Teaching is a fulfilling career path that helps you gain a respectable position in society. But this noble profession comes with serious challenges including long working hours and low pay. This is the reason why many educators look for alternative careers that allow them to utilize their skills and experience without getting burned out.
To help you navigate your career path with an education degree, we’ve listed the top nine high-paying alternative careers that are both rewarding and promising.
1. Education Administrator
For educators interested in leadership and management roles, becoming an education administrator allows you to oversee and direct operations at schools, districts, colleges, and corporate training programs.
As a principal or assistant principal, you would lead instructional programs, mentor teachers, establish budgets and policies, hire staff, and ensure your school meets performance goals and regulations. In higher roles like superintendent, college dean, or director of education, you would manage multiple schools or institutions and shape broader strategies and initiatives. These positions come with six-figure salaries but also greater responsibility.
The career path of an educational admin enables experienced educators to utilize their insider knowledge to positively influence learning environments and programs from an administrative level.
2. Career Counselor
If you have a passion for guiding students, career counseling could be the right career path for you. As a career counselor, you will work directly with students to assess life goals and provide them with personalized advice on choosing colleges and majors.
To become a successful career counselor, pursuing an online MED in curriculum and instruction can be a strategic move. This advanced degree can equip you with a deeper understanding of educational theories and curriculum design, thereby enhancing your ability to guide students effectively. The online format also offers flexibility, allowing you to balance your studies with your professional commitments.
As a counselor, you will assist students with their internships and job applications. Therefore, this career path will require you to obtain knowledge of adolescent development as well as the education systems, and local job markets. With the added expertise from an online master’s in education, particularly in curriculum and instruction, you can have a profound impact on students’ lives by empowering them to make informed decisions about their futures.
3. Curriculum Developer/Instructional Designer
If you enjoy creating educational content and programs, a career as a curriculum developer or instructional designer may be very rewarding. These professionals focus on designing and building engaging learning experiences, courses, and materials for students of all ages.
Drawing on your expertise in teaching methods, learning styles, and assessment strategies, you would develop dynamic curricula, training programs, textbooks, online courses, and other instructional resources. While you may not work directly with learners in a classroom, you still get to shape educational experiences in impactful ways from behind the scenes.
With above-average earning potential compared to teaching roles, this career allows you to apply your skills in education without being in a traditional classroom setting.
4. Education Consultant
Education consultants leverage their experience to provide expert advice and services to schools, governments, education businesses, and more. You can work independently or for a consulting firm to conduct research, analyze data, develop programs, and offer solutions around issues like curriculum, teacher training, funding, policy, technology integration, and more.
This career allows you to apply your specialized knowledge in education to make an impact on school systems, higher education, corporate training, and other learning organizations. As a consultant, you may inform policymakers, train teachers, help schools adopt new technology, evaluate programs, and more. While the role is advisory, you can still drive meaningful improvements and advance learning on a broader scale.
5. Education Researcher
For those interested in a strictly academic career, becoming an education researcher allows you to study teaching and learning processes and evaluate educational programs, methods, and policies through hands-on research.
As a researcher, you would design studies, collect and analyze data, author reports, and advocate for evidence-based best practices in the field. Researchers work for governments, school districts, colleges, think tanks, nonprofits, and private research firms to build an understanding of what works in education and shape data-driven improvements.
While not a teaching role, you still get to make a meaningful impact by informing policies, teacher training, curriculum, and more based on objective research.
6. Education Sales Representative
Sales professionals help education organizations, schools, and teachers select and implement the best technologies, tools, textbooks, and other educational products for their needs. With your inside view of real classroom environments and teacher pain points, you can be an invaluable resource to help companies develop solutions.
A career in education sales allows you to leverage your experience in the field while earning commissions promoting products you believe in. By ensuring teachers and students get resources that enhance learning and engagement, you can make a difference from the business side.
7. Academic Advisor
Academic advisors help students at colleges and universities navigate their degree programs and access needed resources. By assisting with course selection, registration, and scholarships, advisors guide students along their paths to graduation and career success. Your experience in education enables you to understand degree requirements and how to mentor and motivate students through academic challenges.
Bonus point: the money is good. Academic advisors enjoy a median pay of over $52,000 per year while helping students thrive.
8. Corporate Trainer
Corporate trainers design and deliver training programs, workshops, and seminars to improve employee skills and performance. You would develop engaging courses on everything from software proficiency to leadership, sales, workplace conduct, and more.
By transferring your skills in creating curriculum and facilitating adult learning to the corporate environment, you can enjoy a rewarding training career with high earning potential. Your experience designing lessons and presenting information can be invaluable in the corporate training field. You get to help employees develop new skills that benefit their careers and organizations.
9. Education Journalist
If you have a degree in education but you love to write, you might want to consider a career in education journalism. Education journalists report on news, trends, and research related to schools. You will write for education publications, general media outlets, university presses, and other employers.
The skills required for becoming a successful journalist include strong research, interviewing, writing, and editing. Some positions will also require you to acquire a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or a related field.
Education is a vast field that allows you to explore different opportunities based on your lifestyle and needs. With an advanced degree and proven teaching ability, you can land a position that offers increased income and fresh challenges. That being said, you can pick a career path from the above-listed options and start putting your experience and skills in line with it. Since they are all high-paying, they will allow you to lead a fulfilling life without getting burned out.