The Connection Between a Graduate Degree and Salary
In public P–12 education and post-secondary settings, salary schedules and employee benefits are often negotiated at the district or state level with teachers' unions or other organizations that represent educators or educational administrators.Salary schedules may be organized into "steps" and "lanes," with the steps representing years of related experience and lanes representing the level of education achieved.
Each state has a different way of determining salaries. More states are beginning to link levels of education, or "lanes," to licensure. In other words, not just any graduate degree will result in a salary increase, only those that lead to a new area of license or are related to a current license held. Be sure to carefully review your state's requirements before enrolling in a degree program for the purposes of salary advancement.
Some educators who are new to the field may not have a sense on salaries for different positions. If you want to learn more about typical salaries for different positions, here are some strategies for researching educators' salaries in your area:
- Talk with people who work in the field of education, or for the school or educational institution at which you're applying
- Check your state's department of education website for information on salary schedules and benefits
- Research salaries using websites like:
Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, certification, or endorsement. State regulations vary regarding professional licensure and salary benefits. It is learners' responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their state.