What is Education Administration?
Education administration is the area of study and employment that deals with the management and supervision of teachers in educational settings. Individuals in this field typically have extensive teaching experience and have chosen to further their involvement in the process of administration through study and eventual employment. Individuals in the field are responsible for the implementation and maintaining of policy, working with teachers toward common goals, managing expectations of parents and employers, and working within the established parameters of budgets and goals as established by the school, board of education or the state.
Educational Requirements and Licensure
Education administration degrees are offered at the master's level. The degree is available to educators who wish to pursue a career in administration, typically with schools (public or private), school districts, and postsecondary educational institutions. The role of an education administrator is to interact with teachers, subordinates, parents and students; to evaluate student progress and the curriculum offered; outline goals and affect policy.
Those who seek jobs with public institutions will be required to obtain licensing and/or certification from the state. Requirements for licensing and certification will vary from state to state, but nearly all will require a minimum of a master's degree to be considered for licensure. Private institutions, not beholden to state requirements for employment, may not require licensing or certification but will typically have an equivalent minimum education and/or experience requirement.
A curriculum in adult education may include:
- Educational Leadership
- Politics and Economics in Education
- Current Issues in Education
- School Organization and Administration
Individuals seeking placement in the administrative levels of a school or system will need to be astute and proactive. Occupations within school administrations are tiered, and as such moving up in the hierarchy requires the demonstration of certain skills, including loyalty, discipline, inventiveness and flexibility. Job opportunities for education administrators are on the rise as the responsibilities for the role increases over time. But it is important to note that the field is competitive with a limited number of available jobs at any given time. Promotion is usually achieved through lateral movement to a larger system or through openings left vacant due to promotion or retirement.
Most educational administrators were at one time teachers and thus have experience within the system. The level of experience and education will vary greatly among administrators, and the more experienced administrators tend to have higher levels of pay and are more quickly promoted. This is not to say that individuals should not pursue a career in education administration early, but rather that, as mentioned above, jobs are competitive, and that finding a position may take some time.
Jobs available to those seeking a master's degree in educational administration include:
- Assistant Principal
- School Principal
Salary and Related Fields
The average salary for a high school principal is approximately $97,000 per year, but wages can be as low as $26,000 per year to as high as $158,000 per year. This variance comes from the different fields and educational levels an administrator may be dealing with. The job can be stressful but can be personally and financially rewarding.
Individuals interested in education administration may also be interested in urban education and leadership, elementary and middle school administration, business administration.
For more information about a career in teaching, check out The Single Most Comprehensive Guide to a Teaching Career post on our blog.