Director of Education Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue as a director of education. Read on to learn more about career options along with salary and job outlook information. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Director of Education?

A director of education may also be known as an education director or a school principal. These education professionals may work at the preschool, elementary, middle, secondary and postsecondary levels. They are responsible for overseeing the enrollment of students, ensuring that they have qualified teaching staff, scheduling classes, addressing disciplinary concerns, assessing the performance of their teachers and ensuring that all school services are available. Their key objective is to establish a positive learning environment for their students. As part of their duties they may determine the school budget and determine which resources to purchase in the school year.

Directors of Education: Preschool and Childcare Centers Directors of Education: Elementary, Middle and Secondary Schools Directors of Education: Postsecondary Schools
Degree Required Bachelor's or master's degree Bachelor's degree, master's degree may be required Bachelor's for entry level, master's degree or doctorate may be required.
Education Field of Study Early childhood education, communications, childhood psychology Education, communications, educational psychology, administration Educational leadership, general administration, education
Key Responsibilities Establish policies and curricula, manage preschool programs Meet with staff, and parents to create educational goals; provide guidance to students regarding grades, disciplinary action, and academic achievement Handle student services, promote the school, conduct research
Job Growth (2014-2024) 7% (for preschool and childcare directors)* 6% (for elementary, middle and high school principals)* 9% (for postsecondary education administrators)*
Median Wage (2015) $45,670 (for preschool and childcare directors)* $90,410 (for elementary, middle and high school principals)* $88,580 (for postsecondary education administrators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Types of Director of Education Jobs?

Directors of education are the administrators or principals in a school system. Such jobs are available in preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities and other educational facilities. As a director, your job would be to manage and oversee the running of the educational institution. You'd provide leadership for staff and students, manage the daily activities and set the standards for the school. You might oversee the school's budget and handle student record management. It might also be your job to design policies, procedures and programs.

Monitoring students' progress and watching the overall progress of the school are other major responsibilities for directors. Schools are measured in comparison to state or federal standards. If your school does not meet standards, you might implement programs to boost test scores or provide additional help for students through counseling programs. It is your job to ensure your students get the best possible education.

Teacher management would also be in your job description. You might monitor teacher performance and ensure teachers get the proper training or continuing education. You might hire new teachers or implement staff changes as needed.

What Training and Education Do I Need?

The typical path to director of education jobs starts with earning a bachelor's degree in education and working as a teacher. After gaining experience, you may want to earn a master's degree in education administration to prepare for advancement into a higher position as a principal or other education administrator.

Some schools offer post-graduate certificate programs or endorsements that are helpful for advancing to education director positions; examples include a post-master's certification in educational leadership or general administration. If you wish to work in a top-level job or in a college or university, a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree may be required.

Licensing may be required by the state for some director positions. Most states require directors to hold at least a master's degree and some may require testing. Continuing education requirements may also be imposed by the state.

How Much Can I Earn?

As of May 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median salary for preschool and childcare center directors was $45,670 ( Elementary, middle and secondary school principals earned a median salary of $90,410, and directors at the postsecondary level earned a median salary of $88,580.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Instructional coordinators and school librarians have aspects of their work that are similar to a director of education's duties. They need a master's degree, which is required for a director of education working with students in kindergarten, elementary, middle, secondary or postsecondary school. They share a focus of creating a quality educational environment for students.

Instructional coordinators develop the curriculum that teachers use in their classes. They may work closely with a director of education to assess the curriculum and determine if they need to provide training for the school's teachers. They may also review the curriculum's effectiveness and receive feedback from a director of education and modify the curriculum if necessary.

School librarians receive their budget from the director of education. They also receive a schedule that will determine when the library needs to be available for different classes or groups. School librarians work with the director of education to ensure that they have the resource materials needed for the curriculum guidelines, and may make budgetary decisions together about which supplies to purchase.

All of these professionals work in some capacity to ensure students learn appropriate skills and concepts and have access to the resources that they need to succeed in school.

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:

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