Educational Consultant Careers: Salary Info & Job Description

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What are the pros and cons of a career as an educational consultant? Find real job descriptions, career outlook and salary information to see if becoming an educational consultant is the right fit for you.
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Pros and Cons of Being an Educational Consultant

Independent educational consultants work privately with families to find the right schools or colleges for their children and with school systems to help develop curriculum and coach teachers. Discover the pros and cons of being an education consultant to decide if it is the best choice for you.

Pros of an Educational Consultant Career
Average job growth (13%) for consultants who work in school systems*
Instructional coordinators in a school system enjoy a mean annual wage of $64,040*
Benefits may include a pension, paid time-off and health insurance***
Wide variety in daily routine**

Cons of an Educational Consultant Career
Long work hours and occasional weekends**
Independent consultants often work with families in crisis situations**
Extensive travel (over 20% of the time for independent consultants)**
Extensive schooling and experience required (consultants typically have a master's degree)*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **I Have a Plan Iowa, ***Salary.com

Career Information

Job Description and Duties

Also known as instructional coordinators, some educational consultants work with school districts to help create classroom curriculum and enhance the overall educational experience. They work closely with teachers and school administrators by serving as mentors and training faculty about new technology and educational developments.

Rather than working in school systems, other educational consultants labor independently by providing services to private families who are trying to improve the educational experience of their children. Consultants may be hired to find programs for truly gifted children or locate a better school for a child that has discipline issues. These consultants travel extensively to gather first-hand information on the schools and programs available across the country.

Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2014, instructional coordinators working for school systems earned a mean annual wage of $64,040. An independent educational consultant's annual wage varies with location. For example, a 2009 report published by Bankrate.com showed that the hourly fee charged by a consultant ranges from $60 per hour in rural parts of the country to $300 per hour in the largest cities. According to the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), some Certified Education Planners have charged $100 per hour and earn an annual salary of $100,000.

Career Requirements

An educational consultant should have ample experience as an educator such as a teacher or principal as well as a formal college education. Many school systems require applicants to have at least a master's degree in curriculum and instruction as well as their teaching license. Some jobs seek applicants who specialize in a particular subject such as mathematics. Independent educational consultants must have comparable work experience in education; many professionals hold a master's degree or doctorate.

Useful Skills

Consultants must have top-notch communication and relationship-building skills in order to effectively evaluate an educational need and create trust to reach the desired goal. They must be highly organized and have strong analytical skills to process the wide range of information they receive on a daily basis.

Real Job Postings

School districts looking for consultants may advertise on the school district's website or through their state's department of education. Below are job descriptions from real employers hiring in April 2012:

  • A school district in Oklahoma was looking for a consultant to coordinate with its school board, state-run establishments, treatment facilities and residential centers to facilitate educational programming. Applicants must have had a master's degree in education, counseling or related field. They must also have had three years' experience in an administrative or managerial role and five years' experience working with disabled persons.
  • In Michigan, a civil service commission was looking to hire a consultant to help develop curriculum, coordinate outreach and facilitate programming at the college and junior college level. Applicants must have had at least a master's degree in education or education administration.
  • In Iowa, a consulting firm was seeking to hire a special education consultant to help with the placement of students into educational programs and to continuously assess the effectiveness of its curriculum and schools. Applicants must have had a master's degree in special education or other educational field, be certified by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners and have at least four years of experience.

How to Stand Out in the Field

Most education consultants already enter the field with significant years' experience in education and a master's or doctoral degree. Education is perhaps the most crucial component to excelling in the profession. However, developing qualities such as flexibility, diligence, reliability, solid counseling skills and leadership can help establish a strong track record of success. Additionally, consultants should remain up to date on technology trends and how computers can assist in counseling and curriculum development.

Some consultants join professional organizations, such as the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), to show their commitment to their career and to advertise their services. Membership requires consultants to have visited at least 100 schools. Many consultants also enroll in continuing education classes.

Other Careers to Consider

School and Career Counselor

If the extensive experience or travel requirements make you reconsider becoming an educational consultant, there are many other careers in the field of education to consider. For example, school and career counselors also work in education. School counselors help students with socialization while career counselors help them with career development. In addition to private practice, counselors may work in secondary and postsecondary schools as well as government-run career centers. According to the BLS, job growth for this career is expected to grow by 19%, which is faster than average, from 2010 to 2020. As of May 2011, the BLS reported that educational and vocational counselors earned a mean annual wage of about $57,000.

School Principal

If you are looking for a career with potential for a higher base salary than a school or career counselor, consider becoming a school principal. Principals lead all members of school faculty and staff to achieve the highest academic performance possible. Similar to being an educational consultant, becoming a principal requires strong leadership skills, a master's degree and often numerous years' experience in education. The BLS predicts employment opportunities for this career path to grow by 10% between 2010 and 2020. They annual mean wage reported by the BLS as of May 2011 was about $90,000.

Popular Schools

  • Online Programs Available
    1. George Mason University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
      • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Online Programs Available
    2. Kaplan University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master: Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers: Grades 5-12)
      • Master: Higher Education - College Admin./Leadership
      • Master: Education (for Practicing Teachers: K-12)
      • Master: Higher Education - College Teaching/Learning
      • Master: Higher Education - Online College Teaching
      • Master: Higher Education - Student Affairs
    Bachelor's
      • BS in Early Childhood Administration
      • Undergraduate in Early Childhood
  • Campus and Online Programs
    3. Full Sail University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS - Instructional Design and Technology
    Certificate
      • Cert - English As A Second Language (Campus)
      • Cert - Instructional Design and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    4. Purdue University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
      • Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology
  • Online Programs Available
    5. Saint Joseph's University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • MS in Education - Special Education: Autism
      • MS in Education - Special Education: Masters Only
      • MS in Education - Special Education and Special Education Certification
      • MS - Secondary Education with Autism Specialization
      • MS in Education - Special Education and Wilson Reading System Certification
    Bachelor's
      • BLS in General Studies - Autism Studies Concentration
  • Online Programs Available
    6. The George Washington University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Masters in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Technology Leadership
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning
  • Online Programs Available
    7. Colorado Technical University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • Doctor of Management - Graduate Level Instructional Practices
      • Doctor of Management - Private Sector Higher Education Leadership
  • Online Programs Available
    8. American InterContinental University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master: Education - Curriculum and Instruction
      • M.Ed. - Adult Education and Training
      • Master of Education - Elementary Education
      • Master of Education - Secondary Education
      • Master: Education - Leadership in Educational Organizations
      • Master: Education - Instructional Design
  • Online Programs Available
    9. American University

    Program Options

    Master's
      • Master of Science in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics
  • Online Programs Available
    10. Northcentral University

    Program Options

    Doctorate
      • PhD in Education - Curriculum and Teaching
      • PhD in Education - Early Childhood Education
      • Ed.D. - Curriculum and Teaching
      • Ed.D. - Global Training and Development
      • PhD - International Education
      • Ed.D. - General Education
    Master's
      • M.Ed. - General Education
      • M.Ed. - Early Childhood Education
      • M.Ed. - Curriculum and Teaching
      • M.Ed. - International Education
      • M.Ed. - Instructional Leadership
      • M.Ed. - Higher Education Leadership
    Certificate
      • Education Specialist - Special Education
      • Education Specialist - International Education
      • Education Specialist - Early Childhood Education
      • Education Specialist - Curriculum and Teaching
      • Education Specialist - Instructional Leadership
      • Education Specialist - Educational Leadership

Featured Schools

George Mason University

  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder

What is your highest level of education?

Kaplan University

  • Master: Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers: Grades 5-12)
  • Master: Higher Education - College Admin./Leadership
  • BS in Early Childhood Administration
  • Undergraduate in Early Childhood

Which subject are you interested in?

Full Sail University

  • MS - Instructional Design and Technology
  • Cert - English As A Second Language (Campus)
  • Cert - Instructional Design and Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Purdue University

  • Master of Science in Education in Special Education
  • Master of Science in Education in Learning Design and Technology

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Joseph's University

  • MS in Education - Special Education: Autism
  • MS in Education - Special Education: Masters Only
  • BLS in General Studies - Autism Studies Concentration

What is your highest level of education completed?

The George Washington University

  • Masters in Interdisciplinary Secondary Transition Services
  • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
  • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Colorado Technical University

  • Doctor of Management - Graduate Level Instructional Practices
  • Doctor of Management - Private Sector Higher Education Leadership

Are you a US citizen?

American InterContinental University

  • Master: Education - Curriculum and Instruction
  • M.Ed. - Adult Education and Training
  • Master of Education - Elementary Education

Are you a US citizen?