Reading Specialist Salary & Career Information

Few education jobs provide the versatility you'll experience as a reading specialist. Reading specialists work with students, teachers and administrators, and may even travel between schools. Tasks like managing school- or district-wide reading initiatives, consulting with teachers, and providing individualized help to struggling students require a strong skill set. Thankfully, your reading specialist salary will reward you for your training and skills, and the challenges you'll face on the job.

Reading Specialist Salary Information

In 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) studied salary information for instructional coordinators (an educational category that includes reading specialists). They found that the annual mean reading specialist salary was $59,780. Better yet, the reading specialist salary for elementary and secondary school instructional coordinators was the highest of those studied, at $66,340.

As a point of comparison, other education service providers made the following mean annual wages in 2008:

  • Elementary classroom teacher salary: $52,240
  • Middle school classroom teacher salary: $52,570
  • Secondary classroom teacher salary: $54,390
  • Elementary and secondary reading specialist salary: $66,340
  • Elementary and secondary education administrator salary: $86,060

Employment Outlook

Employment prospects for literacy educators look as optimistic as the reading specialist salary data. The BLS reports that, along with postsecondary teachers and self-enrichment education teachers, instructional coordinators such as reading specialists, curriculum specialists and instructional coaches will experience the most job growth of all educational service positions in the decade spanning 2006 to 2016.

Thanks to the recent focus on improved education standards and testing, reading specialists will continue to be in demand. Reading specialists will see job growth in part because of the focus placed on reading goals by the No Child Left Behind Act. In addition, increased services for English language learners will likely add a new area of focus for reading specialists, as they implement additional programs for the growing immigrant population.

Beyond Your Reading Specialist Salary

Once you are an experienced reading specialist, you can advance your career—and increase your salary—by moving into education administration or curriculum development. Specializing in technology will give you an edge over other teachers, because schools need knowledgeable faculty to research and implement technological advances in reading and other educational arenas.

Becoming a reading specialist takes education and dedication, but the payoffs are great. You'll get to improve the literacy of hundreds of students, giving them the tools they need for a better education in all their subjects and the skills they'll need for their future careers. Not only that, but you will also enjoy a healthy reading specialist salary for the satisfying work you do. That, combined with increasing job prospects, makes literacy education a rewarding career to pursue.

To learn how to become a reading specialist, see our reading specialist degrees and certification article.

Top Degrees for Reading Specialists


Loyola College in Maryland

Campuses: Baltimore

Degrees Offered:

  • Adv. Certificate in Reading Education
  • MEd in Literacy/Reading Education

Request Info


University of La Verne

Campuses: La Verne

Degrees Offered:

  • MEd in Reading
  • Reading Certificate
  • Reading & Language Arts Specialist Credential

Request Info

New York

Medaille College

Campuses: Buffalo

Degrees Offered:

  • Post-Master's Certificate in Literacy
  • Master of Science in Education - Literacy

Request Info


Concordia University

Campuses: Online

Degrees Offered:

  • M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction - Adolescent Literacy (Online)
  • M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction - English Language Development (Online)
  • M.Ed in Curriculum & Instruction - Reading (Online)

Request Info

University of the Southwest

Campuses: Online

Degrees Offered:

  • Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction: Bilingual

Request Info

Article of the Month
First year trials...

Do you remember walking through the front doors of your school on your first day as a teacher? Well, I sure do. A few teenagers were strolling the halls, but most hadn’t arrived yet. Eager with anticipation, I hardly slept a wink... Read More...