8 of the Highest Paying Jobs in Education

By Joanna York

 administrator speaking with a teacher at the front desk reception at school

Working in education can be a rewarding and fulfilling career in itself. 

But considering the hard work that goes into it, it is only fitting that people working in schools, colleges and universities should also be well-paid for their efforts.

Fortunately, there are a wide range of roles in education that are surprisingly well paid. 

Although salaries and rates of pay for teachers can vary from state to state, there are opportunities across the country for people who want to work in education and find a high-paying job.

So, what are the highest paying jobs in education? 

Here are the top eight across a range of skill sets, from teaching and leadership to organization and student support.

  1. School Principal
  2. University or College Administrator
  3. Professor
  4. Speech Pathologist
  5. Instructional Coordinator
  6. Special Education Teacher
  7. Librarian
  8. High School Teacher

School Principal

A school principal is responsible for managing and overseeing everything that goes on within a school, from curriculums to funding, hiring and training staff,  managing budgets and also being the public face of the institution.

Principals in elementary, middle school, and high school earn an average salary of $98,000 per year. 

Most roles require a master’s degree in education leadership or administration, and many principals start as teachers before working their way up. 

And, along the way, other leadership roles can also be well reimbursed. For instance, assistant principals earn an average of $92,000 per year.

Essential skills for principals include problem-solving and the ability to work well with parents, teachers, students, and the local community.

University and College Administrator

University and college administrators are in charge of the daily running of an educational institution. 

This can include a diverse range of tasks from managing admissions and residential life to organizing events, and handling budgets and public relations. 

The role also includes doing research and gathering data to create school policies, creating promotional materials, and meeting with current and prospective students to help them access services like financial aid.

Post-secondary administrators earn an average salary of $96,000 per year. 

A bachelor’s degree in education is often required, along with extra qualifications in areas like school finance, educational leadership, student affairs, and educational law.


University and college professors are among the best paid teaching staff in the education sector.

A large part of the role involves teaching, grading papers and advising students. But professors are also expected to have in-depth knowledge of their subject matter and to conduct independent research to advance their field of specialty.

Professors earn an average salary of $79,000 per year and need a minimum of a master’s degree in their specialist subject. A doctorate is often required, especially to work at larger colleges and universities. 

Professors in some fields may also be better paid than others. For example, law professors tend to earn a higher salary than the average professor.

Speech Pathologist

Speech pathologists (also known as speech therapists) diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults. 

While some work in healthcare settings, others work in schools.

Their work involves holding regular sessions with students who need help with their speech. 

By creating and implementing treatment plans, including exercises that students can practice in their own time, speech pathologists often have a positive and lasting impact on the people they treat.

Speech pathologists earn an average salary of $79,000 per year. 

Typically, the role requirements include a master’s degree and, depending on the state, a license. 

Essential skills for speech pathologists include working well with people, patience, and teamwork.

Instructional Coordinator

Instructional coordinators develop curriculums and then work with principals and teachers to put them into practice. 

Once the curriculum is up and running, they work to maintain standards, assess how effective it is, and make changes where necessary. 

The role can also include research, choosing the right textbook content, selecting the technology students will use in the classroom, and determining how student performance is measured.

Instructional coordinators earn an average salary of $63,000 per year. 

Along with a master’s degree, successful applicants typically need prior experience, either as a teacher or in-school administration. 

In some states, Instructional coordinators may also require a licence.

Special Education Teacher

Special education teachers work with students who have mild to severe disabilities on tasks. 

They assist with school work and create individualized learning programs. 

The support each student requires will depend on their individual needs but, typically, special education teachers work closely with the students themselves, their parents, and other staff.

Special education teachers earn an average salary of $61,000 per year. 

Most roles require a bachelor’s degree and special certification in teaching special education. 

In states such as Arizona, such certification can now be completed online with Klassroom’s new Special Education certification.


Librarians help students navigate school and college libraries to find information and conduct research. 

They also manage library resources, plan programs, perform multiple administrative tasks, and sometimes assist teachers with research and lesson planning.

Librarians earn an average salary of $61,000 per year, with most jobs requiring a master’s degree.  

Also essential for the role is good organizational, people, and research skills, while a love of books doesn’t hurt either.

High School Teacher

High school teachers work with students aged 14-18. 

Their role includes planning and teaching lessons, helping students prepare for tests, running and supervising extracurricular activities, and grading papers. 

High school teachers tend to teach one specific subject area and are often required to have a bachelor’s degree in this field.

High school teachers earn an average salary of $61,000 annually, making them better paid than elementary and middle school teachers. 

Essential skills include subject area knowledge, organizational skills, and people skills.

Finding the right career path

There are a wide range of roles on offer in education, and some of them come with generous salaries. 

Although these roles may require more training or experience than entry-level positions, they show that a career spent in education can be more than personally fulfilling - it can pay well too.

For people looking for a part-time role to boost their earnings, there are opportunities in education, too! 

The best paying online teaching jobs have generous hourly rates, and are often part time, so the hours can fit in around other work or obligations.
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