Adult Education Administration

Learn about careers in adult education administration, including what type of education and experience you'll need to work in an academic or non-academic setting. Find details about earnings and employment outlook here, and make an informed decision about your career and education.

Is Adult Education Administration for Me?

Career Overview

Although relevant experience and training can lead to a variety of careers in adult education administration, colleges and universities are the most common employers. For example, you may serve as a college president, dean or district superintendent. Alternatively, you could perform many of the same tasks as an educational administrator or coordinator at a business, public agency, vocational training institution or nonprofit organization.

Job Duties

As an adult education administrator, you'll oversee the activities, budgets, employees and students for a single department, college division, or an entire campus or university. Your administrative duties might include hiring staff, monitoring test scores, counseling students and communicating with oversight boards. You might also collaborate with community members or develop and teach academic programs. As an adult education administrator in a college or university, you could also coordinate or produce cooperative education programs with corporations, hospitals, correctional institutions or government agencies.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of postsecondary administrators overall was expected to increase by 15% nationwide, or faster than average, from 2012-2022. The BLS also reported that the median salary for college and university administrators was $87,410 in May 2013. Those who worked in areas of educational administration outside of schools earned a median salary of $77,380 (

How Can I Work in Adult Education Administration?

Educational Requirements

A bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study may qualify you for an entry-level administrative job at a postsecondary institution, such as office manager, student coordinator or dean of admissions. However, a graduate degree is usually required to become an administrator at a community college, 4-year college or university. As noted by the BLS, most academic administrators were former teachers and professors who'd taken courses and earned degrees in educational management. Prior experience included chairing college departments and divisions or working as advisors or curriculum developers.

Doctoral programs in educational administration can include topics in educational evaluation and law, budgeting, public finance and school leadership. You'll also study administrative theory, curriculum development and community relations.

To obtain a job with a non-academic employer, you'll most likely need a bachelor's degree. Some companies might require specific training in adult education or career counseling, as well as experience in a particular area, such as teaching.


Outside of a public school or university system, a formal certification or license is not required to work in educational administration. However, voluntary certifications are available for business education and college administrators. For example, Training Administrators of Graduate Medical Education (TAGME) offers certification for education administrators of medical programs at the master's and doctoral levels. Additionally, some state education departments and organizations, such as the Washington Association of School Business Officials, award optional certifications and conduct professional development activities that can demonstrate your ability to meet certain educational, experience and leadership standards.

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