A career in education consultancy can give you the freedom to shape your own career path while realising your passion for education and the learners' journey

As an education consultant, you'll use your experience in learning, teaching and assessment to help develop the curriculum, implement new strategies to improve education programmes, or work with organisations and learners to identify and support their specialist needs.

You can work as a generalist or specialise in a particular area of education such as:

  • teaching and learning - providing advice on the learning process
  • school and subject specialisms - for early years, primary and secondary subject specialisms
  • examination preparation
  • inclusion, including special needs
  • supporting school leaders
  • international education
  • national or international partnerships development
  • careers advice and support
  • online or technical education support
  • marketing and publicity
  • personnel issues
  • teacher training and development.

The work is varied and you can work in the public sector, for a consultancy or as a freelancer. There are also opportunities for international work.

Education consultants do not necessarily always have direct contact with the learner, and often might work in a role that supports an education organisation to deliver teaching and learning strategies or to fix systemic issues.


Whether you're a generalist or a specialist, as an education consultant you'll need to:

  • identify and respond to the needs of students and/or educational institutions
  • work with clients to understand their problems and develop a solution using education theory
  • present your ideas and solutions in an effective way
  • gather, disseminate and share best practice
  • use, develop and support assistive technologies
  • understand jargon, acronyms and specialist vocabulary within an education setting
  • work effectively with teachers, education leaders and learning organisations
  • provide training to teachers and other education professionals
  • work to a professional code of conduct and ethics and remain impartial.

You will also often need to:

  • organise or facilitate events and workshops
  • develop teaching and learning materials
  • create new teaching and assessment strategies, working methods, and education and career plans
  • deliver materials to a group or individual that needs particular support.


  • The average starting salaries for education consultants in the UK are typically between £20,000 and £25,000.
  • Experienced education consultants can earn between around £25,000 and £40,000.
  • Salaries for senior education consultants or those with a specialism can range from around £52,000 to £75,000 or more.

The fees charged by freelance education consultants vary depending on a range of factors, including their experience, area of specialism and the nature and complexity of the work.

Figures are intended as a guide only.

Working hours

Working hours vary depending on the nature of your role and your client group.

If you're working with schools, for example, your hours will generally follow school patterns, but you may need to work some evenings and weekends to develop plans or materials, especially when working on a big project.

If working with colleges or higher education institutions, you may have a 9am-5pm work pattern, with some evening working.

Education consultants working freelance or for a small company may find themselves working unsociable hours to accommodate their clients' needs.

What to expect

  • You will usually be office based for the development of learning materials or plans, unless your focus is on outdoor education.
  • Jobs are available throughout the UK. There are a few large companies working within the sector, but most organisations are small.
  • You can be directly employed by an educational institution, like a school or college, or you can work on a freelance basis. As a freelancer you have the flexibility of choosing which projects you undertake and working out how much you charge. However, the work is less secure than working for a company.
  • The role has a lot of variety but can be challenging at times as you'll be working to tight deadlines and juggling projects. You will be expected to network and/or build up and maintain relationships with your clients.
  • Dress code tends to be professional.
  • Depending on your specialism, you may travel during the working day to meet clients and conduct in-school observations. There are some opportunities to work abroad. Organisations such as the British Council can offer opportunities to explore working abroad.


Generally, you'll need at least an undergraduate degree or HND to be an education consultant, which can be in any subject. However, experience and determination counts for a lot in the industry.

Education consultants come from a variety of backgrounds and have often worked as deputy or head teachers, inspectors, education advisers and local authority officers, for example.

Many education consultants have a background in teaching and education, and many are qualified teachers or lecturers with experience of teaching. There are various ways to train as a teacher, but one of the most popular routes is to take a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). Find out more about how to become a teacher.

However, you don't need to have a teaching qualification to work as an education consultant. Other routes into the profession include working in a wider education role or in areas such as business, educational psychology, project management, human resources management or training.

Degrees and experience in the following subjects may be particularly useful:

  • business
  • early childhood studies
  • education
  • human resources
  • psychology
  • social sciences.

Some education consultants also study for a Masters degree in education to further develop their knowledge of a particular area of education. Search postgraduate courses in education.

Education consultants from backgrounds other than teaching may have postgraduate qualifications in their own areas of specialism.


You'll need to have:

  • a passion for education
  • communication and presentation skills in order to effectively convey your ideas, referencing the education theory underpinning your work
  • critical thinking skills in order to problem solve and find solutions
  • analytical skills
  • planning and organising skills
  • project management skills and the ability to work on more than one project at once
  • time management skills and the ability to meet tight deadlines
  • interpersonal skills
  • a flexible approach to work
  • the ability to work as a team, but also on your own initiative
  • a willingness to keep up to date with modern teaching and learning strategies.

You may also need a driving licence to travel to meet clients.

Work experience

Experience in an education setting is invaluable. This could be as a teacher or in a related education role. You can also gain experience working with learners and/or clients through private tutoring.

Education consultants need a good understanding of the current education landscape. Teaching experience can help you gain first-hand experience of the education system, how it works, the challenges and the opportunities for improvement.

Voluntary work in school and college environments or as a school governor are other useful ways of gaining experience.

Getting experience in business and management is also helpful as these skills are transferable to education consultancy.

Find out more about the different kinds of work experience and internships that are available.


Most education consultants work for consultancies, as freelancers or in the public sector.

You can work across the education and children's services sector either individually, in a partnership, as part of a small company or with larger consultancies and organisations.

There are organisations that work in specialist areas of education and provide advice and guidance to clients, as well as opportunities to develop your own client base.

You will provide support to a range of educational organisations, including:

  • early years and nursery schools
  • learning support units
  • primary and secondary schools
  • further education and sixth form colleges
  • higher education institutions
  • local authorities
  • pupil referral units.

You can look for vacancies (or potential clients if you are a freelancer) on:

International jobs may be advertised at:

Many education consultants are freelancers, which involves networking and developing contacts to help you find out about opportunities for work.

Professional development

It's important to keep up to date with current issues related to education. Membership of the Society of Education Consultants is useful as it provides access to events, news, resources and job opportunities.

You will also have the opportunity to learn collaboratively from more experienced consultants, both in the UK and overseas, and to build your network of contacts.

Members work to the SEC's Code of Practice, which provides a benchmark for your integrity and quality of work, and allows you to use the SEC Member logo on your communications and marketing. As a member you can also create an online profile on the SEC website to help promote your services.

Career prospects

There are opportunities to develop a specialism in, for example, teaching and learning, teacher training and development, or inclusion. With experience, you could move into a senior education consultant role or related education leadership role.

With the right mix of skills and experience, you might choose to set up your own consultancy. Word-of-mouth is important when attracting new clients so you'll need a good network of contacts who value your experience and are happy to recommend you to others. Being able to market yourself and your services is also important.

Some education consultants return to teaching or move into careers in related areas such as careers advice or support work.

The skills you develop as an education consultant may also be transferred to consultancy roles in other sectors.

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