Education Supervisor: Career and Salary Facts

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

What Is an Education Supervisor?

There are many jobs you could choose from in education supervision. Positions exist in both K-12 schooling along with postsecondary education. As an elementary, middle or high school principal, you would oversee all school operations, so your duties would include supervising staff, managing the budget, disciplining students and implementing safety procedures, among other tasks. In a job as a postsecondary administrator, you would be probably be in charge of a particular area of a college or university, such as admissions, student affairs or the registrar's office. You might also serve as a provost or academic dean, where you would focus on implementing academic policies and overseeing research faculty.

Consider the information in the following table to determine if a career as an education supervisor is right for you.

Elementary, Middle, and High School PrincipalsPostsecondary Education Administrators
Degree RequiredBachelor's degree minimum; higher degree often required Bachelor's degree minimum; higher degree often required
Education Field of StudyEducation, school counseling, or related fieldSocial work, accounting, or marketing
Licensure State license required N/A
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%* 9%*
Median Salary (2015) $90,410* $88,580*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Training Would I Need?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graduate-level education is commonly required for education supervisor positions (www.bls.gov). While a bachelor's or master's degree could qualify you for several positions, such as vice principal, school dean or curricula developer, earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree could improve your marketability and increase your employment opportunities. The BLS stated that most education supervisors advanced to their positions after performing teaching services.

You can usually complete a Ph.D. or Ed.D. program in educational leadership or administration in 4-6 years. You'll spend the majority of the first part of your program in courses, seminars and research studies. As a doctoral student in education, you could be required to participate in teaching assistantships, which might provide you with some financial support. Some possible course and research topics include:

  • Educational statistics
  • Communication
  • Academic and school planning
  • Legal and ethical leadership
  • Information technology
  • Human resources management
  • Organizational administration
  • Curricula and program development
  • Fundraising and grant writing

Do I Need a License?

To work in a public elementary, middle or high school, the BLS noted that all states require you to obtain a license as an education supervisor. You could need to first earn a teaching license and pass a test to add an administration endorsement. Some states also require you to obtain a license to become a superintendent or supervise a school district. Private schools, colleges and universities don't require licensure.

Regulated education supervisory positions might mandate continuing education to maintain a license or certification. Many schools offer education programs and courses in campus-based or online formats that satisfy this requirement. You might also be able to participate in state-approved conferences, seminars, professional activities or lectures to count toward continuing education requirements.

How Much Could I Earn?

The salary you could make usually depends on the position, location and size of the school you work at. In May 2015, the BLS reported the median salary for education administrators at elementary through high schools was nearly $90,410, and postsecondary administrators earned $88,580 per year. Institutional salaries estimated by the BLS showed that working at a 4-year university offered an average just over $106,000, and a supervisory position at a technical college or trade school came in at almost $80,000 per year. The highest-paid education supervisors and administrators in postsecondary education earned between $119,670 and $144,640 and worked in Delaware, New Jersey, Hawaii, Maryland and Florida, according to the BLS.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

You might also be interested in a job as an instructional coordinator. These professionals evaluate school curricula and design and implement innovative solutions to improve student performance in particular academic areas. For this job, you would need a master's degree and previous experience in the field. Alternatively, if you want to work directly with students, you could get a teaching job. As a high school teacher, you would teach a specific subject, such as history or biology, to students between ninth and twelfth grades. To work in a public school, you would need to get a bachelor's degree and pass a licensure exam.

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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