How Can I Become an Education Director?

Explore the career requirements for education directors. 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 Director Do?

Education directors are also known as education administrators. In an elementary, middle or high schools they may be known as the school principal. They oversee the functions of the staff at a school to ensure that all school services are provided effectively. They determine class schedules and ensure that approved curricula are followed by teachers. They also review the performance of their teachers, coordinate events and manage budgets. At the postsecondary level, educator directors or administrators are typically more specialized. As admissions directors, they may decide which students to accept into their school. As department deans, they may focus on overseeing teachers in a specific subject area.

Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary SchoolsEducation Administrators, Postsecondary
Degree Required Typically a master's or doctoral degree Typically a master's or doctoral degree
Education Field of Study Education, education administration Varied disciplines
Key Skills Leadership, problem-solving, critical-thinking and interpersonal skills Computer, organizational, interpersonal and problem-solving skills
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% for all elementary and high school principals* 9%*
Median Salary (2015) $90,410 for all elementary, middle and high school principals* $88,580*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is an Education Director?

The typical job duties of an education director may include reviewing educational standards, implementing student service programs, assessing employees, managing budgets, preparing reports and coordinating school programs. You might work at a preschool, secondary school or university. Job opportunities may also be available through employers who have their own educational or training systems, such as hospitals or government agencies. Salaries and responsibilities can vary depending upon employer type.

What Kind of Training Is Required?

According to job ads on CareerBuilder.com, employers expect directors to understand how a typical education system operates. Experience as a teacher or education administrator is usually required. For example, a director of a hospital's nursing education program would probably need to be a registered nurse; an assistant principal typically has some experience as a teacher.

Do I Need a Degree?

You'll usually need at least a bachelor's degree in order to work as an education director. For some positions - like that of a principal - a master's degree is required. Employers often prefer applicants who hold a degree directly related to their industry. For example, a preschool director might need a degree in early childhood education or a related field. A degree in nursing could be required in order to work as a nurse director.

Do I Need to Be Licensed or Certified?

Licensing requirements vary from state to state and often depend on the industry in which you work. Many states have licensing requirements for directors at public as well as private schools. Postsecondary administrators don't usually need to hold a license.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, education administrators at public and private schools need to be licensed. There are several licenses available, including the Beginning Administrator License, Instructional Leadership License and the Professional Administrator License. Licensure requirements usually include Tennessee teacher certification, some teaching experience and completion of a graduate program in school leadership or school administration.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, education administrators need an educator license in administration. Administrators must also hold a Wisconsin Professional Educator license or license in pupil services; experience in teaching or in administration of student services is required as well.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Preschool directors and instructional coordinators have job responsibilities that are similar to the work of education directors. Preschool directors may determine which children are accepted into their programs, meet with parents to address concerns, and oversee the teaching and school staff. They may schedule classes and events and may also address disciplinary concerns. Instructional coordinators focus on developing the curriculum guidelines and recommending instructional materials. They may work with education directors to assess the curriculum or determine if there are challenges teachers have with the curriculum, and may hold workshops to train teachers. Preschool directors need a bachelor's degree; instructional coordinators need a master's degree and a license.

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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