School District Administrator Certification and Career Facts

Find out the education and experience you'll need to become a school district administrator. Learn about job duties and state certification requirements. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

School district administrators, sometimes called school superintendents, budget and allocate funds for a school district, evaluate instructional techniques and ensure that a school's curriculum meets state education guidelines. Some also interact with parents and educational policy makers and administer achievement tests.

EducationMaster's degree in educational leadership or educational administration, teacher training bachelor's degree program and work experience are typically required
CertificationLicensing varies by state; most states require school administrators to be licensed and have a master's degree
Median Salary (2017)* $94,390 (elementary and secondary education administrators)
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% (elementary and secondary education administrators)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Need to Be Certified?

Certification requirements differ in each state. Most require school district administrators to hold a master's degree in educational leadership or educational administration. You may also need to have completed a teacher training bachelor degree program or be certified to teach. Most states require you to have 3-5 years of work experience as a teacher or administrator.

What Are These Programs Like?

You will need teaching certification or up to two years of teaching experience to enter an educational administration master's degree program. Course topics for master's degrees in educational leadership or educational administration can include:

  • Personnel administration
  • School leadership
  • Educational law
  • Principalship
  • Instructional improvement
  • Funding educational institutions

You may also have to complete an internship or practicum. Applicants to educational administration certificate programs will need a master's degree and up to three years of experience as teachers or school service personnel. Coursework is similar to that of a master's degree program. You can learn about site and resource management, effective supervision and public school accounting. Program requirements also include internships and capstone research projects.

Can I Complete Any Coursework Online?

Because many educational administration master's degree and certificate programs are geared towards practicing teachers, coursework can often be completed online through e-mail correspondence and discussion boards. Most schools require you to have a high-speed Internet connection and multi-media plug-ins to access these materials. However, practicums and internships will still need to be completed in a high school or elementary school setting.

What Are The Job Duties?

Educational administrators have the responsibility of planning, directing, and coordinating activities in educational environments. Part of their mission is to ensure local, state, and federal guidelines are followed by teachers, academic advisors, facility workers, and other administrators. In order to achieve this goal, educational administrators should be service-driven, organized, diplomatic, and empathetic. They should have good problem-solving skills and also have good communication skills since they interact with a wide range of people. Their duties may include:

  • Budgeting
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Curriculum implementation
  • Staff evaluations
  • Public relations
  • Events planning
  • Scheduling
  • Logistics

What Kind of Salary Can I Expect?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for elementary and secondary education administrators as of May 2017 was $94,390. During the timeframe of 2016 to 2026, the number of elementary and secondary education administrators is expected to increase by 8 percent, which aligns with the national average.

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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