Top 3 Career Options with a PhD in Education

Obtaining a PhD in Education offers a wealth of opportunities and career options, from advanced research to high-level leadership and authority. What can you do with a PhD in Education? It depends on your interests and your goals. You have a variety of options that range from traditional work in a school to leadership roles in a corporate environment. By clarifying the top careers with a doctorate in education credentials, you have the opportunity to decide on a career path for your long-term goals, and take full advantage of the salary potential that comes along with an advanced degree.

Elementary, Middle, or Secondary School Principal

The obvious career path for a PhD in Education is the role of a principal. The principal of a school is a leader within the building. You can work at the elementary, middle or high school level, so you have a chance to work with students in all age groups. In some cases, you may work in a school that combines all levels of education and you take on more responsibilities.

A principal handles the operations of the school. That means you decide on the teachers you want to hire for your students. You also handle disciplinary actions when students act out and engage in inappropriate behaviors. Principals set the foundation for the education of students by developing goals and plans to help students become successful. The Doctorate in Education salary for principals is around $92,500 on average, though exact salary compensation may vary based on your location.

Superintendent of a School District

When you’re deciding what can you do with a PhD in Education, you will want to look into the possibility of a higher leadership role; careers with doctorate in education experience climb high on the ladder. A superintendent of a school district is a leader who has the skills to handle the needs of the entire district. You manage and lead the principals in your school district to ensure that schools are following a set of standards for student education. You also work closely with the local school board to develop policies and programs designed to help with student success.

Superintendents also handle the management of district finances. You decide where to focus the resources to ensure that the entire district has appropriate funding for the needs of the students. When you look at the Doctorate in Education salary for a superintendent, you can expect roughly $119,000 per year on average. Specific salary details will vary based on your state and district.

Chief Learning Officer

Careers with Doctorate in Education credentials do not necessarily mean you must take on a role in a school. The higher education also gives you corporate opportunities and career options. A corporation may higher a professional with a Doctorate in Education as a Chief Learning Officer, or CLO. A Chief Learning Officer is the professional who focuses on the education and training employees in a company need to advance in their career or improve the growth of the company.

The goal of a CLO is retaining the top talent and improving the talent of company employees with better training programs, coaching programs and mentorship programs. The salary associated with the senior level corporate position is around $147,000 per year, though you may see a wide range of variation between companies and locations.

What can you do with a PhD in Education? You can work in a corporate job or you can focus on the education of future generations (such as in special education). You can work in a school, focus on the growth of a district or even develop training programs for a large company. The options depend on your interests and you have a variety of career opportunities available with your degree.