What Can You Do With a Masters in Educational Leadership?

Graduates with a master's degree in educational leadership qualify for teaching and administrative positions at the elementary, middle, secondary and postsecondary school levels. Popular job titles include principal, high school teacher, headmaster and assistant principal.

Career Options

A master's degree in educational leadership can prepare graduates for teaching and executive positions at public and private schools. Public school teachers and most public school administrators must be licensed by the state, which may require continuing education to keep licensure current. Administrative positions that might be available to those with a master's degree in educational leadership include the following:

  • Principal
  • Assistant principal
  • District administrator
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Director or supervisor
  • Dean of students or faculty
  • College provost
  • University registrar

Salary Information

In June 2014, PayScale.com reported median salaries for academic leadership positions at all levels of education. The most popular jobs held by graduates of a master's degree program in educational leadership, with their corresponding salaries, include the following:

Type of School Position Salary
Secondary School Special Education Teacher $45,356
Middle School Teacher $42,157
Elementary School Teacher $40,664
High School Teacher $44,524
Elementary School Principal $76,534
Middle School Principal or Headmaster $81,377


Master's degrees in educational leadership are most often available as Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees with a concentration in educational leadership. Master of Science and Master of Arts programs may also offer other concentrations, such as religious school education, K-12 administration or school principal.


Educational leadership studies at the graduate level vary by concentration. Courses may include topics in professional development and leadership, school finance and law, strategic and organizational planning, adult learning, community relations and student affairs. Internships and research activities may also be part of the program's curriculum. These exercises are designed to sharpen a student's management, communication, organizational and problem-solving skills in a real-world environment.

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