Education Administration Certificate and Certification Program Info

This article explores certificate programs and certification information for education administration professionals. Read on for details about prerequisites, coursework and employment outlook statistics.

Essential Information

Education administrators provide leadership and manage the day-to-day activities of preschools, schools, colleges and universities. Education administration certificate programs are available through 4-year colleges and universities at the graduate level. Completing an education administration program is necessary in order to obtain certification or licensure as a school administrator in the state where the individual lives.

Certificate-level training in education administration (for a principal, administrator or supervisor position) is composed of both classroom instruction and an internship. Such programs may be offered online and may have coursework requirements ranging from 16 to 18 or more credits. Students acquire knowledge in areas related to the management of human resources, administration and finance. Through an internship, students are able to put this knowledge into practice and hone their administrative skills.

Education Prerequisites

Certification prerequisites differ by state. Most states require that a candidate for principal certification have a master's degree, a teacher's license and teaching experience. Requirements for certification to become an administrator may involve having principal certification and experience in an administrative position. Additional requirements may include achieving a certain GPA and submitting transcripts, a writing sample and letters of recommendation.

Program Coursework

Coursework focuses on leadership and business practices within a school environment. Students also learn how to deal with district bureaucracy and conflicts. Required courses may include:

  • Theories in educational leadership
  • Leadership in a school district
  • Instruction supervision
  • Business administration
  • Personnel management
  • Arbitration and collective bargaining
  • School administrators, computers and application software
  • Management ethics
  • Conflict resolution

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Education administrators can find employment in both public school districts and private or religious schools, most often in levels of management and upper-management. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),, employment of elementary, middle and high school principals was expected to grow by 10% from 2010-2020, which was about as fast as average for all occupations. In May 2012, elementary and secondary education administrators earned a mean annual salary of $90,800. The same year, postsecondary education administrators made $99,370 in average income.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Requirements for certification or licensure in education administration vary by state. Most states require that students complete a master's degree program, a graduate certificate in education administration and an internship. A state may require that a candidate for certification pass a state test. For example, students in Texas must pass a principal certification test after finishing the coursework portion. A state may have various levels of certification. Take for example the state of Tennessee. Tennessee has a beginning administrator license (or certification) and a professional administrator license (or certification). Administrators just starting out are awarded the beginning license, valid for five years. Once a beginning administrator finds employment and completes other requirements, he or she is issued a professional license. The professional license is valid for ten years, after which it needs to be renewed. Some states require administrators to complete continuing education credits in order to renew their licenses. Principals in private schools do not have to abide by state certification requirements, according to the BLS.

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