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Do Teachers With Master's Degrees Make More in Louisiana?

Teachers who pursue a master's degree in education do it for more than a pay raise. Still, many want to know if obtaining an M.Ed. will lead to a bump in pay. According to PayScale's Bachelor of Education Degree resource (as of June 2018), the average salary for teachers with a B.Ed. who teach in an elementary school in the U.S. is $41,000, $47,000 for middle school and $45,000 for high school.

For those with a Master of Education degree, PayScale reports the average salary for teachers in the U.S. increases to $50,000 per year for elementary school, $52,000 for middle school and $54,000 for high school. However, other factors besides the level of education affect what a teacher earns. These include years of experience, geography, grade level, subject matter and teacher shortages.

Average Teacher Salary in the Largest Louisiana Parishes

Louisiana does not mandate a statewide salary schedule for teachers. Instead, the state has a minimum salary by county and parish. The following chart lists the average public school teacher's salary at Step 1 for the 12 largest parishes sorted by size. (These salaries are from 2014-2017, according to the most recent data available.)

Parish Bachelor's degree Master's degree
Jefferson $41,500 $42,100
East Baton Rouge $40,100 $41,200
Caddo $42,500 $45,100
St. Tammany $44,800 $45,300
Calcasieu $43,400 $45,000
Lafayette $41,300 $43,100
Livingston $42,300 $42,800
Rapides $42,200 $42,700
Bossier $42,600 $43,500
Ascension $44,200 $45,200
Tangipahoa $41,300 $42,200
Ouachita $42,800 $43,100


Louisiana's legislation has implemented a compensation system based on experience, effectiveness and demand. The Louisiana Department of Education says that teacher salary is based on experience, academic credentials and achievements in the classroom.

Other Reasons to Earn a Master's Degree

Teachers with a master's degree improve their chances of landing the jobs they want and changing careers. Employers often give greater consideration to teachers who possess an M.Ed. In fact, some school districts reimburse teachers for continuing their education.

Graduate school offers another avenue for networking, as students meet industry experts, leaders, faculty members and other students. These can lead to new jobs and other professional opportunities.

A bachelor's degree program puts greater emphasis on the subject matter. Master of Education programs, on the other hand, dive deeper into teaching methods, educational philosophy and pedagogy.

A variety of M.Ed. degrees exist to allow teachers to specialize in a subject of interest and become experts. These include leadership, special education, curriculum and instruction, technology and English as a second language.

Many higher-level educational jobs, such as principal and counselor, require a master's degree. Middle leadership positions like team lead or curriculum specialist may or may not demand an advanced degree. In either case, a candidate with an M.Ed. may gain an advantage over one without.

Education techniques and technologies continue to evolve. Enrolling in graduate school gives teachers the opportunity to learn the latest methods. Students pursuing an M.Ed. find it intellectually rewarding, and it often renews their passion for teaching. Most important, the teacher learns how to help students become more successful learners.

Learn more about ULM's online M.Ed. C&I ESL program.


Sources:

Louisiana Department of Education: Compensation

PayScale: Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) Degree Average Salary

PayScale: Master of Education (M.Ed.) Degree Average Salary

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