What Can You Do With a Masters in Educational Leadership?

Feb 16, 2021

Graduates with a master's degree in educational leadership qualify for teaching and administrative positions at the elementary, middle, secondary, and postsecondary school levels. Popular job titles include principal, high school teacher, headmaster and assistant principal.

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Educational Leadership Jobs

Graduates with a master's degree in educational leadership can choose from a wide variety of administrative positions in schools. Here we explore some of these career options, as well as the master's program and common coursework.

A master's degree in educational leadership can prepare graduates for teaching and executive positions at public and private schools. These include elementary, middle and high schools, as well as postsecondary schools, like colleges and universities. This degree will help to prepare students for various education leader jobs.


Public school teachers and most public school administrators must be licensed by the state, which may require continuing education to keep licensure current. These administrators help to manage school operations, support and train teachers and work to create a safe, positive learning environment for all students. Administrative positions that might be available to those with a master's degree in educational leadership. Careers in educational leadership include the following:


Principals oversee all activities and operations of a school, from elementary to middle and high school. They manage the staff and maintain the overall learning environment. Duties include coordinating schedules and curriculums, disciplining students, managing the budget and organizing other programs. Principals are usually required to have a Master's degree and about five years of experience.

Assistant Principal

Assistant principals assist principals with their duties, therefore they are many similarities between the two. Some assistant principals may handle certain subjects, for example math. They may also assist with student safety, counseling, and coordinating maintenance tasks. Assistant principals are usually required to have a bachelor's degree.

District Administrator

District administrators cover the entire school district. They oversee programs, curriculums and other services, much like a school principal. They also ensure compliance and safety regulations and train staff members. Education administrators in general have an average salary of $72,493.

Instructional Coordinator

Instructional coordinators oversee standards of teaching as well as curriculums. They create educational materials and assess its efficiency. Other duties include analyzing test data, reviewing textbook materials used, and training teachers. They typically require five years of experience along with a master's degree and have a median salary of $66,290.

Director or Supervisor

Directors in education, or education directors, work on various tasks, often supervising a staff. They oversee educational programs, teach courses, and provide their expertise when needed. According to, they make an average of more than $64,000.

Dean of Students or Faculty

The dean of students evaluates and observes teachers to ensure students have a positive learning experience. Deans work in elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges and universities. Duties include making students receive quality services in counseling, housing and other programs. Deans make an average salary of $63,906.

College Provost

College provosts oversee educational programs, including the planning and development. These administrators also provide guidance for student affairs. Many provosts are also in charge of funding. According to, they make an average salary of more than $150,000.

University Registrar

University registrars provide various services to both faculty and university students. They are considered part of management and may provide advising services and audits. Duties include processing grades on transcripts and posting classes for students to register. University registrars make an average salary of $58,207.

Salary Information

Careers Salary Job Outlook (2019-2029)*
Principal $96,400* 4%
Assistant Principal $73,593** 4% (for elementary, middle and high school principals)
District Administrator $72,493** (for education administrators) 4% (postsecondary education administrators)
Instructional Coordinator $66,290* 6%
Director or Supervisor $64,571** 4% (postsecondary education administrators)
Dean of Students or Faculty $63,906** 4% (postsecondary education administrators)
College Provost $151,447** 4% (postsecondary education administrators)
University Registrar $58,207 4% (postsecondary education administrators)

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (all salaries based on 2019 median pay)

**Source: Payscale (as of December 2020)

Masters in Educational Leadership Degree Information

Master's degrees in educational leadership are most often available as Master of Science (M.S.), Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees with a concentration in educational leadership. Master of Science and Master of Arts programs may also offer other concentrations, such as religious school education, K-12 administration or school principal.

Educational leadership studies at the graduate level vary by concentration. Internships and research activities may also be part of the program's curriculum. These exercises are designed to sharpen a student's management, communication, organizational and problem-solving skills in a real-world environment. These skills will help when looking for jobs with a masters in educational leadership.


  • What can I expect to learn from an educational leadership program?

Courses in an educational leadership program may include topics in professional development and leadership, school finance and law, strategic and organizational planning, adult learning, community relations and student affairs.

  • Which careers are the highest paying careers in educational leadership?

Some of the highest paying educational leadership jobs include college provosts, with an average salary of more than $150,000 and principals with an average salary of more than $96,000.

  • What are some jobs that in educational leadership that require a master's degree?

A master's degree in educational leadership prepares students for careers as principals, directors, instructional coordinators and other administrative positions in all kinds of schools. Graduates of a master's program have likely completed internships and coursework in student affairs, professional development and more.

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