School superintendents are responsible for managing the funds and policies that keep a school district running effectively. Continue reading to learn about academic requirements and responsibilities for school superintendents, as well as what you can look forward to in terms of job growth and salary.
School superintendents are the top-level executives in a school district. In this role, you'll be responsible for hiring personnel, crafting a budget and meeting financial needs. You may also set the district's academic and financial goals and implement policies to meet them. As a high-level administrator, you'll also oversee the activities of principals and teachers.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you must have extensive administrative experience and comprehensive knowledge of fiscal matters to obtain a position. You must also be a self-motivated and decisive leader. Good communication skills are essential, especially when interacting with school board members, teachers, parent groups and the public.
As reported by the BLS, employment opportunities for top executives, including school superintendents, were expected to increase by an average rate of 11% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). According to PayScale.com, most school superintendents earned between $61,834 and $176,005 per year as of July 2014.
To become a school superintendent, you must have at least a master's degree in educational administration or school superintendency; some school districts prefer applicants with a doctoral degree. Additional hiring requirements can include a professional certification.
Through a degree program in superintendency or education administration, you may study the relationship between the school and the community, the school's financial needs, educational policies and administrative theories. You might also learn about the methods used to improve schools, trends in educational leadership or how to create and implement policies. A portion of the program may involve independent research, including its practical applications and implementation. Many schools require administrative internships and field experiences; you'll also research, write and defend a dissertation.
In addition to campus-based studies, some schools offer online doctoral programs in educational administration. Online degree programs for educational specialists are also available.