How To Become an Education Consultant in 5 Steps (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 1, 2022

Published August 17, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Education consultants work with families, schools, and a variety of organizations to determine how best to serve the needs of students and make positive changes in the education system. They have an advanced level of expertise that enables them to provide unbiased and qualified recommendations. Understanding how education consultants develop their knowledge and gain relevant experience can help you determine if this is a good career option for you. In this article, we explore how to become an education consultant, provide tips for finding jobs in this field, and look at the typical duties, skills, and average salary of someone in this role.

What is an education consultant?

An education consultant strives to make meaningful changes within the academic industry. They use their expertise to advise all levels of academic institutions on both short-term and long-term projects. For example, education consultants may advise a school on how to use classroom technology effectively, create and manage professional development programs, and make recommendations for educational product development. Their work may require them to connect with students, teachers, school administrators, families, and various businesses.

Professionals in this field often start their careers as teachers or administrative professionals to gain industry knowledge. This provides them with the basic foundation as their career progresses. This is a great career option if you are looking to make a positive change in education without working directly in a classroom.

Related: 20 Alternative Careers for Teachers (With Average Salaries)

How to become an education consultant

If you are interested in this career path, use the following steps as a guide:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

Pursue a bachelor's degree in education or a related field at university. Depending on the school and programme you choose, earning your degree will typically take three to four years. While studying, explore opportunities to gain real-world experience, such as volunteering in classrooms or working as a tutor. It's also important to research, pursue, and obtain the necessary teaching certificates or licenses for your province or territory, as most require a teacher's college certificate.

Related: How to Gain Work Experience for Students (With Benefits)

2. Gain relevant experience

After graduating and earning your licenses or certifications, seek opportunities to gain relevant education experience. Most education consultants begin their careers working as teachers. As your career progresses, you may work in other education-related roles, such as administrative positions or as a guidance counsellor.

Related: How To Become a Guidance Counsellor

3. Learn about policy

Develop your knowledge of regulations and policies related to education. You may already have a good understanding from your experience as a teacher. However, it's important to further hone your expertise so you have authority as an expert when consulting with other education professionals.

4. Develop a specialty

Choose a specialty to focus on in your work. Consider what you're most passionate about as an educator to help you determine what this is. For example, if you're passionate about educational products, you may choose to specialize in consulting with companies that create them, or you may decide to specialize in supporting families trying to navigate the education system.

Read more: Choosing a Specialization in Education (With Tips)

5. Consider earning an advanced degree

Think about earning an advanced degree. A bachelor's degree is often the minimum education required to become an education consultant, but earning additional degrees may lead to more opportunities. Consider pursuing a master's or doctorate degree in education, a field related to your desired specialty, or a similar area.

Tips for how to become an education consultant

Consider these tips to help you on the path to pursuing this career:

Join a professional organization

Research professional organizations for educators, and look for local and national chapters to join. Your membership may help you network with other professionals and learn about new trends in the industry. Attend conferences offered by the organizations to expand your network and learn about best practices or new ideas in education. As you advance in your career, consider seeking leadership positions within the organization or the opportunity to present or speak at conferences.

Build your network

Network with other education professionals. Take advantage of in-person meetings and conferences to connect with new individuals local to you. Use online networking sites to help you stay in touch with people you meet in person and connect with professionals from around the world.

Related: 11 Types of Networking Events To Attend For Professional Growth

Keep up with professional development

Stay current with your professional development, especially the requirements to maintain your certifications or licenses. Professional development courses may also provide you with insights about changes in best practices, new technologies to use in the classroom, or alternative strategies for teaching. Consider exploring additional professional development options, such as informal workshops through museums or education centres, to supplement your required courses.

Find a mentor

Leverage your network to find a mentor. Ask your contacts about someone who has already made the transition from working in classrooms to working as an education consultant. Once you find a mentor, talk to them about their transition experience, the challenges they experienced, and their advice for a smooth transition.

Read more: How To Find a Mentor Step By Step

Volunteer your time

Explore volunteer opportunities that are available to you. For example, if you're a member of a professional organization, you may be able to volunteer at a conference. Another option may be to volunteer as a tutor for a local school or non-profit organization.

Use social media

Consider creating social media accounts specifically for your career as an educator. Follow industry professionals and explore relevant hashtags about education. This may help you build your network, stay updated with the latest trends, and discover blogs or newsletters you can read.

What does an education consultant do?

Education consultants provide their expertise to various clients. They often work with three main types of clients, which include:

Academic organizations

Educational organizations or companies, such as education technology companies or textbook publishers, may hire a consultant to advise them about the products they create. The consultant makes recommendations to ensure their clients develop products that are beneficial and appropriate for schools, students, and teachers. They use their knowledge of industry-specific best practices to advise the organization throughout the entire product development process.

Families

Families may hire an education consultant to be an unbiased expert. Some may use a consultant to help them find the right learning environment for their child, especially if their child has unique needs or a change in performance, or if the family recently moved to a new area. Others may hire a consultant to assist with the application and selection process for post-secondary education, while some families work with education consultants to provide support to a student during their transition from primary school to secondary or higher education.

Schools, colleges, and universities

Schools, colleges, and universities often hire education consultants when they have a specific issue they need assistance in resolving. In this case, the consultant may help them develop a new curriculum for specific education initiatives or revise policies, priorities, and programs. They may advise schools to improve academic development and address specific concerns or initiatives, such as creating strategies for reducing student drop-out rates.

Skills you need to become an education consultant

Working as an education consultant requires a combination of soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills relate to your personal qualities and are demonstrated through your work ethic and how you interact with others. Hard skills, on the other hand, are technical skills related to your job-specific responsibilities. You will typically learn these skills through training or education.

Some examples of skills you need to become an education consultant include:

Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills relate to the ability to assess a situation, determine the cause, and develop a solution. This often requires critical thinking, creativity, and the ability to consider many possibilities. To become an education consultant you need good problem-solving skills so you can evaluate challenges and present potential solutions to improve education.

Organizational skills

Organizational skills relate to the ability to create and maintain a well-organized workspace and environment. This promotes efficiency and ensures you use resources appropriately so you may complete your tasks. It's important for these professionals to have good organizational skills and excellent attention to detail in order to facilitate communication between different parties.

Communication skills

Communication skills refer to the ability to communicate effectively and include both written and verbal communication methods. This also includes active listening, which is how well you listen to and understand information. Education consultants need excellent communication skills to understand the needs of others and communicate concerns with parents, educators, students, and other colleagues.

Public speaking

Public speaking refers to the ability to present information to an audience effectively. Education consultants often present information to varied audiences, so it's essential for them to share information and understand how to change the content based on who their audience is. In this line of work you must also be effective in asking questions to ensure audiences understand the information.

Salary expectations for an education consultant

The national average wage for an education consultant is $22.07 per hour. However, factors like your qualifications, experience, location, and employer may affect how much you earn. If you choose to become an education consultant, remember that whether you are self-employed or work for one organization will affect your salary expectations as well.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organization and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

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