Education majors are some of the most influential people in the world. Whether they teach, coach, or work with kids at a daycare center, they play an integral role in shaping the minds of the following generations and preparing them for their future. But what does it take to be an education major? What does one need to know before choosing this path? Here is a quick overview of the things that every prospective education major should know:

Education Majors Potential Income

While not every education major will make a living in the classroom, many do. The ones who choose to work as teachers can be either low-income or high-income earners, depending on the state they teach in and their credentials. According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 193,800 elementary and middle school teachers were employed in 2016 with an average hourly pay rate of around $30 per hour, which comes out to roughly $64,000 annually. Several states also offer “step” salaries for teachers who earned their master’s degree and/or additional certifications such as specialized ESL or special education training.

Shaping Young Minds

Teaching, of course, is not the only career option for education majors. They can choose many other paths, including working as child care providers or preschool teachers at a daycare center. In addition to these roles, which focus on the younger generations, some teach adults or provide instruction on various topics. One important thing to keep in mind before choosing your path as an education major is that all states require you to be certified to become a teacher or caregiver/teacher assistant. Specific programs will consider this and include certification training within their degree program. More expensive programs will often include this in their financial aid package, while less expensive ones may not.

Positive Role Models

Above all else, students who study education learn how to influence and shape lives from a young age to adulthood. It’s the reason why so many people choose this path—because they want to give back and help others reach their full potential. In addition to that skill, there are also specific classes that prepare education majors for things like discipline, classroom management, assessment practices, and more. These can help them become highly effective educators in a wide array of settings once they have graduated from college and entered the workforce. If you’re considering becoming an education major or know someone who is, it is essential to know what you can expect on the path ahead.