Becoming a certified education administrator requires state-approved program completion, licensure, work experience in an education setting for a number of years, and completion of continuing education courses. Most states require a master's degree related to education leadership or a similar field.
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Education administrators manage staff, maintain budgets and enforce state education policy in preschool, elementary and secondary schools as principals, superintendents, curriculum directors or human resources professionals. Graduate education and state certification is usually required for administrators in public school systems. Some jurisdictions call for administrators to take continuing education courses to maintain certification. Private preschool administrators can seek voluntary certification from a professional association. Education administrators also work in higher education, but certification is not required.
|Education Requirements||Most states require a master's degree, usually in education leadership or a related field.|
|Experience Requirements||Experience as a licensed teacher and an internship as an administrator|
|Examination Requirements||Most states require an examination.|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-24)*||6% for elementary, middle and high school principals|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$90,410 for elementary and secondary school administrators|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Education Administrator Certification Requirements
Before obtaining employment as an education administrator in the public schools, individuals must complete a state-approved program and get licensed. Guidelines and prerequisites vary from state to state, but most state licensing agencies expect the candidate to have worked as a teacher, passed an examination and completed a supervised internship. Depending on locality, education administrators might have to complete continuing education courses in order to maintain their licensure. Education administrators of private and parochial schools do not need to meet state-mandated licensing requirements.
Although private preschools and day care facilities must have a state license in order to operate, administrators who are employed by the center operator are not required to be licensed. Directors of childcare facilities can consider voluntary certification from the National Child Care Association. The National Administrator Credential (NAC) demonstrates an individual's proficiency in operating a childcare center. The NAC has to be renewed through continuing education every two years.
Most elementary and secondary education administrators began their careers as teachers. They usually teach for several years before transitioning into administration. Most states require educational administrators to possess a master's degree in education, educational leadership or educational administration. Other education backgrounds, such as the Master of Business Administration degree or Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, can be applicable to a career in education administration and might qualify a candidate for licensure. Educational administrators at the postsecondary level do not need to be licensed, but they may need a doctoral degree to achieve high-level positions.
Master's degree programs instruct students on theories and techniques related to education administration. They cover school budget management, statistics and education law. Individuals with education administration graduate degrees need to understand curriculum development, classroom supervision and the administration of standardized testing. Graduates with degrees in education administration have also taken courses on race, gender and disability issues in education.
An education administrator is a leader in their field. As such, you'll need experience, education and extensive training in order to qualify for certification.