Be a School Activities Director: Career Guide

Learn how to become a school activities director. Explore the education, training and licensing requirements that can help you start a career directing school activities.

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  • 0:00 School Activities Directors
  • 1:55 Step 1: Bachelor's Degree
  • 2:38 Step 2: Teaching License
  • 3:41 Step 3: Entry-Level Work
  • 4:11 Step 4: Master's Degree
  • 5:06 Step 5:…

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School Activities Directors

School activities directors coordinate and plan programs for private or public schools. For example, they may schedule activities, including those outside of a school district such as sporting events, and make sure that they meet the district's guidelines. School activities directors may also ensure the eligibility of participating students, process contracts, secure transportation, and keep administrators and other parties informed about activity dates and details. Planning activities may be directed toward before-school and after-school programs. School activities directors are usually former teachers who have held other administrative posts. They may oversee students' activities directly or supervise other school personnel.

Degree Level Master's degree
Degree Field Education, curriculum and instruction, or related field
Experience 5+ years of experience in the field
Licensure and Certification A teaching or education administration license is required in most states
Key Skills Analytical, decision-making, teaching, communication, and people skills; computer literate with knowledge of graphics and imaging, desktop publishing, training, and word processing software
Salary $92,940 (2015 average for elementary and secondary education administrators in general)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*Net OnLine,

Working with children can be tiring and stressful, however school activity directors can often see the benefits of their efforts in student engagement and progress. As of May 2015, elementary and secondary education administrators in general earned an average annual salary of $92,940, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Step 1: Bachelor's Degree

Bachelor's degree programs in education typically last four years and cover instructional methods, effective teaching strategies, and human development. Programs may be divided into concentrations such as elementary, middle, or high school education.

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  • Participate in an internship. Bachelor's degree programs in education typically offer internship or training opportunities in which students can plan instruction and work in a classroom under the supervision of a certified teacher. Such opportunities can provide aspiring school activities directors with first-hand experience working in schools with students.

Step 2: Teaching License

As we said earlier, most school activities directors are former teachers which requires a state license. Although licensing requirements can vary, prospective candidates usually need a minimum of a bachelor's degree in education. Other requirements might include completion of an approved training program, supervised teaching experience, and passing scores on competency exams in basic skills, such as reading and writing. Teachers typically complete continuing education to renew their licenses.

Candidates who hold bachelor's degree in other subjects but have not yet completed the necessary education courses to become teachers may participate in alternative licensure programs. These programs may include teaching with a provisional license, under close supervision, while taking courses to fulfill state requirements. Other programs offer one to two semesters of advanced full-time study for college graduates that need to meet licensing requirements.

Step 3: Entry-Level Work

Depending on their education, school activities directors may begin their careers as kindergarten, elementary, middle, or secondary school teachers. While elementary school teachers instruct one class in several subjects, middle and high school teachers typically specialize in various grade levels of a subject, such as math, English, or history. Other duties might include attending professional meetings, educational conferences, training workshops, and seminars.

Step 4: Master's Degree

Administrators at public schools, including principals, vice principals, and directors, need a master's degree in education administration or educational leadership. Admissions requirements may include a minimum number of documented years of teaching, several recommendations from principals or school leaders, a personal essay, previous transcripts, and a satisfactory score on the GRE (Graduate Record Exam).

Master's degree programs in education administration or educational leadership typically last one to two years and include courses in school law administration, research design, and curriculum development for talented students. Some institutions offer principal internships, which include a set number of hours of administrative duties. Graduates may choose to become certified as principals.

Step 5: Administrator's License

Requirements for an education administrator's license typically include a master's degree, a passing score on a state exam, and on-the-job training with a mentor. Upon earning an education administrator's license, candidates can advance to positions within schools as activities directors.

To keep their skills current, school activities directors usually need to participate in continuing education courses in evaluation methods, curriculum training, and teacher observation. Most states' departments of education have a list of approved institutions from which continuing education credits may be obtained.

Let's review. The steps involved in becoming a school activities director include earning a bachelor's and later a master's degree in education and a state teaching and education administrator's license, which would qualify you to work in a public school. Elementary and secondary education administrators overall earned an average yearly salary of $92,940 as of May 2015.

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