Education Administrators

Last updated January 01, 2015

"If you don't settle down, I'll send you to the principal's office!" For eons, it seems, teachers have used this threat to keep order in the classroom. It's not the best advertisement for the job of principal, to say the least.

But in reality, principals -- as well as other education administrators such as assistant principals, school district administrators, and college and university deans -- have highly rewarding and challenging jobs. They aren't simply disciplinarians -- they are the leaders of entire communities of learners.

Education administrators provide direction and day-to-day management of day care centers, preschools, schools, and colleges and universities. They also oversee educational programs for other institutions such as museums, businesses, and job-training organizations.

Did You Know?

One of the United States' most famous universities is also its oldest. Harvard was founded way back in 1636.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Hire and supervise teachers
  • Balance budgets
  • Create school rules and policies
  • Plan academic calendars
  • Get involved in public relations
  • Oversee student recruitment and admissions
  • Oversee college services such as financial aid, athletics, or housing

It Helps To Be...

Someone with strong leadership and communication skills, so you can interact effectively with students, parents, teachers, and community members. You'll want to be organized and efficient to juggle your many responsibilities. Effective education administrators are comfortable making both day-to-day and long-term decisions.

Make High School Count

  • Talk to someone in the field -- your principal or assistant principal, for example. Ask what their own path was like and what advice they have for you.
  • Do paid or volunteer work as a tutor, camp counselor, or coach.
  • Study psychology and English to develop your oral and written communication skills.
  • Make the most of class time. Gaining a solid academic foundation now will help you make wise decisions affecting students when you're an administrator.
  • Run for student council or seek other leadership roles in school and extracurricular activities.

Did You Know?

In smaller schools, education administrators may juggle many roles, from public affairs coordinator to curriculum developer. In larger schools, they tend to specialize in one area.