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School Administrator Job Description & Career Outlook

A career as a school administrator can be one that is both rewarding and stressful. A candidate will show many traits in order to qualify for such a demanding job. School administrators must be compassionate, caring, a disciplinarian, and knowledgeable about school policies. A school administrator often has years of prior experience as a teacher and a post graduate degree.

School Administrator Requirements and Common Tasks

In order to work as a school administrator, a candidate must complete a teacher certification program. Commonly, while teaching, want-to-be administrators will take a master’s degree program to be certified as an administrator. The university through which the degree was earned will send the information to the state, and then the state will issue an administrator certificate to the candidate. Although it is possible to never enter a classroom before serving as an administrator, it is not common. Most school districts require administrators to have years of teaching experience. In larger districts, the first step towards a job as an administrator is working as an assistant principal. This gives valuable experience in the field, all while learning the “ropes” of the job. In addition to experience, administrators must exhibit the ability to make sound judgments. It is important for an administrator to have good people skills, as they will be managing not only a student body, but the faculty and staff in the school as well.

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School administrators serve many roles: principal, assistant principal, superintendent, and other district administration positions. A principal typically handles the running and policies of the school and personnel issues, where the assistant principal typically handles discipline and day-to-day issues that come up. The superintendent is responsible for the oversight of an entire school district, and the other administrative positions in the district office typically have specific tasks such as technology administrator, curriculum administrator, etc.

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Administrators show a love of children, a dedication to learning, and many other important traits. Leadership skills are mandatory, as the demands of the job require strong leadership. An ability to communicate easily and effectively to parents is also necessary, as administrators have a lot of face-to-face time with parents and community members, and often have to answer hard questions about children and education. Finally, administrators must be excellent teachers, as they serve as a role model for the faculty.

School Administrator Salary and Job Outlook

School administrators can expect to earn salaries from $67,000 to $92,000, dependent on experience and location. Due to recent educational layoffs in many states, the job outlook for administrators is slightly less positive than in prior years. However, this field is not as affected by the economy as the teaching profession.

Education Administration Degrees and Programs

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