How to Become an Educational Administrator (With Salary)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 12 December 2022

Published 6 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An educational administrator is in charge of the day-to-day management of schools. They help to shape education procedures and policy. Becoming an educational administrator can be a rewarding career, as you can make a difference in education and the lives of students. In this article, we discuss how to become an educational administrator, what they do, how much they earn and what their work environment looks like.

How to become an educational administrator

Here are the steps you can take to learn how to become an educational administrator:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

The first step in becoming an educational administrator is earning a bachelor's degree. Different specialities require different coursework, so choose a specialisation that's relevant to the type of teaching you want to do if you want to pursue a career in education. Many schools require a bachelor's degree in education, but you can pursue a bachelor's degree in any field.

2. Obtain a Postgraduate Diploma in Education Programmes (PGDE)

Provided by the National Institute of Education (NIE), the PGDE aims to prepare university graduates to become a teacher. This training programme aims to equip you with the skills and knowledge to teach school subjects and better understand the teaching profession. To gain admission into the PGDE programme, it's important to complete a compulsory contract teaching stint, which allows you to affirm your interest in teaching and allows the NIE to assess your suitability for the profession.

3. Gain classroom teaching experience

Educational administrators often teach for several years in a classroom setting before they attain this position. Although this isn't a requirement, the experience and skills you gain from teaching in a classroom may provide you with opportunities to advance to the role of an educational administrator. Teaching can also help deepen your understanding of the common goals or missions that education professionals seek to fulfil.

4. Earn an advanced degree

Earning an advanced degree in educational administration, educational leadership or a closely relevant field is a requirement to become a school administrator. Taking this step can help you expand your opportunities and improve your earning potential. Some common courses you can complete in a master's or doctorate programme include instructional leadership, educational leadership, curriculum leadership and field experience.

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5. Start your job search

Consider choosing the type of educational administration role you'd like to pursue. It might be helpful to think about the age group you want to work with. Also, decide whether you want to work in private or public schools. Although both involve planning and budgeting, the setting that you choose to work in might affect your interactions with students.

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Skills of an educational administrator

Here are some of the skills you can develop to become a successful educational administrator:

Leadership skills

As an educational administrator, you're often the highest level of authority in an educational institution. Developing strong leadership skills may help you influence and change the institution that you're serving. These skills can also help you better guide students and teachers.

Time management skills

You may handle a range of priorities every day, so it's important to have excellent time management skills. You may handle projects with different deadlines and faculty or students may need your immediate help with things such as safety-relations queries. Consider using a variety of tools, such as lists and calendars, to better manage your time.

Related: Time Management Skills: Examples and Improvement Strategies

Problem-solving skills

It's important to find solutions to issues as they arise. Since you're often responsible for the entire campus, your decisions can have a significant impact on the school. For instance, in the event of a budget surplus, it's important to decide what department or programme can use the money.

Financial management skills

Your duties as an educational administrator include managing finances, running schools and addressing students' needs. Specifically, you may create and handle the school's budget and schedules. Having business knowledge can help you with these financial tasks.

Decision-making skills

As an educational administrator, it's essential to make good decisions quickly. You may handle important responsibilities about the different needs of students, teachers and communities. During the school day, you may have the ultimate responsibility for everyone in the school, so it's important to make good decisions to meet everyone's needs.

Communication skills

You may have conferences with students and their parents to discuss the students' needs and behaviour or communicate any changes. You may also hold staff meetings to discuss expectations or policy changes and speak with lawmakers or the board of education to communicate the needs of the school. Having excellent communication skills can help you speak with teachers, students and parents effectively.

What does an educational administrator do?

An educational administrator works at every level of education. They may manage budgets, recruit and supervise staff, direct programming and make decisions that impact the academic community. They're also responsible for developing a goal and mission for the school or educational institution at which they work. In small institutions, such as a daycare, there may be only one educational administrator in charge of all these duties. At larger organisations, such as junior colleges, universities or private educational institutes, several educational administrators may share the workload by taking on specific duties.

The actual job duties of educational administrators often vary depending on their roles and institution of employment. For public or private schools, this job is often the role of a principal, assistant principal, headmaster or programme director. Museums and libraries usually employ administrators as instruction coordinators.

For universities, educational administrators work at all levels of the organisational structure as department heads, admission officers, provosts and deans. Here are some of the specific duties and responsibilities of educational administrators:

  • make procedures and policies and set educational goals and standards

  • act as supervisor for managers and assist other faculty members

  • handle communication with students, parents, employers and the community

  • oversee record-keeping

  • manage student services, such as guidance programmes

  • train, supervise and motivate faculty, including teachers

  • work on committees, including task groups, governing bodies and academic boards

  • assist with recruitment, alumni or public relations

  • draft and interpret regulations and handle complaints procedures

  • maintain a high level of quality assurance, including course approval and course evaluation procedures

  • purchase equipment and goods, as required, and process invoices

  • liaise with partner other educational institutions, prospective students, government departments or external agencies

Related: Administrative Duties and Skills in the Workplace

The benefits of becoming a school administrator

Some benefits of becoming an educational administrator include:

  • Making a difference in your community: Becoming an educational administrator allows you to make a difference in the lives of children or students through the creation of educational curricula and policies.

  • Potential for advancement: Working in educational administration could offer opportunities for advancement. For instance, you can begin as an assistant principal and eventually become a principal, superintendent or work at a university as a dean or other administrative professional.

  • Learning resource management: While earning your degree in educational administration, you may learn various skills, such as resource management, which includes managing resources such as budgets, time, learning materials and people. This not only allows you to be helpful in terms of individual schools, but it's also a skill you can apply to your day-to-day life.

Average salary of an educational administrator

Educational administrators are usually full-time, salaried professionals. Their average salary varies depending on their roles. The average salary of a school principal is $5,685 per month, while the average salary of a dean is $4,527 per month.

These amounts may vary depending on several factors, including their level of education, the school or educational institution they work for and their relevant work experience. Educational administrators can also earn more per year in cash bonuses and may be eligible for employee benefits, such as health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance and referral programmes.

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Work environment of an educational administrator

Education administrators often work in private and public schools and universities to plan and implement educational policies. They may also work in private preschools, libraries and museums to manage educational programmes and curricula. Their daily activities generally include attending meetings with parents, teachers and school staff.

They often complete work in an office setting, with paperwork usually being necessary. Although the position has a typical workday and workweek, attendance at school events and after-hours meetings are often necessary.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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