Each month we take a look at one of the 650 career pathways featured within Indigo. This month, we explore the role of an education officer.
Deputy Head of Research and Education at Dartmoor Zoo Mitch Walker shares his insights with this video career profile from the Indigo Careers module.
So what is an education officer?
Education officers will prepare educational materials and resources to highlight and raise awareness for a particular issue or promote a certain gallery, museum or organisation. It will be your responsibility to increase public awareness about new exhibitions and/or events, and to update the educational sections of your website.
You will be responsible for teaching a wide range of age groups and liaising with communities and companies on a variety of topics. You will construct and be expected to run educational campaigns, talks, workshops and activities in line with the ethos of your organisation.
Additionally, it will be your responsibility to collect and review public feedback on the initiatives that you organise and promote, using this information to ensure that the work you do and the educational activities that you provide remain fresh, exciting and insightful.
You might do some evening work, especially if you work with community groups.
Your time will be spent in an office, lecture room or working within the community where you will represent your organisation.
Depending on your organisation you might spend some of your time outdoors in all weathers, for example at a zoo or community farm.
Type of work
You might be expected to wear a uniform or protective clothing.
Things to consider
Varied work This profession combines opportunities to teach outside the classroom with the ability to learn effective marketing skills and event organisation.
Rewarding You will help make a visit to your workplace a more memorable experience for everyone and create a positive public profile.
Work in all weathers Depending on your organisation you might spend some of your time outdoors in all weathers, for example at a zoo or community farm.
Very competitive Entry to this profession is very competitive and in the early stages of your career you are likely to discover that relevant voluntary or unpaid work experience will be very valuable to employers.
Most people have an undergraduate degree and you will need previous experience/passion for the field
Though applicants may apply for an education officer position with any degree subject, it would be advantageous to have a degree relevant to the area you are applying to. For example, to work as an education officer in a museum or gallery, useful degree/HND subjects would include history, archaeology, anthropology, museum studies, cultural studies, history of art and education. For an environmental education officer position, a degree/HND in a biological or environmental science, such as ecology, conservation or zoology, would be beneficial.
Qualifications and/or experience in teaching or community education, such as a PGCE or master’s degree in education or education management, are useful and may be required. Relevant work experience is essential in order to secure a paid position.
Salary progression Starting salaries typically range from £17,000 to £20,000.
For senior level posts where officers have approximately 10 years’ experience, salaries will rise to between £30,000 and £40,000.
For management positions within private organisations where you are responsible for developing policy and a multidisciplinary team, salaries can reach up to £60,000.
Entry without a degree is possible but only if you have extensive voluntary experience.
Emma Davies works within the editorial department at Trotman Publishing. Graduating from her Masters degree in 2017, she is familiar with all aspects of the student journey through university. She is passionate about helping students find the right career, and was a member of the SYP’s inaugural committee in the South West.