Inside Education Careers

Insider tips you need to know to choose and succeed in the right career

Career Background

  Education Salaries

Surprising and Helpful Information

Detailed info from people on the job

Examples of likes and dislikes:


"working with children and helping them unlock a new skill. It is so rewarding to see the "light bulb" go on in their heads and the smiles on their faces as they figure something out. Helping children is a great reward."


"not feeling like there is enough time in each day to make ensure all of the students are given opportunities to have the high school experience they want to have."

Career Overview

A career in education can be a very rewarding option for individuals who have a love for learning and want to share their knowledge to make a difference in a studentís life. The education field is very diverse, with qualified educators finding work in both the public and private sectors working in places such as schools, colleges, daycare centers, and corporations. Careers in this field are not only limited to teachers, with a variety of options such as principals, librarians, curriculum specialists, and school administrators, among others.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities in careers such as teachers and administrators is projected to be favorable, largely due to the large number of expected retirements in the field over the 2008-18 period.

Career Skills

High-quality educators not only have strong knowledge in their area of specialty, but have a love for learning and have strong communication skills in order to effectively convey their knowledge to students. In addition, individuals interested in teaching jobs generally have good problem-solving, leadership and organizational skills, are good listeners, and have an outgoing personality.


Most careers require at least a bachelorís degree from an accredited college or university, with some requiring a masterís degree. Many schools offer graduate degree programs such as a masterís in education, with specialization options in numerous areas. Each state has its own licensure and certification requirements for public school teachers, such as completing a supervised internship and passing an examination. Private schools generally do not require licensure.

Career Options

Diverse career options exist with different opportunities for advancement, such as those starting out in teaching jobs and moving on to administrator positions after a few years.

The following are some examples of education careers:

  • Elementary teachers work with students during their first six to eight years of their schooling. Several subjects are generally taught to a class of children including reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. Elementary teachers may work in public or private schools, and are a strong influence during a childís formative years.
  • Elementary school librarians, also referred to as media specialists, are responsible for their schoolís library collection and for teaching library skills in schools, often during a regularly scheduled class time. Librarians help interest students in reading, conducting story hours, teaching students about the various kinds of books and how to use library classification systems, and how to complete research projects using library resources.
  • Principals are responsible for overseeing the daily operations of an individual elementary, middle, or secondary school. There are many duties involved with the running of a school, including setting school goals and policies, overseeing curriculum, hiring and evaluating teachers and other staff, preparing budgets, and maintaining contact with the school community.
  • Special education teachers teach children with a variety of disabilities, providing instruction in order to meet that studentís individual needs. They may be involved with the development of a studentís Individualized Education Program (IEP), working closely with school administrators and parents to develop an appropriate educational plan for that student. The need for special education teachers is high in many school districts.