There will always be a need for great elementary school teachers! And if you care about children and the future, elementary education and teaching could be the perfect degree path for you! Degrees in elementary education and teaching not only prepare students for careers as elementary school teachers but also to become school administrators, curriculum developers, and other education professionals.
The elementary education degree also prepares graduates for the tests and schooling required to earn a teaching credential. It’s almost always required for elementary school teachers to have a teaching credential, though this varies depending on the school. If you want to study a little of everything, elementary education is a great degree because students learn about a variety of subjects from history to math, as elementary school teachers are responsible for teaching a breadth of subjects. Along with learning how to teach academic subjects, students in this degree program may also complete coursework in child and adolescent development to understand how children learn at different stages.Click Here to See the Best Colleges in the US
University of Florida offers 2 Elementary Education and Teaching degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 159 Elementary Education and Teaching students graduated with students earning 87 Bachelor's degrees, and 72 Master's degrees.
University of Maryland-College Park offers 3 Elementary Education and Teaching degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2020, 53 Elementary Education and Teaching students graduated with students earning 53 Bachelor's degrees.
University of Washington-Seattle Campus offers 2 Elementary Education and Teaching degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 72 Elementary Education and Teaching students graduated with students earning 72 Master's degrees.
New York University offers 3 Elementary Education and Teaching degree programs. It's a very large, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 51 Elementary Education and Teaching students graduated with students earning 25 Master's degrees, 24 Bachelor's degrees, and 2 Doctoral degrees.
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor offers 1 Elementary Education and Teaching degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a midsize city. In 2020, 33 Elementary Education and Teaching students graduated with students earning 33 Bachelor's degrees.
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities offers 1 Elementary Education and Teaching degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 95 Elementary Education and Teaching students graduated with students earning 95 Bachelor's degrees.
Earning an elementary education master’s degree is a great way for educators to open new career opportunities, increase salary potential, and learn new skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for education occupations was $60,660 as of May 2020. Educators with a graduate-level degree often earn substantially more, especially if transitioning to administration or the private sector.
An elementary education master’s degree is a 2-4 year advanced degree for teachers and educators specializing in elementary education. It is considered a graduate-level degree and not a terminal degree as graduates can go on to earn a doctorate in education.
Elementary education graduate degrees are similar to regular master’s in education; however, they are tailored to certified educators for grades preschool through fifth or sixth.
Many elementary teachers seek a master’s in education which provides an in-depth study of a specific facet of education, examines the latest research-based education practices, and prepares graduates for leadership and administrative roles. Individuals that are interested in working as an academic advisor or school principal require a master’s degree in order to achieve their career goal.
Depending on the program, classwork can be accomplished in person or online, and many students complete their degrees while working full-time as an educator.
Earning an elementary education master’s degree can open countless career opportunities beyond teaching in the classroom. However, it can also advance your current teaching career. Possible career opportunities include:
There are two main graduate degrees available to elementary educators: a master of arts in teaching (MAT) and master of education (MEd). However, there are other options available, such as a master of science in teaching (MST). Each comes with its own pros and cons, but ultimately it is up to you to decide which option is best for you.
While it is possible to get a general master’s in education, it is important to find a program that offers a specialization in elementary education. Classes will be tailored for kindergarten and elementary-aged children.
An MEd is for teachers who want to move beyond the classroom. Typically, this degree works best for those interested in working in administration, curriculum planning, instructional design, or school counseling. An MEd program typically includes a specialization in areas like curriculum and instruction or administrative leadership.
An MAT degree teaches current educators new skills so they can better teach their students. The degree also often leads to an increase in salary and could help teachers transition into a new teaching role. Some teachers use the MAT to specialize their education in a field like science or math, opening new career opportunities.
Specific courses vary depending on the elementary education graduate program and university, but most students can expect to take similar courses throughout the program:
The skills learned in an elementary education master’s degree program are invaluable. They help you better educate your students while also adhering to the state and national education guidelines. Oftentimes, learning can be boring and standardized for children, but earning a master’s degree can help you think of out of the box ways to help students grow and learn. You can also expect to learn:
Elementary education master’s degree programs typically require 30-40 credits completed over the course of 2-3 years. Some teachers take longer to complete their degrees due to work schedules, family commitments, and monetary support.
Applying to an elementary education master’s degree can be overwhelming, especially if you are working full time. From gathering references to paying application fees and submitting undergraduate school transcripts, the process can be tedious and time-consuming. However, all schools generally require the same forms and documents for the admissions process.
Remember, before considering applying for a graduate education program, you MUST hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Without this, you cannot start a graduate education program.
It’s important to remember that all requirements and prerequisites must be met in order to be considered for acceptance. A helpful tip is making a spreadsheet of all required documents and deadlines for each graduate program. Most programs have deadlines in the spring, but sometimes applicants can turn in applications at any time in the year. Online programs typically have increased flexibility regarding application deadlines.
Oftentimes, educators have many options for graduate school, including the choice of online or on-campus learning. Determining which format is best for you and your family is the first step in deciding if a program is right for you or not.
Many educators opt to complete their master’s degree online because online programs are convenient, particularly for working teachers. They offer:
On-campus options do have a lot of benefits if it is a feasible option for you. These include,
Graduate programs are usually designed for working professionals. What does this mean? In-person classes are held at night to accommodate teachers’ work schedules and are consistently held on the same night(s) of the week throughout the duration of the program.
Many elementary education master’s degrees can be completed entirely online. Accredited online programs match the quality of in-person programs while allowing you to complete courses at your own pace, and often there is increased flexibility with assignment deadlines since most students teach full time during the week.
Programs use either synchronous or asynchronous courses, likely a big deciding factor for prospective students.
Asynchronous courses do not require attendance at a set time. Lectures and class content are pre-recorded, and students interact through an online platform. Students can work on their assignments at any time of day, an appealing option for adult students with families, jobs, and responsibilities.
Synchronous courses are like attending traditional in-person classes just from the comfort of your own home. Students attend live lectures via a digital platform, and work on assignments in real-time.
Whether the classes are synchronous or asynchronous, class time length varies by university. Courses could be as short as 4-5 weeks while the longest might take a full semester, or 14 weeks. On average, online classes last roughly 8-9 weeks; however, some programs specialize in accelerated degrees so students can complete their master’s degree quickly and efficiently.
According to the BLS, the median annual wage for education occupations was $52,380 in May 2020, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810. Income or salary level is highly dependent, however, on education level, the area of country, and the school system in which one teaches. Those with master's degrees tend to earn a higher salary than those with only a bachelor's degree. Teachers in inner-city and rural school systems do not tend to as high a salary as their suburban counterparts, though public school teachers tend to earn more than private school teachers. Some teachers earn extra income by picking up coaching jobs and/or working during the summer months they aren't teaching. Those who wish to make more money may try to transfer to better schools or move into administrative positions.
There are multiple opportunities for educators with advanced degrees but the most common are the following,
The lowest 10% of elementary school teachers earned less than $40,030, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $100,480. The lowest 10% of kindergarten teachers earned less than $37,360, and the highest 10% earned more than $91,980.
Other job possibilities include and salaries include:
The National Center for Education Statistics shows the average national salary for teachers working in public schools, by the highest degree earned and years of teaching experience. For example, even if two teachers both have 6-9 years of experience, a teacher with a bachelor’s degree will earn $45,390 while a teacher with a master’s degree will earn $52,750, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, “On average, a master’s degree earns teachers an additional $2,760 in their first year of teaching compared to a bachelor’s degree. This salary advantage expands to an average of $7,358 per year by the time a teacher reaches the maximum point of the pay scale.”
The job outlook for teachers in the coming years is generally good. There will be a need for new teachers to replace the many who are expected to retire in the coming years. Overall, employment of kindergarten and elementary school teachers is projected to grow 4% with an expected 56,100 new jobs to be added. The majority of these jobs, specifically 51,400, are projected for elementary educators, though opportunities vary by region and school setting. Projections show better opportunities in urban and rural school districts than in suburban school districts.
|Career||Salary||Projected Job Growth (2020-2030)||About the Position|
|Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals||$98,490 per year||8%||Elementary, middle, and high school principals oversee all school operations, including daily school activities. They coordinate curriculums, manage staff, and provide a safe and productive learning environment for students.|
|Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers||$60,660 per year||7%||Kindergarten and elementary school teachers create lesson plans, grade students’ assignments, prepare students for standardized examinations, communicate with parents, and instruct students.|
|Special Education Teacher||$61,500 per year||8%||
Special education teachers work with students who have learning, mental, emotional, or physical disabilities. They adapt general education lessons and teach various subjects to students with mild to moderate disabilities. They also teach basic skills to students with severe disabilities.
Excellent oral and written communicator, good with children/young adults, highly organized, patient, multi-tasker, trustworthy, creative, works well with others, willing to work long and/or odds hours.
The organizations listed below are great resources for elementary educators. Each offers a unique perspective and opportunities for educators. Several are union-based while others are strictly professional organizations offering career advice and job opportunities.
|School||Average Tuition||Student Teacher Ratio||Enrolled Students|
|Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX||16 : 1||11,379|
|University of Florida Gainesville, FL||21 : 1||53,372|
|Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA||17 : 1||14,934|
|Towson University Towson, MD||24 : 1||21,917|
|University of Maryland-College Park College Park, MD||22 : 1||40,709|