What Is An Educational Specialist? Everything We Need to Know

Educational specialists (ES), also known as a Specialist in Education degree, is a graduate degree beyond the master’s degree level. Individuals already working in the education industry can earn this course to help advance their careers in positions like school office administrator, curriculum director, or principal.

People can also become school psychologists by completing an educational specialist program. Usually, these jobs need licensing. Most of the professionals working in this industry work all year round, unlike the teachers who traditionally have a couple of months of vacation time during the summer.

The road to this degree normally involves earning a bachelor’s degree first, obtaining a teaching certification, getting some work experience, and completing a master’s degree. Education specialist programs offer various specialized areas so students can adjust their learning to their occupation goal. These goals may include:

Community college schooling

Technical college schooling

Instruction and curriculum

Educational leadership

Reading knowledge

School psychology

Adult schooling


These professionals need to be creative, patient, have people skills, and should communicate pretty well. According to reports, this profession has a national average salary of more or less $50,000.

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How to become an ES

Complete your bachelor’s degree

Individuals interested in earning this course usually start by completing a bachelor’s degree (BD) in education. They can get a major in elementary, secondary, childhood, or special ed. Programs can be completed in three to four years if the student goes full-time. Classes in these programs usually include classroom management, teaching methods, and educational psychology.

Most of these programs need student teaching internships that should be completed in order to graduate. People who plan to become school psychologists may only need a BD to apply to EdS programs. They could get a major in psychology to get the job, although some of these plans only need a certain amount of credits in psychology.

Get a teaching certification

Public school teachers working in the country are required to be licensed. Most ES courses also need applicants to hold valid and updated state teaching licenses. To get these licenses (or usually called certification), the person needs to have a BD and a supervised experience such as classroom teaching.

Not only that, but they also need to pass state licensure examinations, which test teaching ability, subject knowledge, and literacy. States may have other requirements that are not required in other places. Students can contact their state board of education for a thorough description of the needed requirements for teachers to get certified.

Gain the necessary work experience

Most ES courses also need applicants to have five years of extracurricular and professional experience. Educational leadership ES courses may request at least three years of full-time teaching experience. Not only that, these experiences are usually important if the person wants to move up in position.

Earn a master’s degree in education

A teaching master’s degree is usually needed to apply for an ES course in curriculum development, as well as educational leadership. Current licenses and teaching experiences are necessary to get on the course. Students focus on specialized subject areas such as science, reading, or social studies, and field-based learning is integrated into the school curriculum.

Courses can be completed in two years if students go full-time – summer classes may be necessary in some cases. Graduates can obtain an advanced license if they meet certain qualifications. Future school psychologists who completed the needed master’s course may use this to get ES requirements. There is a good chance that Classes in Special Ed, as well as ED Psychology, can be applied.

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Complete an ES course

Common types of ES curriculum are instruction and development, Ed administration, and school psychology. Adult Ed and reading Ed curriculums are also readily available at particular schools. Curriculum development classes may allow students to choose their specialization such as math, elementary, bilingual, and science Ed.

These curriculums usually consist of at least thirty credit hours. Courses may include Ed philosophy, Ed research, curriculum evaluation, and Ed history. School psych courses are usually longer, requiring more or less 80 credits. Topics of study may include academic intervention, counseling, and psycho-Educ.

Not only that, an internship, research project, and thesis are generally needed for all these courses. EdS curriculum often prepares students for becoming state-certified school psychologists, superintendents, or principals. It can be helpful for graduates to join professional organizations like the Association for Curriculum Development and Supervision or the Association of School Psychologists.

Becoming a member of these organizations can provide individuals with enough information about training opportunities and career trends. Some universities or schools even host chapters of professional organizations on their campuses.

Get licensed

Like regular teachers, school admins need to be licensed if they want to work at public schools. On the other hand, private educational institutions don’t uphold this rule. Psychologists also need to have official credentials, as well as NASP provides info on state-specific requirements.

Keeping updated with the industry may advance a person’s career

EdS must take continuing schooling and professional development to maintain their licenses. These classes can help professionals introduce new initiatives, standards, and curriculum in their academic subjects. Not only that, but it can also help them in designing a network of professionals in their respective fields.

Benefits of EdS degree

In the educational specialist industry, whether K-12, kindergarten, or higher education, advancements have certain criteria, leadership positions are fewer in numbers, as well as compensated with a higher salary. To be marketable in the field, professionals should prioritize their formal Ed, certifications, and degrees.

Experts recommend that professionals who have the means and time to get a master’s degree. Traditionally, it is best received after more or less two years in the industry. This type of in-depth study will serve the graduate and will also serve their students.

Beyond their master’s degree, people should also decide the career path they want to take, the skills needed to achieve their goals and the salary they hope to earn. These factors can increase with additional certification and training. But this industry communicates that the educator should be pretty serious about becoming an impactful educator.