The education sector includes a broad variety of occupations paying anywhere from just over $25,000 annually to well into the $100,000s. Relatively recent (May 2013) Occupational Employment and Wages data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) helps to determine the best and worst paying jobs in the Education, Training, and Library Occupations, plus education-related jobs in several other categories, as well.
According to the BLS, five of the six largest public sector occupations were teaching jobs: Elementary school teachers, except special education; middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education; secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education; teacher assistants; and substitute teachers. Within the educational services sector, education, training, and library occupations and office and administrative support occupations made up about 69 percent of employment, including seven of the 10 largest occupations within the sector.
Post-secondary law teachers come in first place, with a mean annual salary of $122,280. The BLS defines this role as including both those who primarily teach courses in law and those who do a combination of teaching and legal research. The majority of those holding this job title are employed at colleges and universities, where they can expect to bring in a mean annual salary of $125,920.
Also in the list of best paid education occupations are education administrators, elementary, and secondary school. The nearly quarter million professionals in this field earn a mean annual wage of $90,670, and act to plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of public or private elementary or secondary level schools.
Other high-paying jobs in the education field include postsecondary engineering teachers ($102,880 mean annual salary), postsecondary economics teachers ($100,490 mean annual salary), postsecondary environmental science teachers ($87,450 mean annual salary), and postsecondary biological science teachers ($87,080 mean annual salary).
At the other end of the spectrum, teachers assistants, more than one million strong, bring in the lowest compensation of any education professional at a mean annual salary of $25,570. Preschool teachers (except special education), graduate school teaching assistants, and substitute teachers also draw salaries hovering around $30,000 annually.
Other lower-paying education jobs include library technicians ($33,000 mean annual salary), self-enrichment education teachers ($40,680 mean annual salary), religious activities ($44,240 mean annual salary), museum technicians and conservators ($44,330 mean annual salary), and audio-visual and multimedia collections specialists ($46,840 mean annual salary).