Your reason for making education your career path can be as simple as desiring to share what you love with others or to experience the satisfaction of watching a little light bulb go on when a student learns something new. Education careers involve a lot of hard work but one can also achieve a high level of satisfaction through these jobs.
In choosing a career path, it is important to be educated about the many aspects of a position. We felt that the most important factors to finding a job, beyond selecting something that interests you and fits your personality, are salary, job availability and advancement potential. These criteria will help you compare best education jobs.
For the education careers reviewed we took the income statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and O*NET OnLine to find the most accurate nationwide salary information. The salaries are laid out in bell charts. The charts mark what 10, 25, 50, 75 and 90 percent of the population make annually. We listed the 10th 50th and 90th percent amounts. We also took an average of the 10th and 25th salaries as an approximation of an entry-level wage. We used this entry-level wage as the salary rating for each profession. For professions that had their salary information broken down into subcategories, we averaged the salary information for all of the subcategories. Additionally, we factored special benefits into the overall salary rating.
We took information about job availability for these education careers from the BLS. Our rating is based on the projected percentage of change in job openings from 2008 to 2018. We also looked at why the job openings are predicted to change.
In education jobs, it really does come down to how much education you have. Typically, the more education you have, the more opportunities and higher pay you’ll receive. All of the positions we reviewed have opportunities for advancement to managerial positions as well as opportunities for lateral movement to other job titles within and outside of education careers. Even in positions that have less advancement opportunities, with more education and qualifications, you can move into other education jobs that provide an increased variety of prospects.
Many things should factor into your choice of education careers; however, these things may be solely based on personal preference. We felt that these types of things could not be scored because they differ depending on the person. Still, we wanted to point out some of these job aspects to help you find the positions that best fit your personality.
Most education jobs follow the same schedules as the students: days and evenings, 10 months out of the year. However, administrative positions and several other jobs follow normal business hours.
Interaction with Others
As one would probably suspect, most education careers are heavy on the student-interaction side. In our assessment, we considered three categories: working in a team, working solo and interacting with students. If a position involves working as a team, you will be working with other colleagues such as professors, teachers, researchers and collaborators. In the solo category are jobs where interaction with other employees, such as those listed above, are minimal. The final category involves interacting with students by working with and talking to them in environments such as classrooms, one-on-one visits and school campuses.
While requirements for education careers can vary between location and institution, we considered the standard requirements. Before you begin a course of study, check with state and local agencies, as well as businesses within the industry, for specific requirements. For instance, some employers might only hire graduates from schools that meet certain standards. Additionally, some schools and states will allow you to complete alternative requirements in order to receive your teaching license.
To further ensure your success in selecting a profession within education careers, consider the type of positions you are physically able to accept. If you prefer to stand and move around all day, a teaching job may be better for you than one where you would sit all day long at a desk. It is just as important to consider emotional requirements. In working with students, you may want to consider your ability to help others who have emotional problems or learning impairments. Another consideration in choosing between education careers is the amount of stress you can comfortably tolerate that comes from your workload or the expectations of others.
Basic Skills Required
Office and interpersonal skills are important in many education careers. Particular character traits are also important in some professions. While you do not have to possess all of the skills listed in the reviews in order to be successful, many of these skills and traits will be helpful in teaching jobs and administrative positions. Also, just because a trait you have is not listed does not mean it could not be valuable in the position you are interested in.
BLS projections show education careers looking favorable from 2008 to 2018. Overall, the number of positions is increasing, salaries are fairly competitive and there are a variety of advancement options. A job in education can offer you a variety of career paths, including positions as a curriculum developer, a higher education professor or a special education teacher. Each of the reviews includes a sample job description and an example of a typical day of someone in that profession.
You can also read articles on education careers.