Education Administrators

Education administrators are responsible for managing the routine activities and for providing instructional leadership at schools, day care centers, colleges and universities. They also develop policies and procedures, set the educational objectives and standards. Education administrators oversee teachers, support staff, coaches, librarians, counselors and other personnel. Some education administrators supervise managers.

Some education administrators oversee the educational programs in correctional facilities, museums, community services organizations and businesses. Large institutions such as colleges, often have several administrators and each administrator has a specific responsibility.

Education administrators that oversee elementary, secondary and middle schools are called principals. They help teachers improve their skills, oversee the hiring of staff members and set the academic tone for the school. They evaluate learning materials and observe teaching techniques. School principals also meet with staff members to discuss procedures. They also manage the financial elements of a school.

School principals spend time interacting with parents, students, community organization representatives and other administrators. School principals have a role in ensuring their students meet local, state and national academic standards.

With the assistance of community organizations, principals at some schools have created programs to deal with sexually transmitted diseases, crime and alcohol abuse. Due to the tightening of school budgets, many principals are involved with fundraising from the local community and local businesses.

Some administrators work in school district central offices. Some administrators oversee subjects such as music, English, mathematics, special education and vocational education. They also manage curriculum specialists and instructional coordinators.

Provosts, also called chief academic officers, are employed at colleges and universities. They assist presidents, prepare budgets, make faculty appointments and tenure decisions and establish academic programs and policies.


  • Handle situations with parents
  • Prepare budgets
  • Manage the requisition and allocation of supplies
  • Oversee record keeping
  • Train faculty, including teachers and auxiliary staff
  • Manage student services
  • Help to enure students meet local, state and national academic standards
  • Participate in workshops for administrators and teachers
  • Oversee building repairs and improvements

Job Characteristics

At times, the job can be stressful and demanding. Many educational administrators find working with students very rewarding. However, dealing with difficult students can be challenging. Some education administrators work over 40 hours a week. They may also spend time supervising school activities at night and during the weekends. Some administrators work year round, however some education administrators work only during the academic year.

Due to interacting with teachers, parents, students and the community, strong interpersonal skills and effective communication and motivational skills are important for administrators. They also need to have knowledge of leadership principles and practices.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 12 percent employment growth for education administrators between 2006 and 2016 which is about as fast as average for all occupations. Preschool and child care center administrators are projected to have substantial employment growth. Employment opportunities for education administrators may vary by the region of the country.

In 2006, elementary and secondary school administrators had a median annual earnings of $77,740. Postsecondary school administrators earned $73,990. Administrators working in preschools and childcare centers earned $37,740. Salaries vary depending on the location of the educational institution and the enrollment level at the school or school district.

Education administrators have opportunities to advance into higher administrative jobs or by getting a comparable position at a larger school or school system. They can also move up into a school system superintendent job or become president of an educational institution.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Usually, education administrators initiate their careers as teachers. In order to advance in their careers they earn a master's or a doctoral degree. Principals and school district administrators in most public school systems are required to have a master's degree in education administration or educational leadership. Some teachers become assistant principals or take administrative jobs before moving up to the position of school principal.

Administrators that work in preschool programs at public schools are often required to have earned at least a bachelor's degree. In private schools, the majority of principals have a master's or a doctoral degree, however some principals have only a bachelor's degree.

Many colleges and universities provide advanced degrees in higher education administration, college student affairs and educational leadership. Education administration degree programs typically include classes in school law, school leadership, research design and data analysis, curriculum development and evaluation, school finance and budgeting, community relations and other subjects.

The Educational Leadership Constituent Council and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education provide accreditation for programs which are designed for secondary and elementary school administrators. Completing an accredited program is not required, however it may help with fulfilling licensure requirements.

In most states, principals are required to be licensed as school administrators. The license requirements vary by state, however most states require a master's degree or some other type of graduate level training. In some states, administrators must take continuing education courses to keep their license.

Principals employed in private schools are not subject to state licensure requirements. Almost all states require preschool and child care center directors to be licensed. Typically, post secondary institutions do not have licensing requirements for administrators.


Major Employers

The top job providers are public educational institutions and private educational institutions.

Schools for Education Administrators are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Education Administrators

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Education Administrators jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 1,400 $86,400
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 1,320 $98,380
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 840 $90,950
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 560 $73,750
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 490 $94,070
San Diego-Carlsbad 450 $90,370
Fayetteville 420 $80,220
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 400 $100,260
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 310 $81,990
San Antonio-New Braunfels 310 $84,450

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to education administrators

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Education Administrators

To find out more about building a career as Education Administrators, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Education Administrators

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Education 18,860 67% $68,870
Government 5,830 20% $76,850
Non-profit 770 2% $65,560
Social Service 760 2% $58,710
Hospital 650 2% $90,270
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Education Administrators.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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