What Is an Admissions Director?

Explore the career requirements for becoming an admission director. Get the facts about education requirements, job responsibilities, salary and potential job outlooks to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Admissions Director?

An admissions director typically works for a college or university. They are responsible for determining how many students the school will accept into different programs each year, and they review student applications to determine which students will be offered acceptance. They consider factors such as grades and the school's values and assess applications to determine which applicants are most likely to succeed and uphold the school's standards. Admissions directors also communicate with high schools and try to promote their school's programs and ensure that students know what educational opportunities their school offers.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree; master's or doctoral degree may be preferred
Education Field of Study Education, educational administration
Key Skills Strong communication and organizational skills, passion for working with students and ability to deliver both acceptances and rejections with thoughtful consideration
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 9% for all post-secondary education administrators
Median Salary (2016)** $66,123

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Does an Admissions Director Do?

As an admissions director, you'd review new students' applications and academic performance to determine if they meet the necessary standard for admittance. You'd be responsible for overseeing the entire admissions process. This might involve managing a team of admissions officers and administrative staff to sort through student applications, read essays, conduct interviews and evaluate individual applicants. You might also actively recruit students with excellent academic or athletic records. You'll typically work closely with other higher education administrators, including those in the financial aid and registrar's offices.

What Is a Typical Work Week Like?

While your busiest time might occur during the fall term, you'll usually receive applications all year for traditional and non-traditional students, online learners and those applying to open-enrollment programs. You'll work closely with young adults and those returning to college after gaining experience in the workforce. Your department will be responsible for verifying information on college applications, distributing information kits and ensuring students receive necessary advising. In contrast to notifying applicants of their acceptance, you'll also need to be able to turn away students with a degree of consideration.

What Education Might I Need?

To become an admissions director for a university or college, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree. During your undergraduate years, you could volunteer or apply for a part-time, staff-level position within the admissions or registrar offices of your school. After graduation, you can work toward a full-time position or pursue graduate-level study specific to the profession of college administration.

Many schools offer a master's degree program in higher education administration. Some degree programs also include a concentration in enrollment management. Courses provide you with an understanding of admissions evaluation, enrollment techniques, computerized technology applications and strategic planning. You can continue your part-time work at the school's admissions office and use your graduate degree to advance your career.

How Much Might I Earn?

According to October 2016 figures provided by PayScale.com, admissions directors made $41,805-$92,471 per year. The biggest factor in salary difference stems from job location, followed by previous experience in the field.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Public relations specialists and human resource managers share professional similarities with admissions directors. Public relations specialists need a bachelor's degree. Their focus is on influencing how the public views their client, which may be a person, business or organization. They prepare press releases and other informational materials to try to influence the public's view of their client. This is similar to the admissions director's role of contacting high schools and promoting their school's programs to potential students. In that respect, admissions directors are trying to inform and influence the views students have of their school and their school's programs.

Human resource managers process applications from people looking for jobs and determine who is qualified for the position and decide who they believe should be offered the job. This is similar to the admissions director's role of determining which prospective students should be offered admission to a school.

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