How To Become an Education Administrator in 6 Steps

Updated 8 September 2023

Education administration includes a large variety of job titles and professionals, each with varying responsibilities. These professionals often work together to support a school, completing tasks such as organising fundraisers, supporting staff members and shaping the curriculum. If you want to become an educational administrator, it's beneficial to understand how to pursue this career path. In this article, we explain what an education administrator does and teach you how to become an education administrator by reviewing their required skills, education and average salary.

How to become an education administrator

Follow these steps to learn how to become an education administrator:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

Education administrators typically need at least a bachelor's degree to find a job in this career. Usually, you can pursue a degree in any subject that interests you, but some employers prefer administrators to have degrees in education or another related subject. Consider which types of academic subjects interest you most or what age of students you'd most like to work with when choosing your degree. You may want to pursue early childhood education or a specific subject, such as English education.

2. Consider a teaching license

Most academic administrators start their careers by teaching at schools or universities. Although there can be ways for professionals to become administrators without teaching first, it's often recommended to start by teaching. This allows you to become familiar with school systems and experience the daily operations of a school, including its management, budget and administration. It also helps you gain more experience working with children if you're interested in becoming an administrator at the primary or secondary education level.

Pursue a Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), so you can begin your teaching career. You can apply for a QTS after you complete your bachelor's programme. This certification process tests your knowledge in the subject you want to teach and ensures that you're familiar with current teaching methodologies.

Read more: How To Attain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Certification

3. Earn experience

Many professionals teach for multiple years in classroom settings before becoming education administrators. They may also move up in the school management to become senior teachers or department heads. While this is not a requirement, the skills and experience you gain from teaching in a classroom might create opportunities for you to transition into the role of an education administrator. This experience can also help you make valuable network connections.

Related: 14 careers in education (with duties and salaries)

4. Pursue a master's degree

Pursuing a master's degree helps you advance your career as a professional and make the transition from a teacher to an administrator. To gain the necessary skills for your career, consider studying academic leadership, education administration or a related field. In these programmes, you may study topics such as curriculum experience, instructional leadership, public service. The programme might also include field experience opportunities.

Related: 13 positions for educational technology degree holders

5. Create a professional development plan

Education administrators can work in many roles and specialise in various subjects, such as finance or quality assurance. Some professionals even advance their careers to become school business managers. Consider how you might want to advance your career and make a professional development plan. This can include setting goals for yourself and keeping track of your achievements. You may also need to invest in additional training, depending on your career goals.

Read more: How to Create an Actionable Personal Development Plan

6. Choose your type of work

The type of school in which you want to work affects the jobs in which you apply. Most education administrators work in universities and large-size or private schools. Here are some aspects to consider when deciding where to apply:

  • School type: Administrators run public and state-funded schools differently. For example, public schools rely more heavily on donations and admissions since students pay higher tuition costs. This means you may spend more time organising fundraisers and recruiting students.

  • Student age: Deciding if you feel more comfortable working with younger or older children can determine whether you apply to work at a primary, secondary school, college or university. Keep in mind that most administrator positions are available at universities, though if you prefer to work with younger children, there may still be career opportunities.

  • School size: The scope of your duties and the number of colleagues you have can change depending on the size of the school in which you work.

What is an education administrator?

Education administrators are professionals who manage the daily operations of a school. Their work may focus on admissions, quality assurance, data management, examinations, finance, careers, marketing or human resources. Education administrators often work with teachers, support staff, politicians, students, parents and their communities to keep schools functioning. They may also serve as liaisons between their institution and their community, often asking one to support the other. For example, they may ask the community to help students with fundraising projects.

Education administrators also have the following primary duties:

  • Assist with recruitment, alumni outreach and community events

  • Handle community, student and parent concerns and complaints

  • Participate in the development of curriculum

  • Collaborate with governing groups and academic boards

  • Create and manage the school budget

  • Supervise staff members

  • Organise social activities and enrichment programmes

  • Hire staff

  • Communicate with staff members, parents and students

  • Keep academic records

Related: How To Become an Education Officer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Additional requirements for education administrators

Becoming an administrator can depend on the specific employer you want to work for and the job title you want to hold. Besides the licensing and education qualifications previously discussed, education administrators' positions generally require the following:

  • Background and criminal record check

  • Teaching/field experience

  • Relevant skills

  • Adherence to the teaching license guidelines of your region

Related: 17 education writer responsibilities explored and explained

Education administrator skills

Consider developing these skills to help you succeed as an administrator:


An education administrator is often the highest level of authority in their facility. Developing strong leadership skills may help an education administrator influence and change the school that they're serving. It can also help them better direct teachers and students.

Related: 10 Good Manager Qualities That Help Teams Succeed

Time management

Education administrators handle various priorities every day, so time management skills are a necessity for this position. Many projects have deadlines, and students or faculty may need their immediate help with things like safety-related questions. Many administrators use tools, such as calendars and lists, to assist them with time management.


Education administrators need to find solutions to problems as they arise. Since they're often responsible for an entire campus, their decisions can greatly impact their organisation. For example, in the event of a budget surplus, the education administrator may have to decide which department can use the money.

Financial management

The duties of an education administrator include managing students' needs, running schools and managing finances. Specifically, education administrators create and handle the school budget and schedules. Having business knowledge can help them with these financial tasks.


Education administrators need to be able to make good decisions quickly. They handle important responsibilities regarding the different needs of staff, students and communities. During the school day, the education administrator has the ultimate responsibility for everyone in their school, so they make decisions to meet everyone's needs.


An education administrator needs to be organised to handle the many different duties and priorities. Keeping lists and calendar items with due dates can help you stay on task. Consider looking for different computer software that can help increase your organisation.


Education administrators need strong communication skills to speak with students, staff, parents and the board of education. They may have conferences with students and their parents to discuss the students' behaviour and needs or communicate any changes they need to make. They may also hold staff meetings to discuss policy changes or expectations and speak with the board of education or lawmakers to communicate the needs of their schools.


Education administration professionals use delegation skills to ensure they can manage their workload and run the school's daily operations efficiently. This may mean giving teachers more independence when creating their lesson plans or asking another staff member to oversee a specific fundraiser. This allows administrators to help their colleagues strengthen their skills and ensure they have enough time to commit to other important tasks.

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