Career and Salary Info for a Doctor of Education Degree

Doctoral degrees in Education typically cover the relationship between educational policy and practice. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth, and salary info for doctorate in education graduates.

School superintendents, directors of student services and certain university professors typically need a doctor of education degree. A doctor of education degree prepares individuals to serve as leaders in schools or colleges, or work for school districts or government organizations.

Essential Information

A Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) is a terminal degree designed for students looking to pursue leadership positions in schools, colleges, and school districts as well as government organizations. Graduates of Ed.D. programs commonly pursue careers in administration, research, and education policy-making.

Career Titles Superintendent Director of Student Services University Professor
Job Duties Oversees school districts Postsecondary administrator Teaches academic disciplines
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (for education administrators, elementary and secondary school) 9% 13%
Median Salary (2015)* $90,410 (for education administrators, elementary and secondary school) $88,580 $72,470

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)

Career Options

Ed.D. degree programs can take from two years to five years to complete. They can include classes in educational research and educational policy as well as gender, economic and social roles in education. The leading careers for graduates with a doctoral degree in education include School Superintendents, Directors of Student Services, and University Professors. These leadership positions range from elementary to postsecondary levels and have a variety of responsibilities.


Job Description

A superintendent is typically responsible for overseeing the schools in a regional school system according to the goals, policies and regulations of the school district and the local school board. The duties of a superintendent are far reaching, and include responsibilities in school committee relations, budgeting, educational leadership, personnel management and general management. Superintendents are also heavily involved in the formulation of academic goals as well as creating individual curricula for each grade level.

Salary and Growth Information

According to the BLS, the average pay of elementary and secondary administrators (such as superintendents) ranged between $59,070 and $131,310 in May 2015. Pay can depend on experience and the district in which the applicant is seeking work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be average job growth for elementary and secondary school education administrators between 2014 and 2024. Competition for jobs is expected to remain strong.

Director of Student Services

Job Description

Directors of student services typically work in a postsecondary educational setting such as a college or university. They are in charge of admissions, counseling services, career services and financial aid. While smaller colleges may rely on one director to manage all of these aspects, larger schools require multiple employees to handle the separate tasks due to the volume of students. A student services director also works with other school administrators in school planning and budgeting.

Salary and Growth Information

According to the BLS, the average salary in May 2015 for all education administrators in the postsecondary setting was $88,580. The lowest ten percent of postsecondary administrators earned less than $50,240, while the top ten percent earned more than $174,000. Due to the increased number of students enrolling at the postsecondary level and the retirement of current administrators, job prospects should be good.

University Professor

Job Description

University professors are employed to teach a wide variety of academic subjects and disciplines at 4-year colleges and universities. They may teach undergraduate or graduate students through lectures, labs and class assignments; graduate students also receive assistance and advice from professors during research and teaching. Professors stay knowledgeable about advancements in their field by attending conferences and symposia, performing research and publishing articles in scholastic journals.

Salary and Growth Information

Salaries for positions in postsecondary teaching vary greatly depending on the school and the individual field being taught. For instance, postsecondary agricultural sciences teachers earned an average of $90,780 in May 2015, while engineering teachers earned an average of $95,060 for the same period, according to the BLS. Applicants with doctoral degrees should have the best prospects, with employment of all postsecondary teachers, including university professors, predicted to grow approximately 13% from 2014 to 2024.

It is required or preferred that school superintendents and directors of student services have a doctor of education degree, and university professors may also find employment with this credential. The job growth in these fields remains steady. The salaries range widely by position, but these doctoral graduates can generally expect to earn between $70,000 and $90,000 per year.

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