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Top 5 Teaching Jobs for Master's Degree Holders

Hello Guidance Counselor,
I have been a classroom teacher for a number of years and have recently earned my master's degree in education. I was wondering if you could tell me about the different kinds of teaching jobs out there for educators who have earned a master's degree. I would consider moving out of the classroom. Thanks, Patrick

Dear Patrick,
I applaud you for taking your education to the next level! Earning a master's degree in education is surely an accomplishment to be proud of. Many teachers earn an advanced degree to stay current in the field, increase their salary, renew their certification, become an expert in the field, or land a job with more leadership within a school. Did you earn your degree with a specific career goal in mind? Consider what is most important to you in this potential job change and read on to learn about a few teaching jobs for master's degree holders.

Principal--While this teaching job often involves educating the teachers and not children, the majority of school principals began their careers as teachers. The experience inside the classroom helps create an effective leader because a princpal can often understand, sympathize, and anticipate the needs of his faculty. Principals need to be strong communicators, organized, and flexible, but authoritative.These characteristics often make successful teachers as well, which is one of the reasons it can be fairly natural for teachers to make the switch. As I'm sure you know, a principal's salary can be more lucrative than a teacher's. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary of an elementary principal in 2008 was $83,880. This is compared to $47,100 a year, which was the average teacher's salary in 2008.

Curriculum and Instruction Specialist--Once again, many curriculum specialists have prior expereince as teachers. One of the major roles they play is to help improve the quality of education for the children in their schools. They often do this by becoming a mentor to the teachers and providing training for new staff. They also may look into purchasing new curriculum materials, make the decision to adopt a new textbook series, create curriculum maps, assist with lesson plans, and research new instructional practices. In 2008, according to the BLS, curriculum and instruction specialists earned an average of $56, 880 a year.

Department Chair--A department chair might be a great move for you if you are seeking a position with a little more leadership and responsibility, but would still like to continue teaching. Department chairs usually lead the team of teachers within a particular department or subject like English or social studies. Some duties include: creating class schedules, providing teacher mentoring, managing department budget, and interviewing potential teachers for vacancies within the department.

Reading Specialist or Learning Resource Teacher--Reading specialists and learning resource teachers often work one on one or with small groups of students. They work closely with classroom teachers and provide instruction that compliments that of the regular classroom. Typically reading specialists and resource teachers work with students who need extra support, but sometimes they provide enrichment opportunities for students working above grade level. Both of these positions are excellent for teachers with an advanced degree who are ready to give up having a class of their own, but would still like to work with students.

College Professor--
Perhaps you are ready to see what it is like to work with postsecondary or adult learners? If you are thinking of becoming a professor, a community college is the perfect place to start. While it is true that most universities require a doctorate for employment, most 2-year colleges only require a master's' degree for teaching jobs within their institution. Ready for some more good news? Because college enrollment has steadily increased over the past few years, employment growth in this field should be faster than average, according to the BLS.

Wishing you the best of luck with your future career plans.

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