Education is an ever-adapting field. As contexts and guidelines change, education adapts in many ways. With an increasing emphasis on specific aspects of education delivery, consultants can help improve methods and materials. They can also support students with a variety of individual educational needs.
What educational consultants do supports both students and their institutions. From analyzing and advising on curricula to helping individuals with their college application process, educational consultants help improve educational outcomes. By enrolling in an advanced education degree such as an Online Master of Education in Education Policy Leadership and an Online Master of Arts in Teaching, aspiring educational consultants can hone the professional skills they’ll need to be competitive in this critical role.
What Is an Educational Consultant?
Educational consultants work with students, parents, and schools to improve educational experiences, facilities, and outcomes. This may involve creating new policies and procedures to streamline the financial aid or admissions processes or counseling students about educational and career goals.
Educational consultants may also help students and their parents through the college application and planning process. This could begin by evaluating the student— analyzing their strengths and weaknesses—and then identifying colleges that would be a strong fit for the student’s interests and needs. Later in the process, they advise on the application and financial aid procedures.
In addition to working with students and families, educational consultants provide direct feedback to educators. Because of this, having relevant training and experience in education is essential for success in the role.
Educational Consultant Job Description: Key Tasks and Responsibilities
Educational consultants advise their clients on a variety of educational needs and services. This could mean reviewing new educational tools or working closely with parents to ensure that they know how to support their students as they apply to and plan for college. Educational consultants’ responsibilities include the following:
- Conducting aptitude tests and interviews to find students’ strengths
- Helping students develop key skills, like time management and study habits
- Outlining plans for academic and career goals
- Advising on educational materials and staffing
- Analyzing teacher performance, curricula, and other educational data to ensure they meet the correct goals
- Collaborating with parents and teachers to aid in students’ success
- Coaching educators on ways to improve their teaching skills
Educational Consultant Career Paths and Specializations
To become an educational consultant, an individual needs the right education, experience, and certification. After that, they’ll need to decide which professional career path to take and whether they want to pursue any specializations. The options range from working at schools or institutions to working independently.
After completing the required education and gaining some relevant work experience, educational consultants are ready to begin their careers. Settings vary. They can seek to work independently or with a college or university. While these settings differ, the educational consultant’s tasks and responsibilities remain the same.
Independent Educational Consultant
If educational consultants choose to work independently, they must be certified to prove their competency and value. Independent educational consultants usually work with individual clients on college admissions, or they may advise special education students or student athletes. They usually work under the Independent Educational Consultant Association (IECA) and are HECA members.
School and Institution Educational Consultant
Because of the wide range of what educational consultants do, schools and educational institutions often enlist them to evaluate student performance, review educational materials, and advise on ways to improve their environment and quality of teaching. They may also hire educational consultants to fix specific problems within the school or institution. Educational consultants may also train faculty members.
Educational consultants who specialize in particular areas can offer targeted support and insight to students and institutions. Educational consulting specialties include the following:
- Audio/visual education
- English and mathematics
- Curriculum design
- Financial aid consultation
Educational Consultant Salary
Educational consultants had a median annual wage of $63,214 as of May 2022, according to Payscale. Those in the lowest 10th percentile earned less than $44,000, and those in the top 10th percentile earned more than $89,000. These figures can vary depending on the experience level and the type of organization you work for, among other factors.
Educational Consultant Job Outlook
This field of instructional coordinators, including educational consultants, is expected to grow by 10 percent from 2020 to 2030, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—a rate that’s slightly faster than the average for all professions. To take advantage of job opportunities, having the right educational background is a must.
Steps to Becoming an Educational Consultant
The educational consultant career trajectory is comprised of a few important steps. These include earning an education and gaining work experience in education.
Education and Experience Requirements
To begin an educational consultant career, an individual first needs to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in an educational field, such as a Master of Arts in Teaching or a Master of Education in Educational Policy and Leadership.
Next, it’s crucial to have adequate professional experience to gain the necessary skills and knowledge of what educational consultants do. Some ways to gain experience include volunteering at local high school counseling offices or at nonprofits dedicated to helping students plan for college.
Additionally, those who want to be independent educational consultants should consider joining a professional organization like the IECA, which can offer educational consultants networking opportunities and training.
To be competitive in the field, an educational consultant would do well to consider becoming a certified educational planner (CEP). This certification, for which a master’s degree in school counseling or a related field is a prerequisite, is a mark of distinction that recognizes an educational consultant’s in-depth knowledge and commitment to the profession, according to the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP).
To become a CEP, educational consultants need to submit an application highlighting their experience, education, and professional commitment and demonstrating their high ethical standards. Next, they need to pass an exam.
Further Your Career at American University
American University’s Online Master of Education in Education Policy Leadership and Online Master of Arts in Teaching programs can help individuals earn advanced knowledge to improve educational landscapes. With courses that focus on educational theory and promoting educational equity in current contexts, they can arm students with the wisdom and skills they need to make a difference. Become an education professional and create change in education at American University.