10 fastest-growing jobs in education
Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock
10 fastest-growing jobs in education
Written by Annalise Mantz
For lovers of learning, pursuing a career in education remains highly appealing. While every town has at least one school needing teachers, the job possibilities within the field stretch far beyond the standard grade-school subjects.
To discover the fastest-growing jobs in education, HeyTutor analyzed the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Employment Projections data to find the occupations with the largest projected increase in jobs from 2021 to 2031. This analysis ranks occupations by percentage employment increase in that timeframe. Overall, the BLS data projects employment to grow about 5.3% from 2021 to 2031. According to BLS data, employment at educational institutions and library jobs is projected to grow by 7.2%. The data set also shows that employees in educational instruction and library jobs earn a median of $57,220 per year.
Jobs within this sector include educators at the preschool, elementary, middle, and high school levels and postsecondary educators at colleges, universities, trade schools, and other graduate-level institutions. Whether you're just considering your future job or hoping to make a mid-life career change, let this list of the 10 fastest-growing jobs in education serve as inspiration.
Ethan Miller // Getty Images
#10. Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers (postsecondary)
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 9.8% (+1,600 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 16,500 jobs
To teach criminal justice or law enforcement at the postsecondary level, you'll likely need a master's degree, if not further education such as a Ph.D. in criminology or a law degree. Someone in this role might have the title of professor, adjunct professor, or visiting instructor.
You'll also likely need to stay up to date on the latest trends in the field. Trends might include technological innovations like computer vision and robotics and societal changes like the shift toward community-based policing and the prison reform movement. Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers in California, New York, and Connecticut earn the highest annual mean wages in the country—upwards of $144,000, in California.
#9. Biological science teachers (postsecondary)
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 12.4% (+7,500 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 60,200 jobs
Whether or not biological science teachers strictly teach classes or also conduct their research, they'll likely need at least a master's degree, if not a doctorate. Subject matters within the biological sciences field include anatomy, physiology, and biology. Most professionals in this job category work at colleges and universities, although some jobs also exist at hospitals, trade schools, and scientific research facilities. Teaching roles in this subject matter at general medical and surgical hospitals pay the most, on average: The annual mean wage is $184,620, which is upwards of $80,000 more than the annual mean wage for colleges and universities.
JIM WATSON // Getty Images
#8. Museum technicians and conservators
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 12.7% (+1,600 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 12,700 jobs
Museum technicians and conservators care for the items within a museum's collection, whether that means fossils, gemstones, and botanicals or art, textiles, and historical artifacts. Technicians and conservators both restore and prepare collections for storage and documentation and prepare them for exhibition and arrange displays. Most jobs in this category require at least a bachelor's degree and considerable museum experience.
Museums and historical sites employ the largest number of technicians and conservators; the federal executive branch offers the second-highest number of jobs—likely to care for historic government buildings such as the White House. However, professionals with this job aren't well paid. Museum technicians and conservators in the District of Columbia earn the highest annual mean wages in the country, at just over $73,000.
Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock
#7. Engineering teachers (postsecondary)
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 13.3% (+6,100 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 45,800 jobs
Postsecondary engineering teachers might teach subjects including chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, mineral, and petroleum engineering. Most of these jobs are at colleges and universities, with fewer jobs available at junior colleges and trade and technical schools. Engineering teachers at colleges and universities can also expect to earn more money than their counterparts at other institutions.
The Philadelphia and New York City metropolitan areas employ the highest concentration of engineering teachers of any metro in the country. In addition to attaining at least a master's degree or doctorate, many of these jobs demand knowledge of computer-aided design software such as Autodesk and AutoCAD or development languages like Java or C++.
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 14.4% (+1,900 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 12,900 jobs
If you're interested in a higher-level, more strategic role in the museum world, you might want to become a curator. Like museum technicians and conservators, curators work with a museum's collections—but instead of maintaining the artifacts and objects, they might plan the acquisition of future items, theme and create exhibitions around them, or conduct special research projects. Curators can also work to educate the public on a museum's collection and participate in visitor events.
You often need a master's degree or doctorate in a relevant subject matter to become a curator. With fewer curator jobs available nationwide, you might face steeper competition from other candidates. The annual mean wage for curators ranges between $72,000 and $100,000.
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 14.5% (+29,500 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 203,400 jobs
Tutors, also known as academic coaches, work with students outside of the primary instruction class time to support their learning comprehension or prepare them for standardized tests. Unsurprisingly, the most populous states like New York, California, Illinois, Texas, and Florida have the highest numbers of tutor jobs. Tutors might cover a variety of subject matters, including math, reading, and SAT prep.
Educational requirements similarly vary: Some tutor jobs might want a bachelor's degree, while others might look for current college students. The mean hourly wage varies from $16 per hour in Hawaii to over $28 per hour in New York.
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock
#4. Preschool teachers (note: excludes special education)
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 15.1% (+72,900 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 483,100 jobs
Although the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats removed funding from the Inflation Reduction Act for universal preschool, state funding for preschool programs has increased in recent years. The increased focus on early childhood education could have contributed to the projected growth of preschool teacher jobs, a role that often only requires a high school diploma.
Whether they're employed at daycare centers or elementary schools, preschool teachers focus on the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual growth of children ages 3 and 4. Elementary school jobs typically pay more than similar jobs at daycare centers, religious institutions, or other nonprofit settings. The annual mean wage for preschool teachers in elementary schools is more than $52,000, while annual mean wages for preschool teachers in other settings fluctuate between $32,000 and $41,000.
#3. Self-enrichment teachers
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 17.6% (+61,300 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 347,100 jobs
Whether they teach dance, art, music, martial arts, or even driving, self-enrichment teachers instruct their pupils in subject matters they simply wish to learn for personal enjoyment—not to advance to a higher education level or attain a job. Because these jobs vary widely based on the setting and subject, some might only require a bachelor's degree, while others require a master's or doctorate. Most self-enrichment teacher jobs are offered at educational institutions classified by the BLS as "Other Schools and Instruction," a category that excludes elementary and secondary schools, technical and trade schools, junior colleges, and colleges and universities.
Think of small businesses such as a local dance studio, dojo, or even piano classes running out of an instructor's home. States with higher living costs, such as New York, California, and Massachusetts, offer the highest mean hourly wages for self-enrichment teachers.
#2. Nursing instructors and teachers (postsecondary)
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 21.5% (+18,700 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 87,000 jobs
If the current trend of nurses leaving the profession continues without government intervention, the United States could face a shortage of between 200,000 and 450,000 nurses by 2025, according to a 2022 McKinsey & Company report. With a growing number of current nurses burnt out by the COVID-19 pandemic considering a new career path, the country will need more nurses—and more nursing instructors and teachers to train them.
This job typically requires at least a master's degree, if not a doctorate, and teaching expertise. Colleges, universities, junior colleges, general medical and surgical hospitals, and technical and trade schools employ nursing instructors and teachers. Annual mean wages range from around $75,000 to more than $99,000, depending on the setting.
Frame Stock Footage // Shutterstock
#1. Health specialties teachers (postsecondary)
- Projected employment increase from 2021 to 2031: 24.1% (+59,400 jobs)
-- Employment in 2021: 246,700 jobs
Health specialties teachers can include instructors in dentistry, laboratory technology, medicine, pharmacy, public health, therapy, and even veterinary medicine. These roles are available at colleges and universities, junior colleges, technical and trade schools, and various types of hospitals. A master's or doctorate is typically required, but health specialties teachers can expect to earn anywhere from $60,000 to more than $234,000 in mean annual wages, depending on the role.
The projected employment increase for health specialties teachers could be due in part to current or future shortages in these fields. The American Medical Association estimates the United States could face a shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034. The U.S. health system is already facing shortages of pharmacy technicians, medical laboratory technicians, psychologists, mental health professionals, and dental hygienists.