How Much Can I Earn with an Online Teaching Degree?

teacher with online degree

A career in education is undoubtedly worthwhile, and provides ample opportunities to inspire a love of learning in students of all ages, from children setting foot in a classroom for the first time to working adults retraining for a new vocation. And if you've earned an online teaching degree or another degree in the field of education, you'll reap the financial rewards as well.

Although teaching isn't necessarily thought of as a high-paying career—in fact, most people assume the opposite is true—the truth is, many factors affect one's pay in the education sector. Overall, when benefits and work schedules are factored in, the compensation for being an educator is rather attractive.

However, salaries vary widely according to a number of factors, including your career within the education industry, geographic location and years of experience. All of those variables aside, an online teaching degree or other academic study in the field of education is a major plus—and usually a prerequisite—when it comes to finding an ideal career and optimizing your salary.

Salaries for Teachers

Salaries in the education field vary widely depending on what career path you choose. Broadly speaking, occupations in postsecondary teaching and education administration offer the highest average salaries; such jobs often also require advanced training such as a master's or doctoral degree.

College- and university-level professors usually have an advanced degree in the subject they teach. Administrators such as school principals often hold a specialized master's or doctorate in education administration. An in-person or online teaching degree can help make a wider array of jobs accessible to you, and improve your salary prospects. Consider this: a high school principal with a degree in education administration can earn twice as much as a high school teacher.

Education Salaries by Job Type

Careers in Education and TeachingMedian Annual Salary*
Preschool Teacher $28,120
Elementary School Teacher $53,760
High School Teacher $56,310
Postsecondary Teacher $70,790
Career and Technical Education Teacher $51,830
School Principal $89,540

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook; Kindergarten and Elementary School TeachersPreschool TeachersSecondary School TeachersPostsecondary TeachersCareer and Technical Education Teachers; Elementary, Middle and High School Principals.

*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.