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EdD and PhD in Education Jobs and Career Paths

Drexel University School of Education

Though the EdD and PhD in Education are similar in form, they’re fundamentally different in function. Both degrees allow you to develop your abilities as an educator and to pursue a wide range of career opportunities with high earning potential. However, with a different emphasis in curriculum, the EdD and PhD, differ significantly in the range of career paths that graduates are ready to pursue.

Interested in learning more about career opportunities and jobs in education? Request more information about the Drexel School of Education’s educational programs.

Doctor in Education (EdD) Career Opportunities & Salaries

What can you do with a doctorate in education? EdD programs tend to focus on learning about the management of large and complex organizations. This curriculum prepares EdD graduates to take on a wide range of administrative positions inside and outside of academia.

With an emphasis on leadership roles, and the experience of working with cultural diversity in the classroom, a doctorate in education prepares you to work in a number of different positions. These positions include, but aren’t limited to:

  • school superintendent
  • policy maker
  • curriculum director
  • chief learning officer
  • education administrator
  • training and development manager

School Principal

Though students often think of principals as a chief disciplinarian, school principals are actually responsible for overseeing virtually every aspect of a school’s operation. From evaluating teachers to managing the budget, principals work to improve student outcomes in a multidimensional way.

The average salary for a school principal varies between $80,329 for elementary school and $89,882 for high school positions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median pay for a school principal (without specifying between elementary or secondary education) is $95,310.

Education Administrator

For a number of reasons, an education administrator is one of the best PhD in educational leadership jobs. Someone in this position is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of a school. They handle:

  • Logistics
  • Budgets
  • Scheduling
  • Public relations
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Evaluating staff
  • Event planning
  • Implementation of curriculum

The role requires developing a vision for the future of the school and implementing programs to help keep that vision running on track.

Compensation varies depending on the educational level instructed. According to PayScale the average salary for an education administrator is $69,508, however according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, education administrators for elementary and secondary schools have a mean annual wage of $98,750.

Training and Development Manager

Those in the education field need to continue learning throughout their career. A training and development manager is someone who evaluates an organization’s future and present needs for training. They might create or update existing training programs, with videos, web content, instruction manuals, and similar educational training resources. They may also directly oversee the training of staff, making them one of the most hands-on variety of doctor of education jobs.

According to PayScale, the average salary for a training & development manager is $74,544. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median pay for a training and development manager as substantially higher at $111,340.

Chief Learning Officer

Every business, non-profit group, and educational institution will have their own unique goals, resources, and talent on staff. A chief learning officer is someone who formulates the strategy responsible directing the goals and policies of their institution. Similar to a training and development manager, the chief learning officer is responsible for disseminating knowledge, keeping things under budget, and a number of similar administrative tasks.

According to PayScale, the average salary for a chief learning officer is $153,430, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics cites the median pay at $111,340.

PhD in Education Careers Opportunities & Salaries

What can you do with a PhD in education? PhD programs are usually best suited to people who want to teach or research. Having a mastery of their subject and finely-honed research skills, a PhD graduate is a scholar capable of training new scholars. Though focused on teaching and research, the PhD in Education actually provides access to a diverse range of career options inside and outside of academia.

University Professor

Professors are teachers for college-level students. Usually specializing in one field, such as law or biology, a university professor is responsible for instructing students. They are educators who have a mastery of understanding over the importance of diversity in the classroom and use it to educate students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Depending on their focus and career track, professors are also usually involved with research or publishing.

The salary of a university professor varies widely, depending on area of expertise, and whether working in an adjunct or tenure track position. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median pay for this position is $78,470, but according to PayScale, university professors have an average salary of $86,667.

College President

In addition to sharing many responsibilities with school principals, a college president is the chief fundraiser of their institution. They work to raise the profile of their institution and work closely with other administrators to find better ways of supporting their students. Similar to a chief learning officer, the president has a vision for their school, and works to develop that vision.

According to PayScale, the average salary for a college president is $151,710. But there are significant differences in salary between public and private institutions. Conversely, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, postsecondary education administrator enjoys median salary of $94,340.


An educational researcher leverages their knowledge of the educational field and designing academic programs to assist schools and universities to devise curriculum and measure student progress. They work with faculty to devise a measurable process for programs, identifying inefficiencies and working to develop the skills of faculty to give students a more robust educational experience.

Additionally, they can advocate for research projects, helping a university to determine new programs new programs to add to better meet changing demands within academia and the workforce, preparing students for existing or emerging career paths.

According to Glassdoor, university researchers earn an average of $57,000, although some can command an annual salary of up to $89,000.