The field of education offers various career paths you can pursue, from teaching to administrative positions to supportive roles. If you’re interested in teaching and encouraging students in their academic careers, finding out more about the different types of education jobs available is a good first step in figuring out what sort of role best matches your skills and career goals.
In this article, we explore careers in education, plus we take a look at the projected job growth rate of jobs in this field.
15 teaching and classroom careers
If you want to work directly with students in the classroom, consider one of these roles:
1. Teacher’s aide
National average salary: $18,187 per year
Primary duties: Also known as a teacher assistant, a teacher’s aide help monitor students in class and during other school activities. They may also help with grading, proctoring tests, providing one-on-one attention, setting up equipment and planning lessons.
2. Daycare teacher
National average salary: $33,197 per year
Primary duties: A daycare teacher works in a childcare facility taking care of young children, typically from a few months old to elementary-school age. Depending on the daycare, they may lead brief lessons, play games, provide food and work on toilet training with toddlers.
3. Sports coach
National average salary: $41,487 per year
Primary duties: These education professionals lead student sports teams by guiding practice, teaching them the sport, motivating them during practice and promoting physical wellness, a love of physical activity, teamwork and sportsmanship. Depending on the school, coaches may have one team or multiple teams of different levels in just one sport or coach multiple teams across different levels and different sports.
4. Preschool teacher
National average salary: $46,204 per year
Primary duties: A preschool teacher works in a preschool with specific age groups of students, including infants, toddlers and pre-Kindergarten. Depending on the age group they teach, these professionals may lead age-appropriate lessons, use games and storytelling to instruct, teach life skills, provide toilet training and coach language skills.
5. Elementary school teacher
National average salary: $48,992 per year
Primary duties: This teacher typically works with one or a few grade levels between kindergarten and 4th grade. Elementary school teachers may teach all subjects or teach most subjects to their classroom and then specialize in one subject to share teaching responsibilities with other teachers.
6. Physical education teacher
National average salary: $51,420 per year
Primary duties: Also known as a PE teacher, this educator leads groups of students through physical exercise classes, teaches sports and exercise techniques and promotes wellness and a love of physical activity. PE teachers can work in elementary, middle and high schools. Some PE teachers may also coach one or more of the school’s sports teams.
7. Mathematics teacher
National average salary: $51,505 per year
Primary duties: This educator teaches students basic and advanced math principles, depending on the grade level—elementary school, middle school or high school. They promote problem-solving and analytical thinking by guiding students through math problems, assigning and grading homework, and proctoring tests.
8. English teacher
National average salary: $51,549 per year
Primary duties: An English teacher typically works in a middle school or high school and leads lessons on language arts, literature, writing and reading comprehension.
9. Art teacher
National average salary: $52,656 per year
Primary duties: An art teacher can work with students at any grade level, and depending on the grades they teach, they may instruct students on various techniques, assign projects, promote constructive criticism among peers, lead lessons on art history and art appreciation and chaperone students on field trips to art museums and other art sites.
10. Special education teacher
National average salary: $54,219 per year
Primary duties: A special education teacher works with students with different learning abilities and challenges in nearly all grade levels. They’re responsible for providing these students with additional academic assistance, specialized lesson plans and tailored instruction when needed. They may lead their own class of students, host different groups of students throughout the day, monitor students while taking exams with additional assistance or share instruction responsibilities with general education teachers.
11. School librarian
National average salary: $55,398 per year
Primary duties: This educator works in a school’s library and ensures students have access to age-appropriate books, periodicals and research resources. They may also use storytelling to lead lessons and show students how to effectively conduct research.
12. English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher
National average salary: $57,006 per year
Primary duties: An ESL teacher can teach nearly any level, including adult learners, and work in nearly any school setting, in a community facility or independently. They may work one-on-one, in small groups or in larger classrooms leading lessons on English grammar, vocabulary, speech and writing in addition to assigning language practice homework and projects.
13. Science teacher
National average salary: $63,487 per year
Primary duties: A science teacher leads lessons in a variety of life and earth sciences and can teach nearly any grade level. For science teachers in elementary and some middle schools, they may be responsible for teaching general science that covers many specializations. Those who work in other middle schools and high schools typically specialize in one type of science, such as biology, chemistry, physics or earth science.
14. Music teacher
National average salary: $69,432 per year
Primary duties: A music teacher holds lessons on music appreciation and history as well as teaches students how to play instruments and read music. In some schools, they may also act as a choir director and/or band director.
5 school administration careers
Many roles in administration require years of experience in the classroom or another educational setting. If you’re interested in furthering your career or are interested in tailoring your career path to administration, consider one of these positions:
1. Preschool director
National average salary: $47,269 per year
Primary duties: A preschool director is responsible for hiring, training and monitoring all staff within a preschool, including teachers and teacher’s aides. They may also be responsible for setting academic standards, accepting students, enforcing state-mandated regulations and managing the facility’s budget.
2. Dean of students
National average salary: $65,721 per year
Primary duties: This higher-education administrator role handles everything related to student-success programs in a university or college. They lead teams in setting admission standards, managing admission enrollment, planning support programs and implementing student-related policies.
3. Assistant principal
National average salary: $80,106 per year
Primary duties: An assistant principal helps the principal, superintendent, school board members and other school leadership in managing enrollment, student activities, policies and rules, curriculum development, academic assessment and standards, and staffing. In some schools, they may serve as a mediator between teachers and staff and other school leaders.
National average salary: $92,386 per year
Primary duties: This school leader can serve an entire school district or any sized school, managing administrative duties such as budgeting, state- and federal-mandated academic standards, and staffing. They are also dedicated to ensuring the academic success of the school or district and create programs to help students and staff reach these goals.
5. School principal
National average salary: $110,818 per year
Primary duties: A school principal is the community leader of a single school who is responsible for managing all of the school’s administrative tasks related to staffing, training, academic programming, student enrollment, student policies and rules, and budgeting.
7 student support careers
These education professionals often work outside of the classroom or in specialized learning settings to provide additional instruction, guidance and support to students:
1. Academic adviser
National average salary: $43,364 per year
Primary duties: An academic adviser works with students to determine the best classes and other educational opportunities to help them achieve their career goals. In a high school setting, they may also be called guidance counselors and are responsible for providing information on higher education or vocational school programs, resources for pre-college testing and guidance on academic plans for graduation. In higher education, an academic adviser is responsible for helping students pick a major and plan courses that fulfill the major.
2. Intervention specialist
National average salary: $46,702 per year
Primary duties: An intervention specialist is a special education professional who helps students better adjust socially and academically in the classroom. These educators are responsible for creating individualized education programs (IEPs) that assess, monitor and provide solutions for each student’s challenges in the classroom and ensure they work toward meeting state- and country-mandated academic goals. They may collaborate with teachers, special education teachers, counselors and behavioral therapists to create the most effective plan.
National average salary: $53,785 per year
Primary duties: A tutor typically works outside the classroom, often one-on-one with students in their homes, in a tutoring center, at the library or in another community facility. These educators assist students of different ages, grades and learning levels, including children, teens and adults. They may tutor students in a single subject, in a variety of subjects or with test preparation.
4. School psychologist
National average salary: $54,383 per year
Primary duties: These education professionals work both inside and outside the classroom to help both students and teachers with challenges and solutions related to mental health, social development, learning styles and behavior. They may support teachers in creating programs and lessons and addressing student issues in the classroom, and they may also meet with students and/or their parents to assess, guide and provide resources to improve a student’s mental, emotional, social and physical well-being inside and outside the classroom.
5. Curriculum manager
National average salary: $56,681 per year
Primary duties: This learning and education development professional works outside the classroom to create, assess and enforce education programs and standards for a school, district or local jurisdiction’s education department. They may also assist in training teachers in best practices related to curriculum and lesson planning, and they often research new methods by assessing the learning styles of the students they serve.
6. School counselor
National average salary: $57,570 per year
Primary duties: These education professionals work both inside and outside the classroom to help students with social development, academic success and professional development. They may be responsible for creating and implementing support programs, establishing programs for healthy habits and emotional wellness and facilitating partnerships with external resources for career development, higher education and technical education.
7. Speech therapist
National average salary: $100,361 per year
Primary duties: Also known as a speech-language pathologist, a speech therapist may work in a school, community facility or a specialized speech therapy practice to assess student’s language abilities, communicative disorders, feeding disorders or various cognitive-communication abilities. Then, they create individualized plans to coach students in improving their articulation and speech, writing, reading comprehension and other vital activities related to their mouth and throat.
Job outlook for education careers
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, here’s a comparison of the projected employment growth rates for 10 careers in education:
Education job title
Employment change (2021-2031)
Elementary school teacher
4% (60,200 jobs)
High school teacher
5% (48,700 jobs)
7% (15,000 jobs)
Middle school teacher
4% (25,000 jobs)
Librarian/library media specialist
6% (8,000 jobs)
12% (159,400 jobs)
15% (72,900 jobs)
5% (14,200 jobs)
Special education teacher
4% (20,600 jobs)
5% (62,100 jobs)