It’s a popular mantra that you should never go into education unless you’re truly passionate about it. The notoriously low salaries, difficult parents and administrators, and unreliable job certainty can burst the bubble of even the most bright-eyed educators. The tough job market has made education an even more challenging profession to be in. Yet according to a recent Forbes report listing the best and worst paid jobs in education, teaching can actually be a well-paid and even lucrative career, depending on what and where you teach.
By and large, most of the best paying jobs in education were teaching jobs at the college and postsecondary level. Professors made, on average, 100k and above, depending on their area of expertise. Law professors were the top earners in education, making an average of $115,550 per year. They were followed by health specialties professors, engineering professors, postsecondary education administrators, and economics professors.
The findings come with little surprise. Universities often have greater sources of revenue, including private endowments, and therefore have more monetary resources allocating to teacher salary than those in the K-12 levels. It still remains a challenge to lure the brightest minds to stay in academia when those who go to work in industry or the private sector can make far more. Still, landing a job at a university remains far more competitive than teaching at the elementary or secondary level, with highly-credentialed academics competing for only a few open slots.
Forbes also listed the worst paying jobs in education. These are the true heroes in education, the individuals who are truly doing it out of a love for the kids, a joy of teaching, or because it is their passion. Topping the list were teacher assistants, who made 25k per year on average. This was followed by many of the most long-suffering individuals in education: substitute teachers, preschool teachers, library technicians, and graduate TA’s.The Best and Worst Paid Jobs in Education by Andrew Ostler