Admissions Advisor: Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become an admissions advisor. Learn about education and training requirements, as well as what kind of salary you can expect to earn. Schools offering School Counseling degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Admissions Advisor?

Admissions advisors work in the admissions offices of colleges and universities, where they meet with prospective students and organize recruitment events. They inform students and families about the application process, admission requirements, financial aid and enrollment steps. In addition, they can answer questions about the school to help prospective students decide whether it is a good fit. In addition to setting up on-campus events, they may also leave campus to promote the school at college fairs.

The following table describes what you need to know before entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree at minimum
Education Field of Study Sales and marketing or related field
Training Required Internship or 1-3 years experience may be required
Key Responsibilities Recruit and counsel prospective students, lead campus tours
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% for all postsecondary education administrators*
Median Annual Wage (2017) $42,457 for college admissions advisors**

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

What Does an Admissions Advisor Do?

As an admissions advisor, you'll encourage prospective students to enroll in a specific college or university. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), admissions advisors council potential applicants about the admissions process and the opportunities available at the school (www.nacacnet.org). These one-on-one meetings allow applicants to ask questions and take a tour of the campus.

What Education Do I Need?

Most employers seek those who have at least a bachelor's degree in sales and marketing or a related field, according to March 2011 job postings on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. These bachelor's degree programs can provide you with strong communication skills and teach you how to promote your employer and build strong relationships with clients. These undergraduate programs may also allow for internship opportunities where you can build hands-on experience working alongside experienced business professionals.

How Do I Obtain Experience?

To be considered for employment as an admissions advisor, you may need 1-3 years of sales or recruitment experience, according to March 2011 job postings on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. According to the NACAC, it may be beneficial if you are an alumnus of the university you want to work at. This way, you are already familiar with the school. Prior work as a resident assistant, campus tour guide or other related position can improve your professional marketability. You may also be able to consider any completed internships as part of your experience.

What Salary Should I Expect?

The salary of admissions advisors depends upon your level of experience, your employer and your geographic location. Admissions advisors earned a median annual salary of $42,457, according to January 2017 information provided by PayScale.com. Those with more experience can expect higher salaries. Additionally, higher salaries may be available from private colleges or schools located in larger urban areas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (www.bls.gov) employment for positions in postsecondary education administration was expected to grow 9% from 2014 to 2024.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you want to get a job helping high school students through the college application process, you could work as a school counselor. Instead of promoting a specific school, you would offer general advice on college admissions as well as alternative options like entering the workforce or joining the military. These professionals need to have a master's degree. Alternatively, you could pursue a job in an entirely different area of counseling; for instance, you could serve as an advisor for those struggling with substance abuse and/or behavioral disorders. The minimum educational requirement for this job is a bachelor's degree.

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