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Key Infor­ma­tion:

  • Edu­ca­tion degrees offer var­i­ous spe­cial­iza­tion options like ear­ly child­hood, ele­men­tary, sec­ondary, and spe­cial edu­ca­tion, cater­ing to a wide range of teach­ing careers.
  • Dual cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and spe­cial­iza­tion in high-demand areas like ESL or spe­cial edu­ca­tion can enhance job prospects, flex­i­bil­i­ty in teach­ing assign­ments, and lead to high­er salaries and pro­fes­sion­al growth opportunities.
  • There are two main types of edu­ca­tion degrees: Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) focus­ing on lib­er­al arts and Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (BS) focus­ing on tech­ni­cal sub­jects. The choice depends on the prospec­tive teacher’s career goals and interests.

Why become a teacher? Do you have a pas­sion for teach­ing? Do you want a reward­ing and ful­fill­ing job (one with ben­e­fits and tenure, prefer­ably)? Put the two togeth­er, and it becomes appar­ent that one of the best col­lege degrees for jobs is a Bachelor’s in Edu­ca­tion degree.

But why become a teacher? There are a num­ber of rea­sons. The best col­lege degrees for jobs are the ones that have the most job avail­able, and there’s not a state or coun­ty in the coun­try that doesn’t need more teach­ers. On top of job avail­abil­i­ty, teach­ers can count on ben­e­fits like retire­ment, paid sick leave, health insur­ance, and pro­fes­sion­al devel­op­ment time. And in the end, many peo­ple become teach­ers because mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in people’s lives is reward­ing in itself. So with all that, what can you do with a bachelor’s in education?

Relat­ed Rank­ings:

Education for Educators

Before com­plete­ly com­mit­ting to an edu­ca­tion pro­gram, it is impor­tant to ascer­tain the accred­i­ta­tion sta­tus of the pro­gram or school. Receiv­ing an unac­cred­it­ed degree is a waste of both time and mon­ey. Vir­tu­al­ly no employ­er — espe­cial­ly not in a pub­lic school, which has offi­cial stan­dards of account­abil­i­ty — will take an unac­cred­it­ed edu­ca­tion degree seri­ous­ly. Because of that, it is good to know what accred­i­ta­tion means and how to look for accred­it­ed edu­ca­tion degree pro­grams. Search­ing for pro­grams that have gone through the accred­i­ta­tion process to meet CAEP stan­dards, NCATE accred­i­ta­tion (the Nation­al Coun­cil for Accred­i­ta­tion of Teacher Edu­ca­tion), and oth­er bench­marks is your first step.

Why Accreditation Is Important for an Education Degree Program

The accred­i­ta­tion process means an offi­cial­ly rec­og­nized, inde­pen­dent accred­it­ing agency eval­u­at­ed a school or degree pro­gram. That eval­u­a­tion ascer­tains if the pro­gram meets or exceeds spe­cif­ic qual­i­ty stan­dards. These agen­cies set the stan­dards and make sure the insti­tu­tion adheres to them. If an insti­tu­tion does not meet those stan­dards or fails to meet them at any time, it can lose that accred­it­ed status.

Dif­fer­ent types of degrees must meet dif­fer­ent stan­dards. Because of that, many dif­fer­ent accred­it­ing agen­cies exist. In addi­tion, an agency’s accred­i­ta­tion process can give accred­i­ta­tion to an insti­tu­tion in full, or to only a sin­gle pro­gram. Broad­ly, there are two types of accred­i­ta­tion: region­al and national.

What is Regional Accreditation?

Region­al accred­i­ta­tion is the most rec­og­nized form of accred­i­ta­tion for uni­ver­si­ties and insti­tu­tions. The six Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion-rec­og­nized region­al accred­i­ta­tion agen­cies assign accred­i­ta­tion to high­er edu­ca­tion insti­tu­tions. Cred­its from region­al­ly accred­it­ed degree pro­grams have a broad accep­tance around the country.

Accred­i­ta­tion from the region­al agen­cies usu­al­ly falls under the term “insti­tu­tion­al accred­i­ta­tion.” The term implies that the entire insti­tu­tion received accred­i­ta­tion and all of its cours­es and pro­grams serve the over­all gov­ern­ing standards.

The six region­al accred­i­ta­tion agen­cies include:

  • Mid­dle States Com­mis­sion on High­er Edu­ca­tion (MSA)
  • New Eng­land Asso­ci­a­tion of Schools and Col­leges (NEASC)
  • North Cen­tral Asso­ci­a­tion of Col­leges and Schools (NCA)
  • North­west Com­mis­sion on Col­leges and Uni­ver­si­ties (NAC)
  • South­ern Asso­ci­a­tion of Col­leges and Schools (SACS)
  • West­ern Asso­ci­a­tion of Schools and Col­leges (WASC)

Region­al accred­i­ta­tion rep­re­sents the most rec­og­nized type of uni­ver­si­ty accred­i­ta­tion. The cred­its earned in a region­al­ly accred­it­ed col­lege have a high­er like­li­hood of being accept­ed for cred­it transfers.

What is National Accreditation?

Strange as it may seem, region­al accred­i­ta­tion is the larg­er accred­i­ta­tion, extend­ing to a whole col­lege or uni­ver­si­ty, while nation­al boards usu­al­ly accred­it spe­cif­ic degree pro­grams. Nation­al accred­i­ta­tion typ­i­cal­ly means the pro­gram has a spe­cif­ic edu­ca­tion­al focus. Nation­al accred­i­ta­tion also falls under the terms pro­gram, pro­gram­mat­ic, or spe­cial­ized accred­i­ta­tion. The names denote that this type of accred­i­ta­tion typ­i­cal­ly applies to par­tic­u­lar types of programs.

Voca­tion­al, trade, tech­ni­cal, and oth­er pro­grams will usu­al­ly receive nation­al accred­i­ta­tion for their focus on stan­dards relat­ed to a spe­cif­ic indus­try or job type. Because of the spe­cial­ized nature of these pro­grams, they are not usu­al­ly sub­ject to the stan­dards set by region­al accred­i­ta­tion agen­cies. Rather, spe­cial­ized nation­al accred­i­ta­tions usu­al­ly fall under region­al accreditations.

Accred­it­ing agen­cies for nation­al accred­i­ta­tion can vary wide­ly. Some indus­tries or job types have their own accred­it­ing agen­cies. For exam­ple, the Amer­i­can Bar Asso­ci­a­tion eval­u­ates and gives accred­i­ta­tion to law pro­grams and degrees specifically.

Accreditation for Education Programs

For edu­ca­tion degrees specif­i­cal­ly, both region­al and nation­al accred­i­ta­tion exists. The most well-known and respect­ed accred­i­ta­tion agency for teach­ing pro­grams and degrees is the Coun­cil for the Accred­i­ta­tion of Edu­ca­tor Prepa­ra­tion (CAEP). The CAEP sets the stan­dards and cer­ti­fies near­ly all teach­ing pro­grams in the country.

Note: The CAEP is a merg­er of two of the largest US DOE rec­og­nized teach­ing accred­it­ing agen­cies. That means it is pos­si­ble to still find pro­grams list­ed with the for­mer agency names as accred­i­tors. Those two agen­cies are:

  • The Nation­al Coun­cil for Accred­i­ta­tion of Teacher Edu­ca­tion (NCATE)
  • The Teacher Edu­ca­tion Accred­i­ta­tion Coun­cil (TEAC)

So, see­ing TEAC or NCATE accred­i­ta­tion is the same as see­ing CAEP accred­it­ed online schools and oth­er insti­tu­tions. On the oth­er hand, NCATE accred­i­ta­tion still means the pro­gram or insti­tu­tion adheres to the cur­rent CAEP standards.

Those seek­ing a bachelor’s in edu­ca­tion degree, or those specif­i­cal­ly seek­ing a pro­gram that deals with teach­ing can both look for CAEP accred­i­ta­tion and adher­ence to CAEP stan­dards. This will apply whether the appli­cant is look­ing for an online course, a tra­di­tion­al uni­ver­si­ty, or anoth­er teach­ing-relat­ed pro­gram. For teach­ing posi­tions and oppor­tu­ni­ties, a CAEP accred­it­ed degree has a near­ly uni­ver­sal acceptance.

Not all unac­cred­it­ed edu­ca­tion pro­grams are inher­ent­ly bad. Some may offer just what an appli­cant needs. Nev­er­the­less, choos­ing an accred­it­ed pro­gram is always the safer choice to make.

What are the Different Types of Education Degrees

Edu­ca­tion degree types vary, but they all can help some­one reach their goals. A bachelor’s degree in edu­ca­tion exists in two main vari­eties:

  • Bach­e­lor of Arts (BA) in education
  • Bach­e­lor of Sci­ence (BS) in education

Regard­less of which of the edu­ca­tion degree types you choose, a bachelor’s degree in edu­ca­tion will give appli­cants the tools they need to man­age a class­room and delve into the psy­chol­o­gy of those they intend to teach. The main dif­fer­ence between the edu­ca­tion degree types, the BS or BA, is the course­work focus.

The BA usu­al­ly includes more lib­er­al arts instruc­tion such as cours­es in human­i­ties, social sci­ences, art, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. The BS will have more focus on tech­ni­cal fields, such as math, sci­ence, and physics. Choos­ing which type of bachelor’s degree to pur­sue will require an appli­cant to have some idea about where they want their teach­ing career to go.

In addi­tion, a bachelor’s degree in edu­ca­tion will typ­i­cal­ly allow an appli­cant to pur­sue a spe­cial­ty. The minor sub­ject that accom­pa­nies the edu­ca­tion major will help an appli­cant learn what they need to enter a spe­cif­ic field.

Education Specialization Options

Choosing a spe­cial­iza­tion is impor­tant. Depend­ing on what the appli­cant wants, there are numer­ous options avail­able. Some spe­cial­iza­tions can include:

Ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion – For those who want to teach chil­dren between two and five years of age.

Ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion – For appli­cants who want to teach stu­dents between kinder­garten and mid­dle school. The ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion degree is one of the most sought after. An ele­men­tary teacher degree has a lot of flex­i­bil­i­ty depend­ing on where the appli­cant wants to teach.

Sec­ondary edu­ca­tion – This spe­cial­ty is for appli­cants who want to teach high school students.

Spe­cial edu­ca­tion – Spe­cial edu­ca­tion encom­pass­es a num­ber of dif­fer­ent focus­es. An appli­cant would choose a spe­cial edu­ca­tion path if they want to teach chil­dren with a spe­cif­ic apti­tude or dis­abil­i­ty. For exam­ple, teach­ing an autis­tic child would require the appli­cant to have a bachelor’s degree with that par­tic­u­lar specialty.

To give an exam­ple, con­sid­er an appli­cant who wants to teach Eng­lish as a sec­ond lan­guage. That appli­cant would pur­sue a BA with a spe­cial edu­ca­tion minor in Spanish.

The appli­cant will then have the edu­ca­tion they need to teach ESL at pub­lic and pri­vate insti­tu­tions. Also, and ESL spe­cial­ty is actu­al­ly a high­ly sought after one, so some­one with that edu­ca­tion will have a larg­er pick of teach­ing jobs.

Oth­er spe­cial­iza­tions include:

  • adult edu­ca­tion
  • cur­ricu­lum design and cur­ricu­lum development
  • instruc­tion­al coordinator

Oth­er roles, like edu­ca­tion admin­is­tra­tion, edu­ca­tion pol­i­cy, instruc­tion­al design­er, edu­ca­tion­al con­sul­tant, and more, might require a master’s degree.

There are also non-edu­ca­tion careers that can ben­e­fit from an edu­ca­tion degree, such as career coun­selor, school coun­selor, cor­po­rate train­er, recruiter, guid­ance coun­selor, and more. Edu­ca­tion pro­fes­sion­als have devel­oped strong prob­lem-solv­ing, man­age­ment skills, lead­er­ship skills, and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. After all, there’s much more to child­care than mak­ing les­son plans.

No edu­ca­tion degrees list is com­plete since teach­ing is some­thing that can become incor­po­rat­ed into lit­er­al­ly any indus­try. That is anoth­er rea­son why appli­cants should have a good idea on where they want to take their teach­ing career before­hand. The spe­cial­ty route means appli­cants do not need mul­ti­ple edu­ca­tion degrees in order to pur­sue a par­tic­u­lar career path.

Get Your Teaching Degree Online

You can def­i­nite­ly get your teach­ing degree online — in many cas­es, you can do it with­out ever hav­ing to attend a class on cam­pus. In fact, for many peo­ple, accred­it­ed online teach­ing degree pro­grams are an ide­al sit­u­a­tion, since they is much more con­ve­nient, and often cheap­er, than a tra­di­tion­al on-cam­pus pro­gram. Becom­ing a teacher online comes with the same con­sid­er­a­tions as obtain­ing a bach­e­lors in edu­ca­tion any oth­er way.

When look­ing for a teach­ing degree online, appli­cants should make sure the offered course­work lines up with the spe­cial­ty they need. Accred­it­ed online teach­ing degree pro­grams are avail­able in all kinds of spe­cial­iza­tions, includ­ing online ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion degrees, and online bach­e­lors degree ele­men­tary education.

Get­ting a sec­ondary edu­ca­tion degree online or any oth­er type still requires the due dili­gence of the appli­cant. Becom­ing a teacher online still means vet­ting the schools and pro­grams to make sure you are deal­ing with accred­it­ed online teach­ing degree programs.

Can You Get Teaching Jobs Without Degree In Hand?

When you get your teach­ing degree online, it should help you get a teach­ing job, but there are a few pos­si­bil­i­ties to find teach­ing jobs with­out degree in hand. Many peo­ple have found work teach­ing with­out a bach­e­lor degree edu­ca­tion. How­ev­er, most places have bach­e­lor degree in edu­ca­tion require­ments and will not con­sid­er any appli­cants that do not have their degree.

Nev­er­the­less, some peo­ple with expe­ri­ence or a less­er degree can some­times find work teach­ing entry-lev­el class­es to for­eign lan­guage stu­dents. In some cas­es, a school or oth­er insti­tu­tion might con­sid­er some­one with one type of degree for a dif­fer­ent job if that school is short on people.

For exam­ple, hav­ing an ele­men­tary edu­ca­tion degree might be enough for a school to offer a dif­fer­ent type of place­ment. In almost all cas­es, it is bet­ter to have a bach­e­lor degree edu­ca­tion at least to be tak­en seriously.

Some teach­ing jobs may not require any degree, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, or teach­ing cre­den­tials at all. In some places, a teacher’s assis­tant doesn’t need a degree.

It doesn’t hurt to check local schools and insti­tu­tions for jobs that don’t require a degree. This can help many who want to work in the field or at a learn­ing facil­i­ty while they com­plete their bachelor’s degree online

What Types of Certifications and Licensing are Required for Teaching?

An edu­ca­tion degree is not all some­one needs to start teach­ing. Since teach­ing is a reg­u­lat­ed field, peo­ple who to teach will also require licens­ing or certifications.

Many bachelor’s degree pro­grams also include the nec­es­sary course­work and test­ing that allows an appli­cant to earn their edu­ca­tion license or cer­ti­fi­ca­tion as part of the degree pro­gram — they have teach­ing cer­tifi­cate require­ments built in. Join­ing a pro­gram specif­i­cal­ly for a par­tic­u­lar edu­ca­tion license or cer­ti­fi­ca­tion is also possible.

Both edu­ca­tion license and teach­ing cer­tifi­cate require­ments vary by state, so appli­cants should look into the teach­ing cer­tifi­cate require­ments for their par­tic­u­lar state. Appli­cants should know that the terms “licensed” and “cer­ti­fied” can mean the same thing or dif­fer­ent things depend­ing on the state. Gen­er­al­ly, the terms will mean some­one has received the state’s approval to teach.

Teach­ing cer­tifi­cate require­ments towards an edu­ca­tion license will typ­i­cal­ly involve course­work and test­ing. In most cas­es, the teach­ing cer­tifi­cate require­ments will also include:

  • Com­ple­tion of a bachelor’s program
  • Tran­scripts
  • Back­ground check
  • Entrance exams and tests

Nev­er­the­less, some­times a cer­ti­fied teacher may need to become licensed to teach in a spe­cif­ic field. The oppo­site is also true when a licensed teacher needs to pass teach­ing cer­tifi­cate require­ments to pur­sue oth­er teach­ing avenues. When pur­su­ing licens­ing or cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, appli­cants must make sure they are pur­su­ing the right kind of teach­ing authorization.

Since appli­cants can pur­sue licens­ing or cer­ti­fi­ca­tion out­side of full degree pro­grams, many states offer fast-track teach­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion pro­grams. These types of pro­grams can help some­one obtain their edu­ca­tion license quick­ly, which is ide­al for those who already have a bach­e­lor’s but need to get their autho­riza­tion to teach. A fast-track teach­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion isn’t any less rig­or­ous — it has the same teach­ing cer­tifi­cate require­ments, just faster.

Alter­na­tive cer­ti­fi­ca­tion teach­ing is some­thing that can help those who already have entered the teach­ing field but want to make a change. For exam­ple, mov­ing to anoth­er state or hav­ing the desire to teach high school instead of ele­men­tary school can some­times be accom­plished by earn­ing an alter­na­tive cer­ti­fi­ca­tion teach­ing job.

Many states also offer alter­na­tive cer­ti­fi­ca­tion teach­ing for pro­fes­sion­als who have an advanced degree besides teach­ing and want to teach — say, for instance, an expe­ri­enced busi­nessper­son who wants to teach busi­ness to local high school­ers. Like a fast-track teach­ing cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, alter­na­tive cer­ti­fi­ca­tion has high stan­dards but helps states get teach­ers in the class­rooms where they’re needed.

What Types of Education Major Jobs are Out There?

A tremen­dous amount of edu­ca­tion careers exist. Jobs with­in edu­ca­tion offer dif­fer­ent types of teach­ing jobs that can suit any­one. An exhaus­tive list of careers in edu­ca­tion field is not pos­si­ble. Prac­ti­cal­ly every posi­tion in any school becomes con­ceiv­able with an edu­ca­tion degree.

What Kind of Jobs Can You Get With a Teaching Degree?

As men­tioned, all pub­lic and pri­vate school teach­ing posi­tions for stu­dents from pre‑k through high school are the focus of an edu­ca­tion degree. These are the typ­i­cal edu­ca­tion major jobs. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/home.htm How­ev­er, some of the best careers in edu­ca­tion can also include:

  • Tech­ni­cal edu­ca­tion teachers
  • Career train­ing and advance­ment teachers
  • Teach­ers of adult class­es, such as GED and literacy
  • Library tech­ni­cians
  • Youth coun­selors
  • Teacher assis­tants

Each teach­ing degree comes with oth­er career oppor­tu­ni­ties. For exam­ple, once an appli­cant meets the require­ments for ele­men­tary teacher posi­tions, they do not only have to teach ele­men­tary stu­dents in a pub­lic school or at any school. They can teach ele­men­tary stu­dents in pri­vate schools, or men­tor indi­vid­ual stu­dents, or start their own teach­ing pro­gram for peo­ple who want a per­son­al tutor for their children.

A quick search of any online edu­ca­tion careers list, edu­ca­tion career infor­ma­tion sites, or job open­ings page will show and prove just how valu­able an edu­ca­tion degree real­ly is. The best careers in edu­ca­tion, includ­ing high-pay­ing careers edu­ca­tion degrees, are out there, espe­cial­ly since there are so many dif­fer­ent careers in edu­ca­tion to pursue.

Because of the pos­si­bil­i­ties, becom­ing a teacher online or through oth­er means will always rep­re­sent an excel­lent edu­ca­tion­al investment.

What Alternative Career Options Are Available for Teachers?

Are you won­der­ing what to do with a teach­ing degree besides teach? Teach­ing is not only some­thing that hap­pens in the class­room. Some of the best careers in edu­ca­tion aren’t in edu­ca­tion. There are many com­pa­nies that hire teach­ers. Train­ing and edu­cat­ing peo­ple is what an edu­ca­tion degree pre­pares appli­cants for.

Even if an appli­cant choos­es to teach in the class­room, they can still find oth­er works as well. Sec­ond careers for teach­ers can help them earn more mon­ey, spe­cial­ize in a par­tic­u­lar niche or indus­try, and gen­er­al­ly make them­selves more valu­able to com­pa­nies to hire teachers.

Some peo­ple may want to con­tin­ue teach­ing, but feel they need to go on a dif­fer­ent career path to do it. Great career changes for teach­ers start with their degree pro­gram. Appli­cants can fig­ure out what to do with a teach­ing degree besides teach if they look around and are will­ing to pur­sue some of the opportunities.

Second Careers for Teachers

Teach­ers who change careers have quite a few options. Com­pa­nies that hire teach­ers can range across all fields, not just indus­tries relat­ed to edu­ca­tion. Great career changes for teach­ers can include:

  • Com­pa­nies that devel­op edu­ca­tion­al tools
  • Youth orga­ni­za­tions
  • Writ­ers and writer assistants
  • School admin­is­tra­tion
  • Online tutor­ing and coaching
  • Com­mu­ni­ty edu­ca­tion officer
  • Busi­ness­es that need to devel­op train­ing materials

Some­one with an edu­ca­tion degree and an open mind will like­ly find com­pa­nies that hire teach­ers and careers in edu­ca­tion oth­er than teach­ing. Because of the flex­i­bil­i­ty of an edu­ca­tion degree, appli­cants will always have the abil­i­ty to go beyond class­room teach­ing. There’s no ques­tion what to do with a teach­ing degree besides teach — there is no short­age of sec­ond careers for teachers.

In some cas­es, an appli­cant may choose an edu­ca­tion degree with the spe­cif­ic goal of enter­ing a non-tra­di­tion­al or non-aca­d­e­m­ic teach­ing career. An exam­ple of this is some­one who works at a cor­po­ra­tion who wants to advance to a senior train­ing posi­tion. An edu­ca­tion degree can help find posi­tions with com­pa­nies that hire teachers.

Appli­cants won­der­ing what to do with a teach­ing degree besides teach should not assume an edu­ca­tion degree is only good for teach­ing. Great career changes for teach­ers are every­where. Choos­ing to go the edu­ca­tion route can also rep­re­sent an entre­pre­neur­ial move, with sec­ond careers for teach­ers look­ing like very good bets. .

Education Careers and Salaries

Teacher salaries vary wide­ly depend­ing on many fac­tors. Accord­ing to the Occu­pa­tion­al Out­look Hand­book, the medi­an annu­al wage for edu­ca­tion and train­ing jobs was $48.7k in 2017.

Edu­ca­tion careers and salaries do not always match up. For exam­ple, the medi­an salary for an adult lit­er­a­cy teacher with a bachelor’s degree was at $52.1k, but that does not mean adult lit­er­a­cy teach­ers across the coun­try are see­ing that same num­ber. Some will make more and some will make less.

Appli­cants should not look at the medi­an wage only. They should look to see salaries for spe­cif­ic states or regions. Do not just look at aver­age high school teacher salary. Instead, drill down to find the high school teacher salary by state.

How Much Do Teachers Make an Hour?

A major ques­tion for poten­tial teach­ers and even every­day peo­ple is “how much do teach­ers make an hour?” The ques­tion comes up often because, over the years, a lot has been said about teacher salaries in the news and oth­er media.

As with most things, teacher salary per month, teacher salary per week, and teacher salary per hour can fluc­tu­ate great­ly from place to place. In addi­tion, ask­ing how much do teach­ers make an hour negates the fact that there are many dif­fer­ent types of teachers.

For appli­cants look­ing for the right infor­ma­tion, the search for an hourly wage num­ber should include the type of teacher and the state. High school teacher salary by state can dif­fer wide­ly, for instance. A bet­ter ques­tion, for exam­ple, is “how much do ele­men­tary teach­ers in South Dako­ta make per hour?”

Differences in Salaries for Teachers

Medi­an salaries for teach­ing jobs can range from $25k to $60k. That trans­lates to about $12/hour up to near­ly $30/hour. Some teach­ers make even more depend­ing on where they are at and whether the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing of their orga­ni­za­tions or unions has helped to obtain more.

The aver­age pri­vate school teacher salary will usu­al­ly hit high­er num­bers than the teacher salary per hour at a pub­lic school. Equal­ly, the ele­men­tary teacher salary is usu­al­ly low­er than a sec­ondary school teacher’s salary.

Yet, an ele­men­tary school teacher that tutors or teach­es in a non-tra­di­tion­al venue may earn a far larg­er ele­men­tary teacher salary. In addi­tion, tenure also mat­ters. Entry-lev­el salaries for a teacher are not the same as the salaries giv­en to expe­ri­enced teachers.

Professional Organizations for Teachers

Many pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions for teach­ers exist. Much like any trade, teach­ing comes with unions, pro­fes­sion­al groups, and clubs specif­i­cal­ly for teach­ing pro­fes­sion­als. Appli­cants should famil­iar­ize them­selves with these groups and what they do.

Why is it Important for Teachers to Join Professional Organizations?

There are many rea­sons for teach­ers to join a pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tion, and no real rea­sons for them not to. Here are just a few rea­sons to why is it impor­tant for teach­ers to join pro­fes­sion­al organizations:

  • Orga­ni­za­tions pro­vide resources
  • Orga­ni­za­tions help edu­ca­tors increase their knowledge
  • Orga­ni­za­tions pro­vide invalu­able net­work­ing opportunities
  • Orga­ni­za­tions often pro­vide fel­low­ships, schol­ar­ships, and grants
  • Orga­ni­za­tions look good on a teacher’s resume

The many pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions for teach­ers can some­times make it hard to find the right one for an applicant’s needs. Some orga­ni­za­tions even cater to spe­cif­ic types of edu­ca­tors. Some of the more pop­u­lar, pro­fes­sion­al, and rec­og­nized pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions for teach­ers include:

Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of School Admin­is­tra­tors 
Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of Teach­ers
Asso­ci­a­tion for Super­vi­sion and Cur­ricu­lum Devel­op­ment
Asso­ci­a­tion of Amer­i­can Edu­ca­tors
Com­put­er Using Edu­ca­tors
Nation­al Asso­ci­a­tion for Bilin­gual Edu­ca­tion
Nation­al Coun­cil of Teach­ers of Eng­lish
Nation­al Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion
Nation­al Sci­ence Teach­ers Association

Many more orga­ni­za­tions exist beyond these; the Uni­ver­si­ty of New Mex­i­co offers a com­pre­hen­sive list. A good place to start with fig­ur­ing out which orga­ni­za­tion is the right one is to look at the Nation­al Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion. The NEA is the largest pro­fes­sion­al teach­ing orga­ni­za­tion in the coun­try. Appli­cants do not have to join, but they can look at what the Nation­al Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion offers to get a good idea of how impor­tant pro­fes­sion­al orga­ni­za­tions for teach­ers real­ly are.

These orga­ni­za­tions help to devel­op and con­sis­tent­ly improve both teach­ing and the lives of teach­ers. For exam­ple, the code of con­duct for teach­ers typ­i­cal­ly aris­es out of pro­fes­sion­al teach­ing orga­ni­za­tions. When issues affect the teach­ing field as a whole, these orga­ni­za­tions tend to step up to make things right.

Also, many places have a local teacher organ­i­sa­tion appli­cants can join and learn from. The down­side to some orga­ni­za­tions for new­er edu­ca­tors is that many of the most rep­utable ones come at a cost. How­ev­er, that cost is usu­al­ly worth it.

But, until the appli­cant can join the ranks of one of the high­er tier pro­fes­sion­al teach­ing orga­ni­za­tions, they can look into edu­ca­tion non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tions or free mem­ber­ship pro­fes­sion­al organizations.

A bach­e­lor’s degree in edu­ca­tion can pay off in a big way, in terms of career sat­is­fac­tion and return on invest­ment. Just make sure you do your research and go about the process the right way.