Career Salary Overview

School Counselor $60K
Elementary School Teacher $60K
High School Teacher $60K
Instructional Designer $70K
Career Counselor $60K
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Career Opportunities

The opportunities available for a new Master of Education (M.Ed.) graduate are diverse. This guide presents information about popular M.Ed. career paths, as well as details about the current job market. Explore the options and set realistic expectations for your future in education as a master’s graduate.

Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs are primarily designed for two audiences:

  • Certified, working teachers interested in additional specialization or advancement opportunities.
  • Students interested in an education career outside of the traditional classroom setting.

Whether your degree is a way to enter the field as a learning professional, or an avenue to reach continuing education and career development goals, you’ll find a variety of options and resources to support your efforts.


What can I do with a master's in education?

After graduating from an M.Ed. program, you’ll have workplace knowledge and skills related to:

  • Interpreting educational research and applying results
  • Selecting appropriate teaching strategies based on learning goals, topics and student characteristics
  • Assessing student progress and learning achievement
  • Facilitating active student participation
  • Designing and implementing initiatives to meet the needs of organizations, teachers and students

School Counselor

School counselors work directly with students, individually and in groups, to support them academically. These duties include assisting classroom teachers with special programming, coordinating a wide range of support services and overseeing students’ transitions from school to the workforce. Counselors also advise students on career and college choices. Similar titles include guidance counselor, vocational counselor and college advisor.


$56,040 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Conduct evaluations of students’ abilities, progress and needs
  • Recommend and coordinate the delivery of academic and personal support services
  • Help students set educational and career goals
  • Work directly with students to develop their study and social skills
  • Present lessons and workshops on student success
  • Consult and communicate with teachers, school administrators and parents

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. New Jersey$71,210
  2. Alaska$70,900
  3. New York$64,820
  4. Washington D.C.$62,850
  5. Rhode Island$62,790

Job Numbers by State

  1. California28,660
  2. Texas20,910
  3. New York20,180
  4. Pennsylvania10,990
  5. Florida9,940

Work Environment

  • Public elementary and secondary schools
  • Private elementary and secondary schools
  • Career and technical schools
  • Community Colleges and Universities
  • Social assistance agencies
  • Government agencies

Education Required

Master's degree with a concentration in school counseling or a related field, such as psychology, sociology, counseling and human services.

Specializations and Certifications

Counselors working in public schools must have a state license. Requirements for this certification, license or endorsement vary by state, and usually include minimum education and experience criteria. The American School Counselor Association provides more details and a directory of state offices.

Career Path

With additional experience and training, school counselors can move into more advanced roles: supervising teams of counselors, coordinating community programs, serving as project directors or working as school administrators.


Elementary School Teacher

Elementary school teachers typically work with students in grades first through fifth. In some districts they also teach sixth through eighth grades. They cover general subjects, such as math and reading, in a classroom environment. Related duties include lesson planning, evaluating student learning achievement, supervising student activities in and out of the classroom, integrating school resources (e.g., library, media, counseling) and communicating with parents.


$56,830 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Plan and teach academic lessons in basic subjects: reading, math, social studies and science
  • Evaluate student work and provide feedback
  • Identify student abilities, direct group and personalized educational activities
  • Manage student behavior in the classroom
  • Perform administrative tasks, such as reporting grades and attendance

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. New York$74,830
  2. Alaska$71,460
  3. Connecticut$70,820
  4. California$69,990
  5. Massachusetts$69,890

Job Numbers by State

  1. Texas144,200
  2. California135,230
  3. New York73,280
  4. Florida70,910
  5. Illinois61,130

Work Environment

  • Public elementary schools
  • Private elementary schools

Education Required

Varies by state, but a minimum of a bachelor's degree in elementary education or education is required. Some states require an academic major in a specific content area such as English, Math or Biology. Many states require teachers to complete a master's degree before teaching, or after earning certification.

Specializations and Certifications

Teachers working in public schools must have a state license. Requirements for this certification vary by state, but usually include criteria related to education, examination (e.g., PRAXIS) and supervised teaching experience. The U.S. Department of Education provides an online directory of state boards of education.

Career Path

With additional experience and training, elementary school teachers can move into more advanced roles supervising student teachers or working as school administrators. Experienced teachers may also chose to continue their education and transition into other education positions, such as librarians and counselors, or work in nonprofit or community organizations to coordinate education programs and initiatives.


High School Teacher

High school teachers work directly with students in 9th through 12th grades. They teach multiple classes related to specific subjects, such as history, math and science, in a classroom environment. Other duties include creating lesson plans, assessing student work, collaborating with other teachers and meeting with parents.


$59,330 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Plan and teach academic lessons in a specific subject area (e.g., math, science, history, art)
  • Evaluate student learning achievement and provide feedback
  • Identify student abilities, and direct group and personalized educational activities
  • Manage student behavior in the classroom
  • Perform administrative tasks, such as reporting grades and attendance

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. New York$76,680
  2. New Jersey$72,790
  3. California$72,670
  4. Alaska$72,120
  5. Massachusetts$71,000

Job Numbers by State

  1. Texas103,260
  2. California86,930
  3. New York67,320
  4. Pennsylvania50,930
  5. Illinois49,610

Work Environment

  • Public high schools
  • Private high schools

Education Required

Varies by state. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required, and most states also expect teachers to major in a specific content area such as English, Math or Biology. Many states require teachers to complete a master's degree before teaching, or after earning certification.

Specializations and Certifications

A state teaching license is required for teachers working in public schools. Requirements for this certification vary by state, but usually include criteria related to education, examination (e.g., PRAXIS) and supervised teaching experience. The U.S. Department of Education provides an online directory of state boards of education.

Career Path

With additional experience high school teachers can move into more advanced roles mentoring new teachers and working as school administrators. Experienced educators may also chose to continue their education and transition into a related position, such as librarian or counselor. Working with nonprofit or community organizations to coordinate education programs and initiatives is another option.


Instructional Designer

Instructional designers work with a wide range of collaborators (e.g., computer programmers, educators, multimedia developers, subject matter experts) to create effective learning environments for students. They also design course websites and lesson activities and establish education objectives and standards for learning assessment. Similar job titles include instructional coordinator, instructional technologist and curriculum specialist.


$64,040 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Conduct assessments to identify potential problems, desired outcomes and learner characteristics
  • Design and develop learning materials for use in a course or program-level curriculum
  • Consult with instructors to recommend and assist with the selection of technologies, resources and teaching strategies
  • Train instructors to use new materials and methods
  • Research and test the effectiveness of specific resources and methods

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. Washington D.C.$82,530
  2. Connecticut$80,110
  3. New Jersey$76,950
  4. California$72,750
  5. Colorado$70,750

Job Numbers by State

  1. California18,620
  2. Texas12,820
  3. New York9,320
  4. Florida8,910
  5. Illinois5,350

Work Environment

  • Public elementary and secondary schools and school districts
  • Private elementary and secondary schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Career and technical schools
  • Government agencies
  • Educational support services
  • Corporate training offices

Education Required

A master's degree in education or a related field, such as curriculum and instruction, is usually required. Instructional coordinators may also have a degree and experience in a subject area of specialization (e.g., biology, math, art).

Specializations and Certifications

Instructional designers, coordinators and technologists working in a public school setting may also be required to have a teaching or administrator license. The U.S. Department of Education provides an online directory of state boards of education.

Career Path

Experienced Instructional designers may move into senior-level position supervising design teams and managing projects in educational or corporate settings. Some instructional designers work as freelancers or consultants.


Career Counselor

Career counselors work directly with a diverse population of students and clients in both individual and group settings. They provide a range of services to assist people at all levels of experience and education with decisions related to career planning and the job search process. Similar titles include vocational counselor, career advisor and career coach.


$56,040 Average Salary

Major Responsibilities

  • Assess interests, skills, aptitudes and values as related to potential careers
  • Guide career goal setting and decision-making activities
  • Assist with job search skills, e.g., identifying relevant openings, submitting applications, resume writing, interview skills and networking
  • Coordinate career and job search events, e.g., employer information sessions, job fairs and workshops
  • Maintain current knowledge of job market information and expectations

Salary and Employment Expectations

Best Paying States

  1. New Jersey$71,210
  2. Alaska$70,900
  3. New York$64,820
  4. Washington D.C.$62,850
  5. Rhode Island$62,790

Job Numbers by State

  1. California28,660
  2. Texas20,910
  3. New York20,180
  4. Pennsylvania10,990
  5. Florida9,940

Work Environment

  • Public and private secondary schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Career and technical schools
  • Government offices
  • Educational and social support services
  • Private practice
  • Corporate human resources

Education Required

A master's degree in education, with an emphasis on counseling and career development, is usually required, although this varies by workplace and employer.

Specializations and Certifications

The certification requirements for career counselors working in public school systems vary by state. Career counselors may be required to have a license and/or teaching certification. Employment in private practice may also require licensure. The National Board of Certified Counselors provides details about licensure and certification options. Career advisors and coaches may choose to pursue certification and continuing education in specific topics (e.g., resume writing, career transition coaching) through multiple organizations.

Career Path

Experienced career counselors can move into senior counselor positions and manage career centers or employment offices. Career advisors with extensive experience in specific fields or industries may also become recruiters.