8 Careers You Can Land with a Doctorate in Education

Doctorate in Education

Every academic institute requires the expertise and skillset of capable individuals to spearhead projects, leverage new teaching methodologies, and manage routine affairs and activities. And that is where holders of Ed.D. (doctorate of education) come into play. Whether they work as professors, deans, or superintendents, they perform several roles and responsibilities crucial to the success of the institution. So, if you are striving to land a lucrative and satisfying career with a doctorate in education, know that the list is vast.

You typically need to finish a dissertation and qualitative research to earn an Ed.D. Of course, some people argue that an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. in education are comparable degrees. But all distinctions are merely generalizations. Many Ph.D. holders go on to work as school administrators, whereas Ed.D. holders strictly work as professors, educators, superintendents, and other higher roles.

With that said, here are a few careers you can pursue with a doctorate in education.

1.    Professor

Aspirants willing to work as college professors mostly earn a Ph.D. However, some also pursue an Ed.D. and work as instructors in universities and colleges. A professor mentors and guides other teachers and administrators in addition to assisting students in their academic and career pursuits.

Some people with an Ed.D. start out as full or part-time teachers before transitioning into administration. At the same time, others continue to work as academics, doing research-based studies and raising the standard of education. According to PayScale, a professor typically makes around $88,158 a year.

2.    Academic Dean

One of the most impressive jobs with a doctorate in education is that of an academic dean. While most Ed.D. holders prefer working in the public school system, others venture outside and go on to lead various educational institutions. And this is where an academic dean comes into play. They are in charge of overseeing budgets, obtaining funding, and giving academic members directives. They communicate with the college and the relevant administration as well.

Candidates must go through a challenging search and selection procedure to be hired as academic deans. After earning their doctorate in education, faculty members must submit a proper application for such a position. Successful academic deans can also advance their careers to become university presidents or provosts. According to PayScale, the typical compensation for an academic dean is about $93,650 annually.

3.    Community College President

Managing the college’s campus and faculty while implementing curriculum improvements in collaboration with other statewide organizations is the sole responsibility of a community college president. They advocate for their colleges both off and on campus, securing accreditation with the necessary organizations. They are also tasked with managing and hiring new employees, budgeting, and overlooking public relations. The responsibilities of a community college president are always demanding.

According to Zip recruiter, a community college president can expect to make around $78,741 yearly. However, the top 90th percentile can bring in up to $205,000 annually.

4.    Superintendent

A superintendent or an associate superintendent often leads a school district. They make crucial decisions that impact the operations of a school system while also supervising administrators and principals who work in district offices. While interacting with superintendents from other sections and participating in meetings, conferences, and community activities, they are tasked with carrying out collaborative efforts that benefit all stakeholders.

A superintendent’s pay is comparable to that of a CEO compared to other educational-based positions. According to Salary.com, superintendents can typically earn $170,945 per year, higher than any other position in the school system. Additionally, such a position comes with enticing perks and a well-rounded pension plan.

5.    Chief Learning Officer

Every educational institution and organization has a different workforce, set of objectives, and available resources. The chief learning officer’s job is to create strategies that guide the goals and policies of a school. They distribute knowledge resources and leverage education technology, performing duties akin to those of a development and training manager.

The average yearly pay for a chief learning officer is roughly $210,300, according to Salary.com.

6.    Education Administrator

One of the best career opportunities you can pursue after earning an Ed.D. is working as an education administrator. Candidates for this post manage everyday activities at higher academic institutes, just like a principal. Budgeting, event planning, curriculum implementation, staff evaluation, public relations, and many more tasks are included. The position focuses on developing a vision for the institute and putting that vision into action.

Each university has a different wage scale for education administrators with an Ed.D. As per PayScale, the average annual income for a secondary or elementary school education administrator is roughly $67,631. However, per the BLS, education administrators can make a mean salary of $94,730 annually.

7.    College/School Principal

Principals control every aspect of a school’s or college’s daily operations, even though most students view them as chief disciplinarians. A school or college principal contributes to improving student outcomes and educational quality in numerous ways, ranging from overseeing the budget to evaluating the teachers to everything in between.

If you hold a Ph.D. or a doctorate in education, you can lead a school or a college. Depending on the candidate’s expertise, the average yearly salary of a school or college principal ranges from 81,000 to 89,000 dollars. Per the BLS, a school principal’s median annual pay is roughly $98,420.

8.    Training and Development Manager

Individuals serving in any sector are required to improve their knowledge base throughout their careers. A training and development manager assesses an organization’s current and future workforce training needs. With videos, web content, instruction manuals, and other educational training tools, they develop new training programs or update already-existing ones. Training and development managers may also directly supervise personnel training.

A training and development manager makes $85,023 a year per Zip recruiter. The median salary for a manager of training and development is $120,130 per year, according to the BLS.


Today, every sector and industry is witnessing unprecedented changes – positive or negative. In the academic sphere, new domains and subfields are emerging due to rising educational demands and reforms. For those holding a doctorate in education, landing lucrative careers with high growth prospects has become relatively easier than a decade ago. Given the vast list of careers, Ed.D. holders can choose from administrative roles to leadership or even work in other organizations.

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About the Author: John Watson

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