Careers with an M.Ed. in Adult Education

A Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Adult Education prepares students for a variety of roles in higher education, corporate training, human resources and human development. An online M.Ed. in Adult Education program, like the one offered by Eastern Washington University (EWU), 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 workplace collaboration, style, initiatives and culture.

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 program positions 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 an M.Ed. in Adult Education could choose to pursue a variety of jobs, such as the following:

  • Adult basic and secondary education and ESL teachers work with adults in different settings to help them develop basic skills and qualifications such as earning their high school equivalency credential of learning to read and write in English. The median salary for this profession is 59,720 per year.
  • Instructional coordinators manage teaching and curriculum standards, develop instructional materials, implement curricula and assess the effectiveness of curricula. Their median salary is $63,740 per year.
  • Postsecondary teachers provide instruction through post-high school level courses. Some may do research and publish scholarly works. Their median salary is $79,640 per year.
  • Human resources managers oversee administrative functions surrounding an organization’s workforce. Responsibilities include recruiting, hiring and strategic planning. Their median salary is $126,230 per year.
  • Training and development managers plan, coordinate and manage programs to increase employees’ knowledge and skills. Their median salary is $120,130 per year.

The salary figures listed above are drawn from May 2021 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

An M.Ed. in Adult Education program like EWU’s can help educators increase their career options and income potential. Although the courses in the EWU program are 100% 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.

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