Obtaining your Doctor of Education (EdD) degree is a smart choice for career earning power and job growth. Doctorate in education salary levels are impressive, with some postsecondary teaching specialties touting annual salaries of over $100,000. Expected job growth in EdD careers is equally appealing, with some sectors of postsecondary teaching expected to increase 24% from now until 2031. Read on to learn more about salary levels and job growth for EdD graduates and how EdD specialty areas factor into the equation.
About the Data for Our Doctorate in Education Salary and Career Outlook
The data in this article comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a U.S. government agency that measures labor market activity, working conditions, salary changes and productivity in the U.S. economy to support public and private decision making. The BLS is widely accepted as the authoritative source for projected salary and job growth data.
Salary figures include compensation such as annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips and bonuses, but do not include additional benefits, such as health insurance, retirement plans and other benefit packages.
For comparative purposes, the BLS reports that the annual median salary for all jobs in the U.S. in 2021 was $45,760. The BLS also states that overall, jobs are projected to grow by 5% (adding 8.3 million jobs) from now until 2031.
Salary and Career Outlook for EdD Careers Overall
Most EdD graduates teach above the high school level at public and private colleges and universities, professional schools and junior or community colleges. Many elevate their EdD careers by becoming administrators and leaders in postsecondary institutions.
The BLS reports that the median salary for postsecondary teachers in 2021 was $79,640, with job growth projected to increase by 12% from now until 2031—much faster than the national average job growth rate of 5%.
Administrators and leaders in postsecondary institutions can expect even better compensation and job growth prospects. The BLS reports that the 2021 median pay for postsecondary education administrators was $96,910—with job growth projected to increase by 7%.
EdD Degree Specializations: Career and Salary Outlook
Doctorate in education salary and career outlook figures can be affected by a number of factors, including institutional pay scales, geographic region and supply and demand for EdD career staff members in a particular area of employment or specialty.
Many EdD programs offer students the opportunity to supplement their education by selecting a specialty area. These students complete additional coursework in their chosen specialty area to increase their knowledge and skill in that particular area.
Let’s drill down to see how salary and job growth expectations are affected by specializing and working in some popular specialty areas.
Executive Leadership Specialization
An prepares Doctor of Education graduates for an EdD career in a variety of executive leadership roles in healthcare and interprofessional education. Career pathways for EdD graduates with a specialization in executive leadership include:
- Academic dean
- Academic program chair
- University provost, president or chancellor
- Health education director
- Director of corporate development
- Human resources administrator
- Head of training department within a health system
The BLS reports that the median salary for medical and health services managers in 2021 was $101,340. Job growth for these positions is projected to increase by 28%—much faster than the national average. The median salary for postsecondary education administrators is $96,910, with job growth of 7% projected.
Nurse Educator Specialization
As the national shortage of nurses—particularly RNs—continues, the need to fill nursing education jobs is strong. Nursing schools report having to turn away prospective nursing students, in part, due to a lack of nursing teaching faculty. According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges of Nursing in October 2022, a total of 2,166 full-time faculty vacancies were identified in baccalaureate and/or graduate programs across the country. The data show a national nurse faculty vacancy rate of 8.8%. Most of the vacancies (84.9%) were faculty positions requiring or preferring a doctoral degree.
Many EdD graduates—especially those with a nursing education specialization—hold nursing education jobs such as:
- Adjunct professor/professor
- Assistant professor
- Academic leader
- Nursing instructor in higher education
- Nursing instructor in a clinical or hospital setting
According to the BLS, the average nursing education salary for postsecondary nurse educators varies by employer. The nursing education salary for nursing education jobs at junior colleges averaged $77,210 in 2022, while nursing education jobs at colleges, universities and professional schools averaged $85,900. Nursing education jobs in general medical and surgical hospitals averaged $95,600.
Overall, the job growth rate from now until 2031 for postsecondary nursing instructors and teachers is projected to be 22%—more than a fourfold increase over the national average for all jobs.
Athletic Training Specialization
College level educators for athletic training degree programs help prepare students not just for the licensing exam, but to transition into a career as an athletic trainer. Completing an athletic training specialization prepares graduates for an EdD career position such as:
- Adjunct professor/professor
- Assistant professor
- Academic leader in athletic training
- Clinical or organizational athletic training leader
- High level athletic training director or leader
According to the BLS, the growth rate for athletic training jobs is expected to increase 17% through 2031—much faster than the national average for all jobs. This will require higher education institutions to hire additional athletic training education instructors.
Looking at athletic training salary expectations, the BLS reports that the median salary for all postsecondary teachers was $79,640 in 2021, with a job grown rate of 12% (much faster than the national average) expected through 2031. Because Doctor of Education graduates with an athletic training specialization also become professors, academic leaders and obtain other high level athletic training jobs, it is fair to consider median salary figures for postsecondary health specialties teachers, $102,720, and postsecondary education administrators, $96,910.
Teaching and Learning Specialization
EdD graduates with a teaching and learning specialization have undergone additional education and training to develop the skills needed to teach in a traditional or online classroom, develop curricula and understand generational learning. These graduates typically follow an EdD career in teaching at public and private colleges and universities, professional schools and junior or community colleges.
The BLS reports that doctorate in education median salary figures for postsecondary health specialties teachers were $102,720 in 2021. A job growth rate of 24%—more than four times the national average—is projected.
Ready to Take the Next Step Toward Your EdD Career?
The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences’ specialized online Doctor of Education degree is the ideal way to earn your EdD degree around your busy schedule. Learn when and where you prefer as you join a diverse cohort and collaborate on interprofessional projects together. Through our online program, you can begin your EdD career and help fill a critical shortage of healthcare educators as you prepare for an academic, administrative or leadership role in a variety of healthcare industry and educational settings.
Learn more about the online EdD degree from USAHS, including our specializations in Executive Leadership, Nurse Educator, Athletic Training and Teaching and Learning.