Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs in elementary education prepare individuals to teach specific subjects and manage a classroom at the elementary school level. Some schools offer different tracks according to student experience levels or interests. For example, individuals interested in research or earning a doctorate present a thesis, while those interested in teaching may take a comprehensive exam and complete a supervised practicum.
Some of these programs are designed for licensed teachers, while others prepare aspiring teachers for the teaching certification process. Applicants must have earned an undergraduate degree, often in education or in the subject area they wish to teach. Other possible requirements include teaching experience, a valid teaching certificate, and GRE or Miller Analogies Exam (MAE) scores. Programs typically require one to two years of full-time study to complete.
Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Elementary Education
M.Ed. programs contain theoretical curricula that help teachers develop an effective learning environment for students with different learning abilities. These programs also include practical coursework in how to teach specific subjects such as math and reading. Examples of courses found in the program include:
- Human relations
- Psychology of learning
- Students with disabilities
- Learning theory
- Technology for teaching
- Teaching English language learners
Popular Career Options
With a master's degree in elementary education, professionals are ready for teaching or leadership positions. Possible career options include:
- Elementary school teacher
- Elementary education specialist
- Elementary education administrator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Elementary school teachers are expected to have a 3% employment growth rate from 2018 through 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) (www.bls.gov). Their median annual salary in May 2018 was $58,230. The BLS expects elementary, middle and high school principals to have 4% job growth during the years 2018 to 2028, about as fast as average compared to other occupations. The median annual pay for education administrators of elementary and secondary schools was $95,310 in May 2018.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Individuals who weren't licensed as teachers prior to entering an M.Ed. program will need to meet state licensing requirements to teach. Licensing standards vary by state but may include background checks and competency exams. Individuals seeking positions in administration may need to meet different licensing standards.
While certifications typically aren't required, they help with career advancement. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards offers board certification in general education and specific subjects. Additional certifications for teachers and administrators are offered by other professional organizations. Individuals interested in progressing beyond the master's level can enter Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Education programs with elementary education specialization options. These programs prepare education professionals for administrative positions or post-secondary education positions.
Through M.Ed. programs in elementary education, students gain the educational expertise they need for success as elementary school teachers or administrators. After graduation, students can also pursue certifications or doctoral programs to gain entry into more advanced career options.