How Can I Become an Education Administrator?

Explore the career requirements for education administrators. Get the facts about duties, education requirements, professional licensure and the employment outlook to determine if this is the right field for you. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Education Administrator Do?

Education administrators set policies and supervise the day-to-day operations of elementary, secondary and postsecondary schools. They manage activities and staff, maintain curriculum standards and examine achievement reports at the elementary and secondary levels. They also help with student behavior and set up security procedures. At the postsecondary level, education administrators manage academics, student services and admissions. They may also help with scheduling students for classes, helping students meet graduation requirements and compiling data about students and classes. Take a look at the following chart for an overview of how to enter the field.

Degree Required Master's or doctoral degree
Education Field of Study All academic disciplines
Key Skills Planning, communication, data review and analysis, record keeping
Licensure or Certification May be required in preschool, primary or secondary school settings
Job Growth (2014-2024) 9%* (postsecondary administrators), 6% (elementary and secondary administrators)
Median Salary (2015) $88,580* (postsecondary administrators), $90,410* (elementary and secondary administrators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is an Education Administrator?

As an education administrator, you'd oversee the operations of a particular educational institution. You might find employment within an elementary school, middle school, high school, day care center, college or university. You might also hold an administrative position within a larger school district. In each of these institutions, your primary goal is to make sure that schools meet educational goals. Some of your specific duties might include selecting and hiring teachers, supervising educational staff, preparing budgets for a school, handling community relations, and even working with students.

What Types of Positions are Available?

There are several different types of jobs available in the field of educational administration. One of the most common positions is that of a school principal or vice principal. In such a role, you are responsible for supervising teachers, setting school policies, enforcing school rules, and devising school mission statements. You are also often responsible for setting and maintaining the budget for an entire school.

If you work as a regular administrator, you typically oversee several different public schools in one city or jurisdiction. You might be responsible for establishing the curriculum to be used in a public school system and overseeing school-run programs. You also coordinate with all of the various teachers and principals that make up a school district.

If you work as an education administrator for a college or university, you usually specialize in a particular department such as student services, financial aid, admissions, registration or athletics. You might also act as a chairperson of an entire educational department or college, such as mathematics, or arts and sciences.

What Education Might I Need?

The most common degree available to aspiring education administrators is a Master of Science in Education Administration. In most cases, such a degree can prepare you for any of the roles detailed above. If you are interested in working as a school principal, you might also need to gain teacher certification from your state board of education.

A master's degree program in education administration should provide you with a solid understanding of the foundations of educational administration and school supervision. Some other specific courses might cover curriculum development, school financing, school law, educational organizations, leadership and management, and administration policies.

What Salary Could I Expect to Make?

Different roles in the field of education administration are attached to different salaries. For example, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that elementary and secondary school education administrators made a median annual salary of roughly $90,410 in 2015. They also held about 235,110 jobs that year (www.bls.gov). Meanwhile, postsecondary education administrators held nearly 135,690 jobs and earned a median salary of $88,580 in 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Other career options similar to educational administrators include postsecondary teachers and school and career counselors. Postsecondary teachers instruct students in various academic disciplines after they graduate high school. They also write scholarly papers and books. School counselors support students academically and socially to help them do well in school. Career counselors help people improve their job skills, as well as assisting them with choosing a career. These options all require a master's degree.

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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