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How Much Does an Education Administrator Make?

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Published 05/07/2020
5 minutes read
The content of this page is only for informational purposes and is not intended, expressly or by implication, as a guarantee of employment or salary, which vary based on many factors including but not limited to education, credentials, and experience. Alliant International University explicitly makes no representations or guarantees about the accuracy of the information provided by any prospective employer or any other website. Salary information available on the internet may not reflect the typical experience of Alliant graduates. Alliant does not guarantee that any graduate will be placed with a particular employer or in any specific employment position.

An education administration salary is dependent on the specific position and location of the role. For example, a college dean of a major university will likely make more than a high school principal located in a small town. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the median annual wage for elementary, middle, and high school principals to be $95,310 as of May 2018. The low-end earnings of the data provided reflected a salary closer to $61,000 and the higher-end earnings reflected wages of approximately $145,000 annually.1

While teachers have summers off, the salary for education administrators account for a year-round schedule of work. They are committed to the role during evenings and weekends throughout the school year. In addition to the regular day-to-day operations, they typically must attend all school functions and athletic events, as well as board meetings and parent-teacher conferences. In short, the role of a school administrator can be looked at as one that is “on-call” for the school district and must manage several responsibilities at once.1

The job requires a complete dedication to providing a healthy and successful learning environment for everyone involved. The salary varies per position as education administrators also include assistant principals, superintendents, and college deans as well. There is a projected growth for these types of roles in the coming years as more schools open and enrollment increases. 

Though salaries may fluctuate, for anyone who enters the world of education, value is often gained through the rewarding experience of shaping students’ lives and helping them to excel. 

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Role of an Education Administrator

A school administrator wears many hats. The role requires someone who is an excellent communicator who can create and implement plans both individually and collaboratively. This position involves balancing budgets, creating school policies, dealing with student affairs, planning out an academic year, and hiring and overseeing faculty. Depending on if the role is on a collegiate level, the responsibilities may include student recruitment, student housing decisions, and other areas that affect campus life.1 

The ability to look at problems objectively is important as there are many opinions regarding school matters from board members, teachers, students, and parents. There are also budgets and guidelines as determined by the state, which administrators must follow and implement. No two days are exactly alike, but the goal remains the same, which is to provide a safe, secure, and productive learning environment for all. 

Education administrators are depended upon by an entire district and must work with people they respect and can count on to create an educational experience that is valuable on all levels. The intricacies actually involved in this type of leadership role cannot be wholly defined by a job description. In addition to the specific position and location called for, salaries are determined by level of experience and background of achievements.

Requirements of an Education Administrator

Each state has its own set of higher education requirements to receive credentials as an education administrator. The first necessary component is a degree and background experience as a teacher. In California, there must be a completion of an accredited Administrative Services Credential program, which includes coursework that meets the CalAPA requirements. This includes completing and favorably scoring in three cycles covering the following topics: Analyzing Data to Inform School Improvement and Promote Equity, Facilitating Communities of Practice, and Supporting Teacher Growth. 

Mastering each of these principles is required to enter a career in education administration. Candidates must prove an understanding of these concepts and competently demonstrate how to apply them as part of a leadership role. In addition to the higher education, experience, and state administrative service credentials necessary to meet the demands of a management role, an individual must decide which area they’d like to pursue. The salary of education administrator roles is dependent on which particular path is taken. 

Overall, though, each position requires dedication, consistent effort, and attention year-round to guide students and teachers as they learn and grow.

The Importance of the Education Administrator Role

Educators on all levels play a significant role in society. Their jobs aren’t solely limited to a teaching capacity in the classroom. They also may provide guidance for what students can expect in the real world and ways to help them achieve their goals. Education administrators are in place to allocate resources where needed, manage budgets, create opportunities for teachers and students, and serve as a daily motivator and leader for continuous school improvement and innovation.1

Having a strong leader who empowers others through education, communication, and respect is vital as students go through their formative years. They are learning school subjects, but also how to become leaders themselves, practice good habits, and other life skills that will be necessary as adults. An education administration salary speaks to the job requirements and education for this type of role, but the importance of this type of position is invaluable.

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  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals : Occupational Outlook Handbook," U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, September 08, 2021. Accessed November 29, 2021.

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