stories from real life teachers about angry parents, failed lessons, and other mishaps in and out of the classroom. You’ll also find tips and practical advice from veteran teachers for managing these challenges.
- The Teacher’s Survival Guide: Real Classroom Dilemmas and Practical Solutions: Important dilemmas face all teachers: do you know how to handle them? With this book, you will. It details all of the common issues that teachers — even experienced ones — run into, and explains how they can be successfully handled. Teachers love that this book offers practical advice and instruction on making the classroom really work. Recommended by the National Education Association.
- Letters to a Young Teacher: This book of letters to a young first year teacher reveals observations, advice, personal stories, and support for first year teachers. Turn to this book for both guidance and inspiration as you start your first year of teaching.
- Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56: Progressive educator Rafe Esquith’s book advocates a teaching approach that goes beyond basic curriculum, offering students life skills like problem solving, strategy, and teamwork. In this guide, you’ll find resources for effective classroom activities, plus, ideas for making the most of required testing preparation sessions.
- Why Didn’t I Learn This in College?: Even with a graduate degree in education, you can’t learn everything in college. This book helps bridge the gap between what teachers learn in the college classroom and what they learn in the teaching classroom. Find out how to use smart strategies for classroom management and instruction, plus get access to tools and procedures for 21st century teaching and learning in this book. Recommended by the National Education Association.
- The Everything New Teacher Book: Ready to set up your classroom, but don’t know where to start? This guide offers resources for developing your classroom from the ground up, with organization, lesson plans, behavior rules, and advice for dealing with social issues and colleagues. Plus, the book comes with a CD of sample calendars, checklists, lesson plans, and more.
- Working with Parents: Building Relationships for Student Success: Great student relationships are important, but don’t forget that parents play an integral role in education, too. With this book, you’ll learn how to handle parent situations, get parents involved, and improve parent-teacher relationships. Recommended by the National Education Association.
- How to Talk So Kids Can Learn: Communication in the classroom is essential, but as a new teacher, you may not yet understand how to talk so kids can listen and learn. That’s exactly what you’ll learn in this guide full of communication strategies, methods, and a teaching style that supports a strong character and life skills.
- The New Bully Free Classroom: Proven Prevention and Intervention Strategies for Teachers K-8: Bullying is a serious problem in the classroom, and this book is full of resources for stopping it in its tracks. Learn what bullying is, how to handle specific scenarios, and even address cyber bullying. Plus, you’ll find digital content including a presentation, surveys, handouts, and letters to parents.
- Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year: Want to know what your first year teaching will really be like? Read this diary from a real life teacher, complete with everything from funny one liners to crying students and challenging parent-teacher interactions. Recommended by the National Education Association.
Top Education Websites for Teachers
Staying on top of new developments in education is a great way to grow as a teacher. And by reading up to date teacher blogs, you’ll stay in tune with policy updates, teaching resources, new technology developments, and so much more.
There are far too many great blogs for teachers to squeeze into a top 10 list, but if you need a starting point, here are some strong contenders:
1. Politics & Policy
EdWeek curates blogs on most important educational issues, including research, special education and technology, and hosts a number of OpEd columns. Politics K-12 digs deep into state and federal education policy, assessing the impact of government decisions on school districts.
2. News, Policy & Analysis
Blogger Andrew Rotherham posts lively discussions on hot education topics, including Common Core standards, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Praxis. Guest bloggers have included Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Randi Weingarten, the President of the American Federation of Teachers.
Educator Richard Byrne offers this treasure trove of free technology tools and downloads, as well as insights on their effectiveness. You will also find Google tutorials and an extensive list of his favorite resources.
With posts on everything from improving professional development to why creativity matters, Principal Eric Sheninger reflects on what it means to be an effective administrator, and shares insights on the education industry. It’s the winner of the “Best School Administrator Blog” in the 2011 Edublog Awards.
5. Special Education
Charles P. Fox, an Illinois attorney and parent of a child with special needs, writes about laws relevant to special education and much, much more! This blog covers legal issues in special education, advocacy and the latest developments in laws and regulations. Posts discuss everything from bullying to teaching methods for children with autism spectrum disorders.
6. Reading and Libraries
Clean, bright and nicely organized, this blog is an excellent example of a tech-savvy school library going digital. Student reviews and book recommendations jostle happily with fan videos and news of author visits.
Follow the adventures of Teacher Tom and his preschool students as they explore art, stories, songs and science in Seattle, Washington. Tom often posts photos of his classroom activities, along with ideas for stimulating lesson plans.
8. Elementary School
Mr. Avery is part of a tight-knit group of inspiring elementary school bloggers around the world. Multimedia posts can be slow to appear, but they are packed with exciting work, such as Mystery Skype sessions and Math Movie Network clips.
9. Middle School
This blog provides an opinionated and energetic take on urban schools from a New York City middle school educator. Jose Vilson doesn’t pull any punches about what’s wrong (and right) with today’s education system. According to Vilson, some school districts have even gone so far as blocking his URL on school computers.
10. High School
Run by Dan Meyer, dy/dan provides math teachers with a heap of new toys, including homework suggestions, explanatory videos and ideas for digital instruction. Check out his instructional library of fifteen-second Graphing Stories clips.
Want a little more to explore? Edublogs sponsors an annual awards ceremony for inspiring work. Each year, the best teaching blogs, apps, wikis and social media sites are nominated and voted on by the public.