Careers in Education Administration

July 13th, 2016 by

Having a career in education doesn’t limit you to teaching, you can also choose to pursue an administrative position. This typically includes assistant principals, principals and superintendents. People in these positions are leaders that play a vital role in making sure school districts run efficiently.


School administrators need to complete a master’s degree in education administration or a related field and already have teaching experience. (Read our blogs on elementary education and secondary education to learn the education requirements for teaching). A master’s degree will typically take two additional years of education to complete. The courses you take will emphasize leadership, curriculum development and education laws and ethics. Many programs require students to complete an internship where you work directly with school administrators so you can develop skills in a real-world setting.

While a doctoral degree is not required to become an education administrator, this level of education will give you a better foundation for a career in this field. A doctoral degree can take up to three years to complete after graduate school and will require research and thesis work.

Most states require administrators to acquire an administrator or principal license. This varies state-to-state, but usually it involves passing a written test and background check. Some states also require administrators to take continuing education courses to maintain their certification.


Assistant principals and principals take care of the administrative duties for a specific school. They are in charge of developing curriculum, evaluating teachers and disciplining students. They also act as a liaison between the school and the community.

Superintendents help manage the entire school district. Typically, they work with a board of trustees to develop goals for the district and oversee administrators.

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics school administrators earned a median salary of $90,410 in 2015 and the field is expected to grow 6 percent over the next decade.


Explore a little more with Next Step Academy’s course “Careers in Education: Administration

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