High School Activities Director: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a high school activities director. Learn about salary and employment requirements to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a High School Activities Director?

A high school activities director oversees extracurricular activities for the students. Often many of these activities are sports. Sometimes known as an athletic director, these professionals help create and maintain schedules for various sports and activities throughout the school year. They also help plan, organize and oversee different activities for school clubs or organizations. They may provide equipment and supplies for events, as well as help set-up areas for events. High school activities directors must also ensure that school policy is followed at all events and gatherings to ensure the safety of students and guests. The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Training Required Coaching; knowledge of a school's extracurricular activities
Key Responsibilities Supervising coaches; scheduling games, leading practices and events; managing budgets
Licensure Teaching license sometimes required
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (coaches and scouts)*; 6% (for secondary school teachers)
Median Salary $38,538 (for activities directors in 2017)**; $57,200 (for secondary school teachers in 2015)*

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

How Can I Gain Experience?

Most high school activities directors start their careers as classroom teachers. Because of this, a bachelor's degree will be required before gaining experience, although educational backgrounds vary. Would-be activities directors should consider acquiring coaching experience since many will double as athletic directors - often, the term 'activities director' is synonymous with 'athletic director'. Interested coaches, after some experience, will then be eligible for activities director positions. Though this is most common, it isn't mandatory.

Most high schools offer a wide range of activities to its students from marching band to soccer to chess club. An activities director doesn't need to have experience in every extracurricular offered; however, having knowledge of the school's offerings is vital to coordinating activities. Some coaches even sponsor or coach activities out of their areas of expertise to beef up their resumes to become activities directors.

What Are The Job Duties of a High School Activities Director?

Most activities directors work under the direction of their principals. Many activities directors teach on top of their activities director responsibilities, though in larger schools this may not be the case. An activities director supervises all coaches and sponsors and usually creates schedules for games, practices, meetings and other extracurricular events. Activities directors can expect to be busy as each time of the school year showcases different sports as well as eventful seasons for choral and music departments.

Safety is a primary concern for most activities directors. The well-being of students will be a large part of the job, ensuring that coaches and sponsors adhere to safety regulations and procedures regarding on and off campus activities while coaching and sponsoring students.

Some directors will also need to manage the budget. This will include allotting money to the various sports teams and organizations. Because of the many possible tasks an activities director may be assigned, a highly organized person committed to providing a versatile yet safe activities program is best suited for this job.

How Much Do High School Activities Directors Make?

Most activities directors earn the salary of a teacher, their years of experience being a factor in their annual wages. Secondary school teachers made a median salary around $57,200 in 2015, depending on where he or she lives (www.bls.gov). Activities directors who still teach typically receive their director wages in the form of a set stipend. This pay is on top of their teacher salary and varies by school as well as how much responsibility the position entails. Activities directors can make up to $38,538 annually (www.payscale.com). The salary usually indicates the amount of responsibility the activities director will be required to take on.

When working for most public schools and some private ones, healthcare and other fringe benefits will be offered in addition to salary. Be sure to research what each district offers including benefits and stipend amounts.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are several related positions in the education field that require a bachelor's degree, including middle school teachers, special education teachers and career and technical education teachers. Middle school teachers usually educate students in the 6th to 8th grades in a variety of subjects. Special education teachers may also be in the middle schools, but also the elementary and high schools. They help adapt lesson plans and coordinate activities to assist students with wide ranges of disabilities. Career and technical education teachers prepare students for a future career by teaching them specific skills and or knowledge needed in a particular industry.

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