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Careers with an M.Ed. in Adult Education

A Master of Education in Adult Education prepares students for a variety of roles in higher education, corporate training, human resources and human development. An M.Ed. in Adult Education program, like the one offered by Eastern Washington University, delves into the fundamentals of classroom management and assessments for adult learners.

Students learn strategies, techniques and tools to teach adults, design curricula or oversee educational programs. M.Ed. in Adult Education graduates take on these roles in a variety of settings, not just in a school or university.

Corporations and Nonprofits

Corporations and nonprofits need professionals to create, direct and implement training programs. These roles typically fall under human resources or organizational development, and completing an M.Ed. in adult education is one way to prepare for them.

Career opportunities include training program development, corporate training and human resources management. Some organizations may offer services to help employees gain insight into their working style and tips on working with others who have a different style.

Higher Education

Earning a master's in adult education can open doors to teaching community college courses, vocational program classes, English as a second language, adult literacy courses and college prep. Undergraduate programs typically require a doctorate, but a master's degree may suffice for some positions.

Those who do not want to teach can explore jobs in administration. Roles include student adviser, program director, student affairs-related positions and career counselor.

Basic Skills Programs

Graduates with a master's in adult education can support adult learners who want to improve literacy and other basic skills or obtain their GED. They may do the teaching or work in administration by managing programs and resources.


Government organizations, agencies and departments hire trainers to teach personnel, program managers to oversee training-related programs, curriculum developers to design courses, and educators to provide cultural, health and basic adult education. Some roles fall within the local government's welfare and social service departments.

Some city governments have environmental health and sustainability, parks and recreation, neighborhood services, and senior services that offer classes to educate the public on a multitude of topics.

M.Ed. in Adult Education Careers and Average Salaries

Students who earn the M.Ed. may qualify for the following jobs:

  • Instructional coordinators manage teaching and curriculum standards, develop instructional materials, implement curricula and assess the effectiveness of curricula. Their median salary is $63,750 per year.
  • Postsecondary teachers provide instruction through post-high school level courses. Some may do research and publish scholarly works. Their median salary is $76,000 per year.
  • Human Resources managers oversee the administrative functions of an organization. Responsibilities include recruiting, hiring and strategic planning. Their median salary is $110,120 per year.
  • Training and development managers plan, coordinate and manage programs to increase employees' knowledge and skills. Their median salary is $108,250 per year.

The above U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics salary data is for 2017.

Although the courses in the EWU program are 100 percent online, students complete a 120-hour internship in their area of interest with support from a mentor. The internship helps cement the students' education by providing practice opportunities in real-world settings.

Learn more about Eastern Washington University's online Master of Education -- Adult Education program.


U.S. BLS: Education, Training, and Library Occupations

U.S. BLS: Instructional Coordinators

U.S. BLS: Postsecondary Teachers

U.S. BLS: Human Resources Managers

U.S. BLS: Training and Development Managers

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