How A Master’s of Education Elevates A Teaching Career in New England
New England is widely considered one of the best places in the country to be a teacher. With the region’s focus on education, as well as higher salaries than the national average in many locations, it’s an area worth consideration for those in the teaching profession.
Earning a master’s degree can propel teaching careers in New England even higher. In some states, it’s a prerequisite for staying in the profession long-term. And even where it’s not, earning a Master of Education degree can lead to more job security and higher pay.
Teaching in New Hampshire
New Hampshire offers a good example of the benefits of a master’s degree in education.
In The Granite State, teachers typically are required to earn a bachelor’s degree and a complete a state-approved teacher preparation program (often included as part of the bachelor’s degree program).
However, one of the alternative pathways into teaching is called Alternative 5. In this case, those who have earned a master’s degree in education – especially those who have specialized in a specific area – may get hired as teachers. They then must complete an Individualized Professional Development Plan and be recommended for certification by the school district superintendent.
Even for those who follow the traditional path, a master’s degree can make a difference. Teachers in New Hampshire earn about $4,170 more per year than those without a graduate degree, according to Teach.com.
Salaries for Teachers in New England
To offer an idea of pay and job growth for teachers in New England, the following looks at both for high school teachers.
All job projections and salary numbers come from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Projections Central, a BLS-sponsored site that offers statistics on job growth in each state. The salary numbers are from May 2017, the latest available.
There are already more than one million high school teachers in the United States. Federal projection call for that to grow 8% by 2026. The median annual salary nationwide for high school teachers is $59,170.
In New England, mean annual salaries are as follows, according to the BLS.
- Connecticut – $78,810
- Maine – $52,940
- Massachusetts – $76,170
- New Hampshire. $60,070
- Rhode Island – $67,620
- Vermont – $61,590
The number of high school teachers also are expected to increase in parts of New England, including New Hampshire (2.1%), Rhode Island (2.7%) and Massachusetts (11.2%).
What You Learn in a Master’s in Education Program
For the most part, states in New England tend to have more rigorous standards for teacher certification. That’s why New England College designed its Master of Education program to adhere to the standards set by the New Hampshire State Certification Standards and the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Standards.
That includes a curriculum that is data-driven, site-based and linked to the classroom.
As with most professions, earning a master’s degree opens the door to the top jobs in the profession. In teaching, this can mean specializing in a specific area of education, curriculum design and moving into an administrative role.
Specializing is increasingly a popular option as strategies in education move into more complex delivery system in many parts of the country, including New England. Degree programs have responded to this change.
For example, the NEC Master in Education program offers specializations in:
- Alternative Education
- Curriculum and Instruction
- Digital and Media Literacy
- Educational Leadership
- Educational Leadership: Principal Certification
- Literacy: Math
- Literacy: Reading and Language Arts
- School Climate Leadership
- Special Education
- School Principal (or CAGS)
For teachers, New England offers many chances to work in excellent schools with competitive pay. Earning a master’s degree in education prepares educators for the best jobs in the profession.