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Career and Salary Info for a Masters in School Administration

School administration generally requires a master's degree. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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Career options for individuals with a master's degree in school administration include being an elementary, secondary or postsecondary administrator, or working as an instructional coordinator.

Essential Information

School administrators are universal among all grade levels of education in all types of institutions and education systems from preschool to college. Their salaries vary considerably depending on the grade level and type of institution. A master's degree in school administration is the common denominator for most educators who desire to pursue roles in school administration such as principal, assistant principal, instructional coordinator, academic officer, dean or other titles.

Career Elementary and Secondary School Administrator Postsecondary School Administrator Instructional Coordinator
Education Requirements Master's degree Master's degree; doctoral degree sometimes required Master's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% (for all elementary, middle, and high school principals) 9% 7%
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $90,410 $88,580 $62,270

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Some examples of roles a school administrator might fill are principal, assistant principal, director, supervisor, academic officer, instructional coordinator, dean of students or department head. All of these jobs require that the professional in question have an interest in leadership. These individuals should also possess the ability to help set and enforce standards and policies within their institutions or organizations.

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Overview of a Master's Degree in School Administration

Education professionals often seek this degree as a means of stepping up into a higher-ranking position within their school systems. Teachers may acquire a master's degree in school administration if they aim to become principals or other members of the management staff. Educational institutions at all levels require administrators in order to set learning goals for students, make decisions about curricula, provide counseling services and perform other duties that do not have to do with directly teaching students.

High School Level and Below

The titles of principal and assistant principal are usually associated with primary and secondary education. The tasks these leaders take responsibility for lend themselves to a high level of teamwork and conflict resolution.

Principals often get to decide in whole or in part how to allocate school budgets and must be willing to create reports on various aspects of their schools, such as attendance, curriculum or specific policies. School principals also find themselves attending to and dealing with student and parental concerns constantly. During the summer, principals must oversee summer school sessions and spend their time preparing for the upcoming school year.

College Level

Academic officers, deans of students and department heads can often be found within the education systems of colleges and universities. Academic officers help students with a variety of functions, such as signing up for courses or dropping them. They may also act as advisors to current or potential students seeking more information about specific degree programs and academic paths within the college. They work with department heads to ensure that curriculum is up to par and budgets get allocated in ways that benefit both students and staff. Deans of students participate in the admissions process for new students and help oversee student life on their campuses.

Salary & Job Growth

The salaries of education administrators vary depending upon which level these individuals choose to work at. As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), elementary and secondary school administrators earned a median annual income of $90,410 as of May 2015, while the median income for postsecondary school administrators was $88,580. Instructional coordinators at that time brought in a median salary of $62,270 per year. According to the BLS, between 2014 and 2024, job growth was expected to increase by 6% for elementary, middle school, and high school principals, 9% for postsecondary education administrators, and 7% for instructional coordinators.

School administrators oversee the day to day operations within their school, allocate the school budget, review staff performance and address parental and student concerns. At the college level they may be more involved in helping students select classes and serving as a student advisor. Median salaries for jobs in this field range from approximately $60,000 to $90,000 per year.

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