Athletic Director Certificate and Certification Program Options

Those interested in a career as a university or secondary school athletic director can enroll in a graduate certificate program in athletic administration. Students in this program learn to oversee the administration and management of all athletic programs.

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Essential Information

Students enrolled in a graduate certificate program in athletic administration learn how to manage budgets, handle fundraisers and plan events. Depending on the institution, a certificate designed for athletic directors may be known as a certificate in athletic administration or sports leadership. Some schools allow students to transfer their certificate credits into a master's degree program in sports management or a similar field. The length of these programs varies by school. A bachelor's degree in a related field is required for admission. Professional experience in coaching or teaching can also be taken into consideration.


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Certificate Programs for Athletic Directors

Certificate programs for athletic directors train students to navigate the political, legal, administrative, and ethical issues involved in intercollegiate and interscholastic sports programs. Courses that prepare them for the position include:

  • Athletic organization
  • Sports team management
  • Sports marketing
  • Facility management
  • Regulations in college sports
  • Legal issues in sports

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not have current statistics relating specifically to athletic directors. However, the BLS estimated that elementary and secondary education administrators' employment will grow at an average 6% rate in the years 2014-2024. In January 2016, PayScale.com noted that athletic directors at all levels earned a median wage of $57,312.

Continuing Education

The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) offers three certification levels for athletic directors and athletic administrators. These include a Registered Athletic Administrator (RAA), a Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) and a Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA). The last two require the applicant to have at least a bachelor's degree and some amount of work experience.

Graduate certificate programs in athletic administration or a related major discuss the financial, marketing, event design and management elements of scholastic sports, preparing students for work in the field. There are numerous certification options, all of which are voluntary.

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