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A School Administrator Career Guide

One of the most rewarding career paths in education is to become a school administrator. The role of school administrators is to manage the daily operations of schools and find ways to help teachers, students, and the community. School administrators can also help you shape education procedures and policies. If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of students, becoming a school administrator puts you in a position to achieve your goals. Here are some of the steps you can take to become a school administrator.

What is a School Administrator?

Before diving into how you can become a school administrator, it’s crucial to first understand what a school administrator is. A school administrator is a non-teaching professional who helps to manage faculties, school budgets, and staff. Depending on the exact position, a school administrator often oversees the day-to-day running of a school or a number of schools by directing the curriculum, hiring teachers, and making important decisions that affect the school.

School administrators positions exist both in private and public school settings. You will also find them in primary schools, secondary schools, and college campuses. Furthermore, it’s important to note that school administrator is just a general label, and each institution or district might have a different title or name for the position.

Here are some of the most common titles for school administrators:

  • Principal
  • Vice-principal
  • Assistant principal
  • Staff Supervisor
  • Program director
  • Department Chairperson
  • Admissions Counselor
  • Dean of Admissions
  • Dean of students
  • Provost

The Role of a School Administrator

  • Here are some of the duties of those working as school administrators:
  • The creation and management of school budgets
  • Providing support to educators and faculty members
  • Monitoring and maintenance of academic records
  • Assessing teacher performance
  • Creating and maintaining a safe environment for students and staff
  • Disciplining students
  • Overseeing and revising the curriculum
  • Management of infrastructure and technology
  • Managing relationships between parents, educators, and other administrators
  • Assisting with recruitment

How to Become a School Administrator

There are several steps you need to take to become a school administrator. As you might have guessed, the most important step is to attain your degree. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Earn Your Degree

If you are interested in becoming a school administrator, you should first earn a college degree. The majority of administration positions also require a master’s degree. Some administrators who start off as teachers can fast-track their careers and get into administration by studying for degrees like the principal preparation online master’s program. This is a good program if you are aiming for a principal position. The degree will also open up opportunities in administration, and it can enable you to start off as a vice principal. While pursuing a master’s degree in education, you will learn skills such as:

  • Financial management
  • Leadership
  • Curriculum development
  • Human Resource Management

Gain Some Teaching Experience

A lot of schools require their administrators to have no less than two years of in-class experience. Depending on what kind of degree you studied for, you may have gained some experience as a teacher or classroom assistant during your time as a student. You can also look into teacher preparation programs that can give you the experience you need.

Get Your Administrator State License

Some states require that you obtain a teaching license before you can work as an administrator. This often involves passing a state licensing board examination. Once you have obtained your license. You can then take a state-approved certification program to get your license as an educational administrator. In some instances, you might also need to sit for a leadership assessment test. Once you pass that test and extensive background check, you can then go ahead and start applying for educational administrator positions.

Applying for Administrator Positions

Once everything is in place, you start your job search. There are several ways to find open school administration posts in your state. One of the easiest ways is to check for jobs online. There are several job websites that you can use for your search. You can also contact the schools in your area to apply for positions directly.


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