Educators play an important role in preparing future generations to join the workforce; however, data from the Economic Policy Institute shows that the teacher shortage isn’t only real, but growing.
Consequently, students interested in helping address the shortage of experienced, credentialed educators are likely to find that completing an advanced education, such as a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree, can prepare them with the practice-based education to develop classroom strategies and pursue advanced master’s in teaching jobs.
What Is an MAT Degree?
An MAT degree is designed to prepare existing and aspiring teachers with the skills they’ll need to take a multidisciplinary approach to teaching. MAT coursework leverages advancements in teaching methodologies, social-emotional interventions, and neurodevelopment. An MAT can equip graduates to offer their students a research-informed, cutting-edge approach to teaching.
Although the exact curriculum of an MAT program can vary from school to school, common courses may include the following:
- Theories of Educational Psychology and Human Development
- Effective Teaching for Diverse Students
- Teaching Literacy in Elementary School
- Foundations of Education
- Foundations of Special Education
- Teaching Literacy in Elementary School
- Children’s Literature
- Student Teaching Seminar in Professional Practice
Benefits of Earning an MAT Degree
Educators often find that numerous benefits are associated with completing a MAT degree, such as:
- Increased earning potential
- Advanced career opportunities not afforded to bachelor’s degree holders
- Additional specialized teaching skills
- Increased job security: According to 2021 data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), whereas the overall unemployment rate for professionals with a bachelor’s degree was 3.5 percent, the unemployment rate for professionals with a master’s degree was 2.6 percent.
Possible Master’s in Teaching Jobs
MAT programs are designed to prepare current and aspiring educators to pursue various career paths. Common master’s in teaching job options include the following:
Elementary School Teacher
Elementary school teachers typically work with students in grades 1 to 5. They instruct their students in various basic subjects, such as social studies, math, and reading, to prepare them for more advanced topics taught in middle school. Other typical duties include the following:
- Preparing lesson plans
- Grading assignments
- Developing classroom rules, such as listening when others are talking
- Communicating with students’ parents or guardians about their progress
BLS data notes that the median annual wage for elementary school teachers was $61,400 as of May 2021.
Middle School Teacher
Middle school teachers typically work with students in grades 6 to 8. They help students expand their knowledge of topics taught in elementary school. The middle school curriculum is designed to prepare students for coursework taught in grades 9 to 12. Other typical duties for middle school teachers may include the following:
- Grading student exams
- Creating lesson plans
- Preparing students for standardized tests
- Communicating with parents and other teachers about student progress
BLS data notes that the median annual wage for elementary school teachers was $61,320 as of May 2021.
English as a Second Language Teacher
English as a second language (ESL) teachers instruct students whose first language isn’t English in the English language. These teachers can work with students individually, in groups, or in classrooms in elementary, middle, and high schools. Typical job duties may include the following:
- Creating lesson plans that apply ESL teaching methodologies
- Employing instructional strategies to motivate students to speak English
- Monitoring student performance
- Motivating students by creating an enjoyable classroom environment
Payscale reports that the average annual base salary for ESL teachers was $47,000 as of July 2022. However, salaries vary depending on experience, certifications, and geographic location.
Instructional coordinators oversee teaching standards and curriculums at the school and district levels. Additionally, many instructional coordinators work with school leadership, such as the school principal, and teachers, to develop educational materials. Other typical duties may include the following:
- Implementing newly developed curricula
- Monitoring and analyzing student performance
- Mentoring and coaching teachers
- Recommending new or different technologies and/or teaching techniques
BLS data notes that the median annual wage for instructional coordinators was $63,740 as of May 2021.
Educational consultants are professionals, often with teaching experience, who advise individuals and institutions on educational matters. They may help students and their families through the college application process, or help organizations develop educational training programs. Other typical job duties may include the following:
- Helping students develop realistic academic and career goals
- Recommending educational programs or products
- Advising on short- and long-term educational strategies
- Working with businesses and organizations to improve professional development initiatives
Payscale reports that the average annual base salary for educational consultants was $63,000 as of June 2022.
Earn Your MAT and Pursue Advanced Roles in Education
Educators interested in pursuing these master’s in teaching jobs and other career advancement opportunities are likely to find that earning an advanced education can prepare them with the in-demand knowledge and skills needed to step into higher-level, specialized positions.
Are you ready to enroll in a graduate program designed to provide you with the credentials and hands-on experience needed to improve your pedagogical skills? Discover how the Online MAT from American University can prepare you to become an education leader.