Are you an elementary school teacher looking to broaden your network, open more doors, and earn a bigger salary?
If so, you are in good company, with forty-eight percent of elementary and middle school teachers holding master’s degrees, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A popular degree option for individuals looking to level up their classroom management skills and boost their individual education career is a Master’s in Elementary Education.
Let’s explore this degree and what candidates can expect from an Elementary Education program to determine if a Master’s in Elementary Education is the right decision.
What is a Master’s in Elementary Education (MS) Degree?
An Elementary Education Master’s degree focuses on elementary teaching subjects like social studies, math, science, and reading to prepare candidates for a career working as an elementary school teacher.
While every program will vary depending on the institution, students can expect to fulfill the following course requirements:
- Nine credit hours in foundations of education, including differentiated instruction, educational psychology, and special education courses
- Twenty-four hours of professional education requirements in content subject areas, curriculum and methods of teaching, statutory state requirements, and field experiences
- Sixty to seventy-day residency teaching experience under the direction of a trained cooperating teacher selected through the School of Education and supervised by the program’s staff.
Some programs offer students a tuition-paid internship that provides them with in-person, practical experience to become experts in their field.
Lastly, upon graduating with a Master’s in Elementary Education degree, you will also have completed the Praxis II exam for elementary school teachers, which is an additional graduation requirement.
Check out our downloadable “How to Become a Teacher in CT” guide to discover how UB can set you up for success in the classroom!
Three Benefits of a Master’s in Elementary Education Degree
While every state’s teaching requirements will vary, all Connecticut teachers must eventually earn their Master’s degree. Even without this requirement, pursuing an advanced degree is a no-brainer for many teachers as it further develops their skills and expands their opportunities.
1. Increased Salary Potential
One of the biggest reasons elementary school teachers earn their Master’s degrees is the increased salary potential.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), workers with Master’s degrees earn a median weekly earnings of $1,661 over workers with only their Bachelor’s degrees who earn a median usual weekly $1,432. Furthermore, the median annual wage for elementary school teachers is $61,400, with the highest ten percent earning more than $99,420.
Interested candidates should also check to see if their school district offers tuition reimbursement and paid professional development leave or if determine if they qualify for Teacher Loan Forgiveness. These options provide even more incentive for teachers looking at a Master’s degree.
2. Improved Teaching Skills
The more training and knowledge you gain, the better equipped you will be to handle any challenging situation you may encounter in the classroom.
Students can expect to expand their skills and learn how to:
- Plan lessons and units according to State and National guidelines
- Demonstrate a thorough background in concepts of reading and the ability to teach and evaluate student performance in reading
- Exhibit high-leverage teaching practices
- Differentiate curriculum for various special needs students
3. Attractivity and Job Mobility
Skilled and qualified teachers are needed now more than ever before. What better way to set yourself apart from other job applicants than with an advanced degree that proves your dedication to providing your students with high-quality education?
Additionally, a Master’s in Elementary Education opens candidates up to various positions outside the classroom, such as that of a school administrator.
School administrators and principals oversee all school operations, from curriculum to managing the student population, and as such, must have the knowledge and skills necessary to tackle a wide range of classroom and administrative demands.
Plus, with an employment growth rate of five percent by 2031, resulting in about 23,500 job openings each year, it’s no surprise that many teachers use their Master’s degree in Elementary Education to pursue a career in school administration.
Is a Master’s in Elementary Education the Right Decision?
The answer to this question will largely depend on your interests and goals and, of course, be dependent on the licensing, certification, and teaching requirements of your state and school district.
That said, if you are an elementary school teacher looking to take the next step in your educational career with more skills and knowledge, a higher salary, and expanding your career options, earning a Master’s in Elementary Education is well worth the time, money, and energy involved.
Start your journey toward making an even more significant difference in the lives of your students and school by earning a Master’s in Elementary Education at University of Bridgeport.
We make applying as straightforward as possible through your free TEACH Connecticut account, which includes the following:
- Interactive application checklist
- $100 fee reimbursements toward application and testing expenses
- 1-on-1 expert advice and guidance
- How-to Guides for eligibility, applications, testing, and finances
Let’s crush your career goals together!