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What is a School Administrator?

School administrators are responsible for the smooth operation of schools, daycares centers, preschools, and postsecondary institutions. They must create and maintain a safe and productive learning environment for all staff and students.

School administrators oversee all the administrative tasks relating to the successful management of their educational environment. Their responsibilities will vary depending on the type and size of the institution that they are managing.

School administrators are tasked with shaping educational models for the students, staff, and parents involved with the school.

What do People in School Administration do?

School administrators are responsible for the care of the facility in which they are working. They must ensure and maintain a safe environment for all staff and students, from transportation to on-site security to extra-curricular activities that occur on school grounds.  They also need to ensure that the school complies with all laws and regulations.

School administrators are also in charge of scheduling for students as well as staff. They must be vigilant when it comes to record-keeping. They are responsible for the school budget and any purchases that need to be made in regards to the school’s operation, though they may not make these purchases themselves.

School administrators must hire, train and advise all staff. They must evaluate and standardize the curriculum and ensure good teaching practices are being followed.

School administrators are also responsible for supporting students. They may counsel students, help them with schedules, and assist with disciplinary action if required.

School administrators are responsible for shaping and maintaining the vision of the school. They are also charged with improving the school and the quality of education. They also need to represent and maintain the school’s image and reputation.

School administrators must communicate regularly with teachers, parents, and the superintendent of their school district.

Where do People in School Administration work?

There are several types of educational institutions where school administrators can be found, including daycare centers, preschools, nurseries, and pre-kindergartens.

Pre-k institutions cater to children five and under. Administrators working in these areas supervise teachers and caregivers and are responsible for the well-being of the children attending the school. They are responsible for making sure that the curriculum is being followed, and are also responsible for the budget.

School administrators can also be employed in private or public K-12 schools. A school administrator at this level may be a principal, assistant or vice-principal, technology administrator, curriculum administrator, as well as superintendent. These administrators are responsible for the daily operation of schools.

School administrators can also be found at postsecondary institutions. They are usually referred to as deans or provosts. They are responsible for the smooth operation of their college or university.

  • Admissions- administrators in this area are responsible for attracting new students and deciding who is accepted into the institution.
  • Registrar- administrators in this area are responsible for scheduling, registrations, and preparing transcripts and diplomas.
  • Student Affairs- administrators in this area develop non-academic programs, resolve issues with student housing, oversee security, and assist with conflict resolution.
  • Fundraising- administrators in this area are tasked with attracting new donors and maintaining relationships with graduates.

What Degree is Required to Become a School Administrator?

The degree required to become a school administrator varies based on what type of institution you want to work in.

To become a school administrator in a pre-school, you need a bachelor’s degree. You also need experience as a teacher or a caregiver.

A school administrator in a public or private k-12 school requires a bachelor’s degree and the completion of a teacher preparation course. After acquiring a state teaching license, two or three years of teaching experience is recommended before completing a master’s, specialist, or doctoral degree in educational administration. Once you earn a graduate degree, each state has a test you must pass to receive your public school administrator’s license. These regulations vary based on your state.

A school administrator at the postsecondary level requires a doctoral degree in any chosen field along with years of teaching experience. School administrators at the collegiate level typically work as professors before gaining the experience to become an administrator.

How Much Money Does a School Administrator Earn?

The salaries of school administrators vary depending on the location and size of the institution they are employed by.

The median salary for a school administrator at the pre-school level is $47,940. The lowest 10% will earn less than $30,900, and the highest 10% will earn more than $83,730.

The median salary for school administrators in the k-12 level is $95,310. The lowest 10% will earn less than $61,490, and the highest 10% will earn more than $144,950.

The median salary for school administrators at the postsecondary level is $94,340. The lowest 10% will earn less than $54,680, and the highest 10% will earn more than $190,600.

Administrator Job Requirements

School administrators must have teaching credentials, a bachelor’s degree in education, and at least a master’s degree in educational administration. In addition to the educational requirements, a school administrator must have in-depth knowledge of the administrative processes of their school.

Computer skills, communication skills, and organizational skills are all essentials for this position. School administrators must be detail-oriented and skilled in conflict resolution to navigate the everyday events occurring in their schools. Being able to work under pressure is a must.

School Administrator Career Path

School administrators usually begin their career path as a teacher. Once they have acquired several years of experience and the necessary education, they move into a vice-principal position. After several years of experience in this position, a move into a principal’s position is often the norm. The next step would be to become a superintendent. Superintendents are responsible for the smooth operation of all the schools in their district. Superintendents work at the highest level of the education system. As long as there are people to educate, there will be a need for school administrators.

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