What Are Some Career Options in Education Administration?

Someone seeking a leadership role in an elementary school, secondary school or even a postsecondary school should consider career options available in education administration. Some of these positions include principal, central office administrator and college department head. Careers in education administration often require a master's degree, teaching experience, or both. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Options

Many education administrators begin their careers as teachers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Those educators who want to advance to leadership roles such as assistant principal or principal should enroll in a master's degree program in education administration. A graduate degree in the field can also prepare candidates for other roles in school administration or for leadership roles in college administration offices.

Principals Central Office Administrators College Department Heads
Entry Level Education Master's degree or doctoral degree Bachelor's or master's degree Master's degree or doctoral degree
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 6% for all elementary/secondary principals 11% for all top executives 15% for all postsecondary administrators
Work Environment Office setting, school School district College, university or community college
Median Salary (2014) $89,540 per year for all elementary/secondary principals $173,320 per year for all top executives(includes central office administrators) $88,390 per year for all postsecondary administrators (includes college department heads)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Principals

A principal is an educational administrator who manages an elementary, middle or high school. A principal works with teachers and staff to set curricula and maintain a high standard of learning, and she or he also meets with teachers and staff to advise them and explain procedure or answer questions. Hiring, evaluating and improving the skills of teachers are also essential to the role of a principal.

Central Office Administrators

A central office administrator works in a school district's central office and oversees public schools that are under his or her jurisdiction. A central office administrator might direct school programs such as athletics, curricula and professional development, according to the BLS. A central office administrator may be the sole administrator in preschools and child care centers, which are typically smaller than public schools.

College Department Heads

College or university department heads are educational administration personnel who specialize in particular areas of study. These could include English, science, mathematics or psychology. A college department head often teaches and coordinates class schedules and assignments for teachers or professors. A college department head is often responsible for recruiting and hiring applicants for teaching positions. He or she may evaluate faculty, encourage the development of faculty and serve on committees. It is the responsibility of a college department head to create a balance between faculty, administration and students.

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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