26 Careers in Education Policy (With Salary Information)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 6, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you want to or are currently earning a degree in education policy, you may wonder what type of jobs you can get after you graduate. Having credentials or experience in education policy may allow you to pursue jobs that make a positive difference in the lives of students, teachers and other education professionals. Knowing more about the diverse employment opportunities in and related to education policy may help you determine the best career for your unique interests, abilities and experiences.

In this article, we discuss the principal responsibilities and national average salaries of 26 careers in education policy.

12 careers in education policy

Following are 12 careers in education policy that you may want to pursue. It's important to remember that some of these jobs may have different requirements related to the field of education policy. For example, while some employers of these roles may prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree in education policy or a related field, other companies that have these positions might request that candidates have a master's degree or higher. For some of these roles, it may also be helpful to have experience in entry-level positions first before advancing your career to a more complex position in education policy.

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, please visit indeed.com/salaries:

1. Adult education teacher

National average salary: $31,475 per year

Primary duties: An adult education teacher instructs students who are adults in fundamental skills, such as reading comprehension and basic mathematics. Adult education teachers often help their students receive equivalent credentials to high school diplomas, like GEDs. Some might also teach English as a second language (ESL) courses. Adult education instructors can work for a range of employers, including public school districts, libraries, education centers and community colleges.

An adult education teacher often helps students with diverse backgrounds and educational experiences, such as those who struggled in traditional academic settings, have learning disabilities or learned English as an adult. Specific responsibilities can include developing course curricula, leading classroom discussions, teaching students professional skills and grading tests or essays.

Related: The Conflict Theory of Education and How It Works

2. Academic advisor

National average salary: $42,420 per year

Primary duties: An academic advisor helps students make plans or decisions related to their academic or professional future. Academic advisors talk to students about topics such as their academic and personal interests, career goals and skills. An academic advisor can then help students pursue the academic programs or careers they're best suited for, such as by recommending courses to take or abilities to develop. An academic advisor may also assist students with academic or professional challenges, like test anxiety or uncertainty about what type of job they want to get after graduation.

Academic advisors typically work at either a high school or an institution of higher learning, like a community college or university. Additional responsibilities may include using aptitude tests to evaluate a student's abilities, calculating how many credits students need to graduate, helping students register for courses and recommending resources such as networking events or mentorship programs.

Related: How To Become an Academic Advisor

3. Admissions advisor

National average salary: $45,855 per year

Primary duties: An admissions advisor helps prospective students learn more about the academic institution they work for and navigate the admissions or enrollment process. Admissions advisors usually work for a community college, university or graduate school. Their primary goal is typically to recruit students to the school they work at by explaining the school's benefits, admissions process, specific programs and other relevant information.

Many admissions advisors divide their time between working in an office environment on campus and traveling to various high schools, college fairs or recruitment events. Other job duties of admissions advisors might include hosting campus tours, providing information about financial aid options, conducting interviews with prospective students and connecting students with others at their academic institution, like current students or professors.

Related: How To Become Admissions Adviser (With Salary and Tips)

4. School counselor

National average salary: $54,253 per year

Primary duties: A school counselor offices advice to students about their academics, social skills and personal challenges. Depending on the student's needs, school counselors can help students strengthen abilities related to their academics and social lives. For example, while a school counselor might support some children in building social skills to make new friends, a school counselor might focus on helping other students succeed academically.

Many school counselors also provide support related to mental health issues, such as by giving presentations about bullying or inviting a guest speaker to talk about peer pressure. Most school counselors work at elementary, middle or high schools, but some may find employment elsewhere, like community colleges or vocational schools.

Read more: Learn About Being a School Counselor

5. Dean of students

National average salary: $63,734 per year

Primary duties: A dean of students is a high-ranking administrative position at a community college, vocational school, university or graduate program. Also called a vice Chancellor for students or vice provost of student life, a dean of students focuses on helping current students at their academic institution succeed. This may involve deans of students helping with diverse initiatives and departments at their institution, including financial aid, health services, extracurriculars, on-campus housing and personal challenges.

A dean of students can help make sure that these departments offer students the services they need and that students can easily access these resources. Specific responsibilities may include developing and implementing policies, promoting projects that foster campus safety, investigating potential student misconduct and collaborating with other advanced administrative professionals.

Related: How To Become a School Administrator in 4 Steps

6. Instructional coordinator

National average salary: $63,740 per year

Primary duties: An Instructional coordinator develops, evaluates, researches and proposes changes to curriculum standards. Instructional coordinators analyze how effective existing curriculum standards are, such as by assessing student test results or observing teachers in their classrooms. Based on their research, they can recommend changes to these curricula or teaching standards.

Most instructional coordinators work for a specific school, whether that's an elementary school or university. Some instructional coordinators can find employment opportunities instead at local or federal government agencies related to education. Additional responsibilities may include providing training opportunities to teachers, evaluating current textbooks, helping instructors incorporate technology into their curriculum and offering feedback to educators or school administrators.

7. International education specialist

National average salary: $68,338 per year

Primary duties: An international education specialist researches, develops and implements initiatives related to international education. Their responsibilities usually vary based on their employer and specific field. For example, an international education specialist at a large university focuses on creating and supervising programs that help international students choose their academic programs, get access to additional resources like language support workshops and integrate with the student body. By contrast, an international education specialist in the public sector may spend most of their time developing initiatives or recommending policies that can benefit first-generation college students or students who live in remote areas.

8. Education policy analyst

National average salary: $77,100 per year

Primary duties: An education policy analyst is a type of policy analyst who specializes in laws, government programs and regulations related to local or federal education. Policy analysts refer to professionals who research current, potential and historic regulations. Based on this research, they can develop proposals for new policies or recommend changes to existing regulations. An education policy analyst specializes in studying and creating policies related to topics like public school funding, teacher training programs, ethics of standardized tests and academic standards.

An education policy analyst usually works for a local or federal government agency related to education. Some education policy analysts may work for organizations in the private sector, such as academic publishing companies. An education policy analyst's job duties include evaluating data related to educational policies, using statistical methods to organize their research, presenting their findings to policymakers and performing cost-benefit analyses.

Related: How To Become Policy Analyst in 5 Steps (Plus Job Duties)

9. Principal

National average salary: $83,486 per year

Primary duties: A principal is the head administrator at an elementary, middle or high school. Principles oversee the crucial operations at their school, such as by developing curriculum standards, implementing policies, managing budgets and facilitating communications between staff members and parents of students.

A principal's job duties can vary based on factors like the size of their school and whether they teach at a private or public institution. For example, a principal at a small private school might supervise teacher development programs or interact directly with students, such as through counseling. By contrast, a principal at a larger public school may spend more time ensuring that all staff members adhere to local and federal curriculum standards.

Read more: Learn About Being a Principal

10. Superintendent

National average salary: $84,513 per year

Primary duties: A school superintendent is the leader of a school district. They oversee operations at all the elementary, middle and high schools within their school district. This may involve advocating for funding, ensuring that employees or students have access to resources, supervising staff training or hiring processes and monitoring the budget.

School superintendents regularly meet with school administrators, such as principals, to make sure that operations run smoothly and discuss any desired changes. They also collaborate with school board members to help develop or implement plans for specific schools or the entire district. Additional responsibilities may include inspecting schools for potential maintenance needs, making recommendations about changing a school's policies and managing communications with media representatives.

Related: How Much Does a School Superintendent Make? (Plus How To Become One)

11. Director of development (nonprofit)

National average salary: $132,353 per year

Primary duties: A director of development at an educational nonprofit oversees programs that help the organization they work for reach its goals. This may involve supporting fundraising initiatives, hiring or training staff, devising strategic plans and conducting community outreach.

Many directors of development at educational nonprofits help foster initiatives aimed at expanding resources for students in underserved communities, such as by offering academic mentorship programs or reducing academic achievement gaps. A director of development at an educational nonprofit may assess the needs of the communities they work with through tactics like analyzing graduation rates, observing teachers in their classrooms and meeting with education administrators like superintendents or principals. Based on their evaluations, these directors of development can then create or implement programs designed to improve educational outcomes in that community.

12. School board member

National average salary: $137,572 per year

Primary duties: A school board member is an elected official who oversees the public schools in their district. School board members typically work as part of a team with other school board members. The size of the school board can vary based on factors like the district's size and funding. School board members establish the overall vision and goals for the schools in their District. a school board member strives to ensure that these goals reflect their community's needs.

School board members also establish regulations for schools in their district that comply with all relevant local or federal policies. Additional responsibilities include hiring and evaluating the superintendent, developing the school district budget, advocating for the needs of students in their district and evaluating data related to student achievement.

Related: Should I Get a Doctorate In Education? (Plus Career Options)

14 more careers in education policy

Following are 14 additional careers in and related to education policy. For the most up-to-date salaries from indeed, please visit indeed.com/salaries:

  1. Education improvement specialist

  2. Director of education

  3. Foreign service education officer

  4. Professor

  5. Textbook editor

  6. Student coordinator

  7. Standardized test developer

  8. Operations research analyst

  9. Provost

  10. Textbook author

  11. Education researcher

  12. Educational theorist

  13. School administrator

  14. Director of recruiting

Explore more articles