Admissions Director: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an admissions director. Get a quick overview of the field as well as details about education and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

How does a student get into college or another academic institution? The admissions director and his or her staff make those decisions, based on a number of factors. Admissions directors tend to be highly educated, with most holding a master's or doctoral degree, and have work experience as well as strong interpersonal and management skills.

Essential Information

Admissions directors work with prospective students, as well as other school administrators, in the areas of recruitment and admissions. They often manage a staff of admissions officers and counselors. A master's or doctoral degree and 5 or more years work experience are typically required to be an admissions director.

Required Education Master's or doctoral degree in education or a related field
Additional Requirements 5 or more years work experience in recruitment or admissions
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 9% for postsecondary education administrators*
Mean Annual Salary (2015) $102,610 for postsecondary education administrators*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Admissions Director Job Description

Admissions directors are educational administrators who work with prospective students, as well as other school administrators, regarding all matters of recruitment and admissions. They can be employed at many types of public and private institutions, such as:

  • Preschools
  • Grammar schools
  • Secondary schools
  • Community colleges
  • Technical schools
  • Colleges and universities

Duties of an Admissions Director

Admissions directors evaluate the academic records of individuals who wish to attend a particular institution. At the postsecondary level, they also might consider a candidate's extracurricular activities, standardized test scores and personal recommendations. They manage a staff of admissions officers and work in conjunction with other school administrators to develop admissions criteria, tests and policies.

Admissions directors also work with a school's registrar and financial aid department by assisting with enrollment, as well as financial and attendance issues. Additionally, they might keep a school's president and other department heads informed about pertinent admissions statistics. Admissions directors provide information about a school and its enrollment policies to prospective students, their parents and other family members, and they might give tours of the school or set up recruiting events.

Admissions Director Educational Requirements

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), educational requirements tend to vary by employer, but it's becoming common for admissions counselors to have a master's or doctoral degree in education or a related field (www.bls.gov). However, the BLS also noted that, after earning a bachelor's degree, an individual might secure an entry-level position as an admissions officer and subsequently pursue more advanced training to become an admissions director.

Career Requirements for an Admissions Director

Knowledge of accounting and statistics may be helpful for this particular career, as are computer, sales and marketing skills. In addition, it's helpful if admissions directors have managerial and interpersonal skills and a desire to help people, since so much of their time is spent guiding others. A strong work ethic is also useful in this profession.

Salaries for postsecondary education administrators, like admission directors, vary by school, but the BLS reported that the mean annual salary for postsecondary education administrators across the board was $102,610 in 2015. Those employed at the college and university level earned a mean salary of $106,650 in the same time period. The BLS predicted that postsecondary education administration jobs would increase by 9% between 2014 and 2024, which is faster than average.

Admissions directors work at educational institutions ranging from preschools to colleges and universities, where they help create and implement policies on student admissions and enrollment. Most hold a master's or doctoral degree, and have skills in statistics, accounting, computers and marketing. Education administrators, like admissions directors, can expect faster than average job growth over the 2014-2024 decade.


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