A growing job market means better opportunities for workers. In the field of education, the level of job growth you can expect varies considerably, with some roles seeing slower than average growth and others seeing much faster than average rates of growth. Among the areas of education where job opportunities are growing most rapidly are specific roles in educational administration, classroom teaching and school-based social and mental health services.
The Big-Picture Job Outlook for Educational Careers
No jobs in education are seeing fast enough job growth to earn a spot on the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)’s 2019 list of the 30 occupations with the most job growth. However, most positions in education are seeing at least average rates of job growth, and some are seeing faster or much faster than average job growth rates. In addition, because education is such a large occupational group – accounting for 7,771,600 jobs, not including administrative positions or roles in school counseling, psychology or social work – even a modest rate of growth can translate to many additional jobs.
As a whole, the BLS predicts that careers in the category of education, training and library occupations will see a five percent rate of job growth over a decade, amounting to 512,900 new jobs.
Fastest-Growing Jobs in Teaching
Among educators who work in the classroom, instructors at the highest and lowest levels of education are seeing the most promising projections. Postsecondary teachers anticipate a much faster than average rate of job growth, with the BLS expecting an 11 percent increase in job opportunities that will translate to 155,000 new positions. These educators teach adult students beyond the high school level at community colleges and four-year colleges and universities.
Preschool teachers have the next most impressive job growth rate, a faster than average rate of seven percent. The BLS expects 36,900 new positions to open for preschool teachers over a decade. However, most preschool teachers work in settings other than public and private schools, where pay rates are lower. Child day care services, which account for 60 percent of preschool teacher jobs, pay a median wage of only $27,830 per year, while the 15 percent of preschool teachers working in public and private schools see a $46,770 median salary.
Among teachers at the kindergarten through twelfth-grade levels, high school teachers have the best job prospects. The four percent growth rate predicted by the BLS is still in the average range, although on the low side. A slower than average rate of three percent is likely for kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle school teachers and special education teachers. Teacher assistants, who primarily work with younger grades and with special needs students at all grade levels, should see a four percent job growth rate.
If you’re interested in learning but not necessarily in a role in the classroom setting, jobs in libraries and museums may appeal to you. The BLS predicts a growth rate of nine percent for archivists, curators and museum workers and six percent for librarians.
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Fastest-Growing Jobs in Administration
Opportunities in preschool and early childhood education are also flourishing in the area of educational administration. The BLS predicts a faster than average growth rate of seven percent for this educational management occupation, which should add 4,800 positions to the profession. More than 60 percent of existing preschool and childcare center director roles are in the child day care services industry.
Postsecondary educational administrator jobs are also faring well. These roles include many different job titles on college campuses, such as College President, Provost, Admissions Director, Registrar and various other directors and deans.
For elementary and secondary school administrators, the job outlook is only average. The BLS expects a four percent rate of job growth to expand the occupation by 11,200 new positions for elementary school, middle school and high school principals.
Instructional coordinators, who have some leadership responsibilities in addition to their roles in designing curriculum standards and course materials, should see a six percent rate of job growth.
Growth in School-Based Mental Health and Social Services
Some of the jobs in schools that are seeing the fastest rates of growth aren’t educational or administrative in nature, but instead, are related to mental health and social services. For school psychologists, for example, a much faster than average rate of job growth is anticipated. School counselors, sometimes called guidance counselors, are seeing a faster than average job growth rate, as are school social workers.
The BLS cited increases in the recognition of the need for mental health services and the relationship between mental health and learning as reasons why school psychologist and related roles are on the rise.