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4 Career Options for Reading and Literacy Educators

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Literacy skills are essential to future success, and educators with mastery of literacy theory are crucial to supporting students’ reading and writing development. An advanced degree program could be the first step in pursuing a career in this field.

Reading Intervention Endorsement in the State of Oregon

Students considering advanced degrees in literacy should evaluate how effectively their programs intermingle academic knowledge and practical experience. Some degrees, like the Master of Science in Education (MSEd) with a Concentration in Reading and Literacy with Endorsement online program at Southern Oregon University (SOU), offer a Reading Intervention Endorsement. For students who live or work in the state of Oregon, earning such an endorsement qualifies them to become building- and district-level reading specialists and literacy coaches, thus making them more desirable candidates who can teach in regular classroom contexts as well as serve in reading specialist positions.

The Reading Intervention Endorsement ensures that future educators gain real-life, on-the-job training by working with actual students in classroom settings. The coursework and practicum requirements for this endorsement help licensed teachers in Oregon develop a keen understanding of classroom culture. It also ensures they are valuable candidates for jobs like literacy coach, reading specialist or positions working with ESL students.  

Job Prospects and Potential Careers for Recent Graduates

Graduates with advanced literacy degrees will be entering a career field with significant predicted growth over the next 10 years. According to an article published at Resilient Educator, by “the year 2028, this field should see an estimated 6% growth.” That would mean over 11,000 new jobs in less than a decade. Some of the most exciting areas of growth would include the following literacy-focused careers:

  1. Reading Specialist (average yearly salary: $53,488)

The role of reading specialist often requires an additional certification such as Oregon’s Reading Intervention Endorsement. A variety of organizations employ these skilled, qualified professionals: public schools, adult education centers, private tutoring centers, secondary schools and junior colleges. According to Understood.org, some of the duties of a reading specialist include:

  • Assessing the reading abilities of students
  • Helping improve students’ reading comprehension
  • Tailoring curriculum to the needs of specific students
  1. Literacy Coach (average yearly salary: $60,112)

In the role of literacy coach, educators are responsible for auditing classrooms as well as assessing the effectiveness of the curriculum by examining student data. The article “Literacy and Reading Coach: Job, Requirements, and Outlook lists the following as responsibilities of the role:

  • Developing curriculum and lesson plans in conjunction with teachers
  • Leading professional development sessions for teachers
  • Creating teaching material for classroom use
  1. Instructional Coordinator (average yearly salary: $66,970)

Instructional coordinators are the authority on teaching standards and curriculum at their schools. They spend much of their time collaborating with school administrators and teachers to determine the overall effectiveness of the organization’s instructional methodology. Other duties of an instructional coordinator may include:

  • Analyzing exam data
  • Recommending new instruction techniques or classroom technology
  • Training teachers on new content
  1. Reading Interventionist (average yearly salary: $61,420)

A reading interventionist works with a wide range of students in both group and one-on-one settings. The primary focus of this position is tailoring instruction to the specific needs of exceptional learners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, reading interventionists work with students ranging in age from preschool through high school, and they are tasked with the following:

  • Determining the educational needs of students
  • Creating activities specific to students’ abilities
  • Mentoring teacher assistant on how to interact with students

Strong literacy skills are vital to students’ academic and professional success. Educators with theoretical knowledge and practical experience can benefit society by improving literacy in their communities. Individuals who feel called to this work can gain the requisite expertise through an MSEd with a Concentration in Reading and Literacy.

Learn more about Southern Oregon University’s Master of Science in Education with a Concentration in Reading and Literacy with Endorsement online program.


Sources:

PayScale: Average Reading Specialist Salary

Resilient Educator: Literacy and Reading Coach: Job, Requirements, and Outlook

Understood.org: What Does a Reading Specialist Do?

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Instructional Coordinators
Special Education Teachers
What Special Education Teachers Do

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