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Do Washington Teachers Make More with a Master's Degree?

Experienced educators know there are a number of good reasons to advance their careers by pursuing a master's degree in education.

  • Gain advanced knowledge and skills to enhance student learning
  • Learn and apply current research to improve instructional practices
  • Mentor others and work collaboratively to build learning communities
  • Specialize in a high-demand field of education
  • Move into educational leadership positions
  • Expand career options

It also seems logical to assume that earning a master's degree will lead directly to earning more money. But when it comes to increased salaries for teachers in Washington State, do the facts back this up?

What Are the Differences in Base Salary?

The Salary Allocation Schedule for certified instructional staff in Washington for the 2015-16 school year indicates that an entry-level K-12 teacher with a bachelor's degree is allocated a base salary of $35,069: almost $7,000 per year less than the base salary of an entry-level teacher with a master's degree at $42,045. The difference in salary becomes slightly more marked with more years of service.

In the 2016-17 school year, base salary allocations for K-12 certified instructional staff in Washington increased over the previous school year, but maintained the disparity of almost $7,000. An entry-level teacher with a bachelor's degree could earn $35,700, while an entry-level teacher with a master's degree could earn $42,801.

These numbers were based on information from 283 of 295 Washington State public school districts and indicate the legislated allocations of state funds. Actual salaries and individual compensations are determined in local negotiations. But one thing is clear: In Washington State, as elsewhere, educators with advanced degrees can expect to earn more money, even in their first year on the job.

Pursuing a Master's Degree Online with Eastern Washington University

Educators who want to earn a master's degree while still working full time have an affordable and flexible option with the 100-percent online education degrees offered by Eastern Washington University.

The online format and multiple start dates throughout the year make it easy to pursue your goal of achieving an advanced degree. EWU offers six Master of Education online programs.

Each of these master's degree programs can be completed in as few as 12 months:

  • Master of Education – Adult Education Online
  • Master of Education – Curriculum & Instruction Online
  • Master of Education – Early Childhood Education Online
  • Master of Education – Educational Leadership Online
  • Master of Education – Educational Leadership, Principal Certification Online
  • Master of Education – Literacy Online

In addition, for those who already have a master's degree, EWU offers a 32 credit-hour online program developed to prepare qualified candidates for principal certification.

Learn more about Eastern Washington University's online Master of Education programs.


Anacortes Education Association: Washington K–12 Salary Allocation Schedule for Certificated Instructional Staff

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