What Is School Administration?

School administration officers oversee the daily operations of schools, colleges, universities, day care centers and preschools. A school administrator's specific responsibilities differ between organizations, but often these administrators are an important link between students and local communities. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Organizational School Administration Overview

School administration officers advocate for the students within their communities and set goals and objectives to further childrens' education, according to the American Association of School Administrators. Although most school administrators work in educational organizations, some work in businesses, museums and community organizations where they manage educational programs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $89,540 (for elementary, middle, and high school administrators); $88,390 (for college/university administrators)
Required Education Master's degree
Job Outlook (2014-2024) While college and university administration is expected to grow by 9%, all other levels of school administration are expected to grow at a significantly slower rate of 6%.
Work Environment Most administrators work at their institution full-time, all year (during school session and before/after).

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Elementary, Middle and High School Administration

School administrators who work in elementary, middle and high schools are also known as principals. They usually have master's or doctoral degrees in educational leadership or administration. However, many administrators who work in private schools have only bachelor's degrees, according to the BLS. Public and private school administration professionals supervise teachers, counselors, coaches, librarians and support staff. A principal could also be responsible for:

  • Hiring and evaluating teachers
  • Setting goals and objectives
  • Communicating with parents, students and community members
  • Preparing budgets

College and University Administration

Many college or university administrators started their careers as professors, so it follows that most have master's or doctoral degrees, as reported by the BLS. These professionals oversee departments, both educational and recreational, or they help the president of the university manage the entire campus. The responsibilities of school administrators vary depending on the size of the colleges or universities and the number of enrolled students. Regardless of the school's size, college administrators usually handle the following duties:

  • Hiring faculty
  • Drafting budgets
  • Creating policies and programs
  • Raising money
  • Advocating for students

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