If you want to become a teacher, a librarian, or you’re contemplating the idea of starting a different career in education, this page is for you.

To help you find out more about your future occupation and what to expect, we have compiled information about salary, education requirements as well as prospects.

Academic Advisor

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Art Professor

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Art Teacher

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Band Director

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Career Counselor

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College Professor

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Daycare Provider

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Daycare Providers are professionals who are experienced caring for young children in a variety of settings. Daycare Providers can work…

Elementary Teacher

How to Become an Elementary Teacher

If you are great with children, are patient and good at explaining things, and interested in a career in education,…

English Teacher

How to Become an English Teacher

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High School Teacher

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History Professor

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Junior High Teacher

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When you become a junior high teacher, you’ll be a specialist educator working with students in the 7th and 8th…

Kindergarten Teacher

How to Become a Kindergarten Teacher

When you become a kindergarten teacher you have the ability to make a difference to your students in a very…


How to Become a Librarian

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Math Teacher

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If you’re great with math, like to work with kids, and think that you would enjoy working in an educational…

Middle School Teacher

How to Become a Middle School Teacher

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Music Teacher

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How to Become a Nanny

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How to Become a Paraprofessional

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How to Become a Philosopher

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Physical Education Teacher

How to Become a Physical Education Teacher

If you love sports, working out, and would like to work in education, then you might like to become a…

Preschool Teacher

How to Become a Preschool Teacher

A preschool teacher is an educator who specializes in working with young children, specifically in the years before they attend…

School Counselor

How to Become a School Counselor

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School Principal

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Science Teacher

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Special Education Teacher

How to Become a Special Education Teacher

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Speech Therapist

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How to Become a Teacher

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Teaching Assistant

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Work Environment

The workday of an educator can look very different depending on the age of their students.

For example, preschool teachers work with children younger than 5 years of age while post-secondary teachers work with students who are beyond the high school level.

Preschool teachers spend most of their day teaching students how to identify colors, shapes, numbers, letters, and other basic skills.

Young children learn from playing and experimenting, so games and other interactive activities play an important part in a preschool teacher’s workday.

Post-secondary teachers develop instructional plans, plan lessons and assignments, teach courses, and assess students’ progress.

Post-secondary teachers have to always keep up with the advancements in their field of expertise.

Staying informed is very important because teachers need to make sure the information their students receive is up-to-date.

Most teachers work a traditional 10-month year and have a two-month break during summer.

They also have a short mid-winter break.

Some teachers are involved in summer programs.
Librarians and library media specialists spend most of their workday creating and using databases of library materials, helping patrons, researching new books, maintaining existing collections, and planning resources for audiences.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, librarians and library media specialists hold 143,500 jobs in the United States as of May 2020, most of them working for elementary and secondary schools or local governments.

Librarians may also teach classes about information resources and prepare library budgets.

Job descriptions for librarians also vary depending on the place of employment.

For example, academic librarians assist students and faculty and help them locate resources related to their projects or studies.

Public librarians work with all members of the public and besides helping patrons find books and conduct research, they may also plan programs such as storytime telling, book clubs, and other educational activities for members of their community.

Public and academic librarians often work during weekends and evenings, while school librarians have the same type of schedule as teachers, including summer vacations.

This section of our website also includes career counselors.

Workers in this profession help students develop the academic and social skills needed for graduation and help them prepare for the education program that leads to their dream career.

The specific workday of a career counselor varies depending on the age of their students.

They also help students who go through specific school challenges and those who need to overcome personal problems.

Education Requirements

Education requirements for careers in education vary between an associate degree or some form of college education and a doctoral degree.

Post-secondary teachers typically need a doctoral degree in their field of expertise, but a master’s degree may be enough for some positions at community colleges.

School and career counselors usually need a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field and a state-issued license or similar credential.

Middle school teachers, kindergarten, and elementary school teachers need a bachelor’s degree.

All states require public school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree and many states require a degree in a content area, such as math or science.

Other states require teachers to hold an education major.

Teachers usually participate in a teacher education program offered by their college, where they learn how to present information to students who have different backgrounds and abilities.

These programs also include a student-teaching program that gives students the opportunity of getting real-world classroom experience under the supervision of a mentor teacher.

Requirements for teaching certification or licensure vary by state, but they usually include the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average
  • Completion of a student-teaching program
  • Passing a background check
  • Passing a teaching certification test that assesses their general teaching skills and the knowledge they have in the area they want to teach

Teachers who work in private schools need a bachelor’s degree but a license is not always required.

Special education teachers who work in public schools also need a bachelor’s degree and a state-issued certification or license.

Some states require a degree in special education, while others accept applicants who have a major in a content area or education if they have a minor in special education.

Programs that lead to a degree in special education teach prospective teachers about different types of disabilities and how to present information in a manner that the student understands.

These programs also include a student-teaching program that allows them to gain hands-on experience under the supervision of an experienced mentor.

Preschool teachers need at least an associate’s degree.

The majority of preschool teachers in center-based Head Start programs have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field.

Some education professions don’t require a degree, but it helps if you have completed some college work or you have a certificate.

For example, library technicians need a post-secondary certificate while library assistants need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Library technicians or assistants who continue their training and earn a master’s degree in library science or a related field may advance to a librarian position.

Besides formal education, some personal skills will help you become a good educator:

  • Communication skills are very important in any education profession.
  • Critical thinking skills are key, especially for teachers, professors, and other professions that involve working directly with students.
  • Resourcefulness – the ability to develop creative ways of explaining information in a manner that is easy to understand is a requirement for any teacher.
  • Writing skills are important, especially for post-secondary teachers who need to public original research papers.
  • Patience is important for any educator, but especially for teachers who work with young students and for those who work with students with disabilities


The median annual wage for education careers was $52,380 as of May 2020, higher than the median annual wage for all occupations, which was $41,950, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salaries vary depending on the occupation, the region of employment, and a variety of other factors.

The highest median annual wage was reported by post-secondary teachers, who, according to the BLS report, earned $80,560 per year.

Teacher assistants, on the other hand, made $28,900 on average, per year, making this the education career with the lowest median wage.

Lower-than-average wages were also reported by library technicians and assistants, professions with a median annual wage of $31,840.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers reported a median annual wage of $60,660.

The median annual wage for middle school teachers was $60,810.

Preschool teachers usually earn less than other teachers, with the median wage calculated at $31,930.

Salaries may also vary depending on the subject taught.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages for postsecondary teachers vary widely depending on the specialization.

Some of the highest median annual wages were reported by postsecondary law teachers who earned $116,430 per year, on average.

Higher-than-average wages were reported by economics teachers, engineering teachers, and health specialties teachers.

Median wages for these groups were between $99,000 and more than $107,000 per year.

Some of the lowest salaries in this career group were reported by teachers and criminal justice and law enforcement, who earned $65,440 and $63,560 per year, respectively, on average.

The median annual wage reported by school and career counselors was $58,120 as of May 2020, with salaries ranging between less than $36,000 and more than $97,000.

Job Prospects

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for education careers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2020 to 2030 in the United States, resulting in 920,500 new jobs.

This growth is explained, in part, by the fact that student enrollment is projected to increase, thus resulting in a growing demand for post-secondary teachers, preschool, elementary, and secondary school teachers.

The number of job openings is highly influenced by state and local budgets, so this growth may be restricted in some areas due to budgetary constraints.

Job prospects also vary depending on the occupation, and some will see a more steep growth than others.

Employment growth for school and career counselors is estimated to be 11 percent, with 35,000 new openings expected each year over the decade.

Job growth is estimated at 12 percent for postsecondary teachers and 8 percent for high school teachers.

The preschool teacher profession will grow 18 percent, with 59,600 new openings projected for each year.

Employment for teacher assistants will grow by 9 percent.

Job prospects are also looking well for librarians- a profession that will grow 9 percent by 2030.

As more parents value the learning opportunities libraries offer to children, librarians will continue to be needed in the future.
Libraries provide access to information that usually is not accessible from home, and many students and adults will continue to use library services for their research or personal projects.

The demand for library assistants and technicians, on the other hand, is expected to show little or no change in the next decade.

While COVID-19 has led more people towards library materials and this trend will continue at the beginning of the decade, later in the decade, the demand will likely decline.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a degree before starting a career in education?

Education requirements for professions in this field range between a diploma and a doctoral degree, depending on the occupation.

If you want to start as a teacher’s assistant or a library assistant, a diploma or some college coursework will be enough.

Post-secondary teachers, on the other hand, need a doctoral degree- especially those who work at four-year colleges.

High school, primary, and secondary school teachers have a bachelor’s degree, while preschool teachers need at least an associate’s degree.

Teachers are also required to complete an educator program and to pass a certification test.

Does a career in education pay well?

Salaries vary widely depending on the specialization and the place of employment, among other factors.

Most post-secondary teachers earn more than $80,000 per year, while most salaries for teacher assistants are below the $30,000 mark.

Teachers who work in middle school, elementary schools, or kindergartens make around $60,000 per year, on average.

What are my prospects as an educator?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most education careers will grow in the future.

The overall growth is estimated at 10 percent, but job prospects vary widely depending on specialization, the local economy, government budgets, and many other factors.

Employment for preschool teachers will grow 18 percent by 2030, while the post-secondary teacher profession will see a growth of 12 percent.

What does an educator do?

The answer to this question depends on their place of employment.

School teachers work directly with students of different ages, while librarians in public libraries work with members of the community.

Preschool teachers work with children younger than five years, while post-secondary teachers work with students who are 18 and older.

Teachers are responsible for creating lesson plans, assessing students’ progress, teaching lessons, grading papers, developing classroom rules, and supervising students in and outside the classroom.

Post-secondary teachers also spend time reading and writing research papers and staying up to date with the latest advancements in their field of expertise.