Why Get an Associate Degree in Education

If becoming a teacher requires a four-year degree, why is there an associate degree in education? Community colleges and online education courses offer associate degrees in education, which many students pursue to test the waters before embarking on a full-on bachelor degree. Others simply want the education to help them have a leg up on jobs with stiff competition. Furthermore, an associate degree program can be an economical alternative to taking the first two years of college in a university setting.

Education Requirements

To receive an associate degree in education, a student must enroll in a two-year course, either online or at a community college. Admission into the program is relatively easy. Students need a high school diploma and will have to do initial placement testing to make sure they meet baseline requirements in English and math.

Career Options: What You Can Do With an Associate Degree in Education

The main reason to obtain this degree is to continue on to a bachelor degree in education and become a full-time teacher. Once the two-year degree is completed, students can transfer their credits to most four-year schools and continue on their teaching journey. With a bachelor degree, teachers can choose what area and grade level they want to teach.

Students who stop their education after obtaining an associate degree cannot become licensed teachers, but they still have many options in the education field. For example, they can choose to be teacher’s aides instead. Teacher’s aides are an integral part of the education process as they assist the teacher in grading assignments, handing out papers and working with students one-on-one when needed. Without teacher’s aides, teachers would have a hard time fitting in all of their responsibilities.

Another option for people who complete the associate degree in education is to become a tutor. As a tutor, they would work with students outside of school on an individual basis. They can either work for a tutoring center or opt to own their own tutoring business. With their own business, tutors can choose their own hours and receive many tax benefits.

Finally, many people with associate degrees in education choose to become substitute teachers. Most states do not require any type of degree to become a substitute teacher, but having one will give the applicant an advantage over the competition. This is a great option because it offers more flexibility than being a full-time teacher but still offers many of the benefits. This is a great choice for people who want to work part-time or who have another job.

What to Consider if You Pursue an Associate Degree in Education

Full-time teachers with a bachelor degree can earn an annual salary of $52,230, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This job offers excellent benefits, including ample paid time off and decent work hours. However, it is a very competitive job and is only predicted to have a 7 percent growth in the next 10 years.

Students who earn an associate degree in education can look forward to a flexible job as a substitute teacher or teacher aide. The BLS estimates that workers in these areas earn around $23,220 per year. The good news is that even though the salary is lower, the job growth is much higher. In fact, this area is predicted to expand by 15 percent over the next 10 years.

Whatever career path you choose after earning an associate degree in education, you’ll find yourself in a career where you can truly make a difference in people’s lives. While the salaries may vary, the greatest reward of all is getting to help other people grow and develop.