What Are the Top Jobs in Faculty Administration?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in faculty administration. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary statistics, job duties, and education requirements. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Faculty Administrator?

A faculty administrator is an educational professional who manages and oversees the faculty at an educational institution, like a college or university. Listed here are a few positions in faculty administration including department chairperson, academic dean, and provost.

Department chairpersons are in charge of various academic departments, like the school of biology or journalism. They hold the highest leadership position within that department and manage all of the faculty members who work and teach within it. As an academic dean, you would oversee the faculty across the entire institution, not just one specific department. You would make be in charge of hiring new faculty members and making sure academic standards are maintained. Finally, as a provost you would hold an even more senior role and be responsible for planning educational and academic programs for the university. Below is a table that introduces the degree requirements, key responsibilities, projected job growth, and median salary of these three positions.

Department Chairperson Academic Dean Provost
Degree Requirements Ph.D. in field of department Ph.D. Ph.D.
Key Responsibilities Oversee academic departments, teach classes, manage other faculty members Assist provosts, manage operations of academic departments, assign tasks to department chairs Write academic policies, allocate funds, assist in personnel decisions
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 9% (for all postsecondary administrators)9% (for all
postsecondary administrators)
9% (for all postsecondary administrators)
Median salary (2015)** $84,918 $89,178 $148,277

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , **PayScale.com

Jobs for Prospective Faculty Administrators

There are a few different kinds of higher education administrators who oversee faculty. Provosts assist university presidents; academic deans, in turn, assist provosts. Provosts write academic policies, help allocate funds and assist in personnel decisions. Deans of faculty help manage the operations of individual academic departments and assign tasks to chairpersons.

Department heads oversee academic departments in a certain field of study, such as history, English or computer science. Unlike other administrators, including student affairs directors or university presidents, department heads usually teach classes. They may also be responsible for recruiting, hiring and evaluating faculty members. Additional duties might include scheduling classes and attending departmental committee meetings.

What Kind of Degree Do I Need?

Administrators at the postsecondary level are often promoted from within the institution; many administrators are former professors. In order to work as a professor, you'll usually need to earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in your field of study. For example, a biology professor typically holds a Ph.D. in Biology.

In some cases, earning a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) or a Ph.D. in Higher Education or Higher Education Leadership may lead to administrative work at the college level. Common courses in these programs could include ethical issues in higher education, diversity and social justice, research methodologies, higher education policy and higher education business law.

A doctoral degree can usually be earned in 4-7 years; you'll probably need to write a dissertation. Most doctoral programs expect students to take a comprehensive exam prior to beginning dissertation work.

Is the Job Market Good?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of postsecondary administrators was expected to increase by 9% between 2014 and 2024. According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary for a department chairperson was $84,918 in 2015. That same year academic deans had a median salary of $89,178, and provost had a median salary of $148,277.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are more interested in working with the student body, you may want to pursue a career as a campus dean, which involves managing dormitories and students. This job generally requires a bachelor's degree. Another profession that requires administrative duties is a chief executive officer (CEO) for a non-profit organization. These professionals generally have at least a master's degree and are responsible for overseeing the management of an entire organization, including the organization's finances and employees.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »