How to Become a Registrar Online

Dec 29, 2019

There are many resources available to help aspiring school registrars achieve their goal. Learn about the feasibility of earning a degree in related fields online and what skills and experience are needed to work as a registrar.

Registrar Career Overview

As members of an educational institution's administrative staff, registrars oversee student enrolment and keep and organize student records. They manage both the information related to the students and their academic performance and the administrative staff that assist them in collating records more efficiently. Since they work in educational administration, they operate from elementary level to college-level institutions.

Required Skills Organizational skills, Interpersonal and Communication skills, Problem-solving skills, Computer Expertise, Managerial skills
Job Growth* 7% (2018-2028) for all post-secondary education administrators*
Median Salary** $55,620 (2019) for college registrars, $35,702 (2019) for high school registrars

Source: *U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

Steps to Become a Registrar Online

Since becoming a registrar requires growth in interpersonal skills and practical experience, not all steps can be accomplished online. However, many schools offer online degree programs in educational fields related to registrar work.

Step 1. Earn a Related Degree

Expertise in the fields of accounting, social work, and administration is ideal college registrars, while educational requirements for high school registrars are easier to obtain - they can find work with a high school diploma or an associate degree.

Online bachelor's degree programs in accounting require 120 online credit units to be completed over 3-4 years, though some universities allow students to finish the degree at an accelerated pace. Students can choose to concentrate in the following fields: managerial accounting, business administration, marketing, or public accountancy.

A bachelor's degree in social work can be completed online in a shorter time period, starting from 3 semesters (48 credit units); however, social work degree programs in other schools may also take 4 years (120 credit units) to finish. On the other hand, online public administration degree programs have less variation in terms of duration and mostly take 4 years (120 credit units) to complete.

The tuition for these programs ranges from $200 to $500 per credit unit.

Step 2. Gain Experience

Aspiring registrars should gain experience by working in high school or college administration. This step cannot be done online as interpersonal and customer service skills cannot fully be developed over the internet. However, it is possible to search for vacancies through websites such as LinkedIn, CareerOneStop, GlassDoor, and Indeed, where job searches can be filtered by job title and location.

New hires may be assigned to student affairs, admissions, or bookkeeping. Working in a team will help them develop the necessary skills to someday take on the role of a registrar, like how to lead and manage people, how to be more organized in an office setting, and how to interact with students.

Step 3. Career Advancement

Educational requirements for registrars vary per employer or institution, and college registrars with advanced degrees may be promoted to a university-wide position. Many accredited universities offer online master's degree programs in educational administration or higher education. These take around 2 years (30-40 credit units) to complete and may cost $270 to $1800 per credit unit.

Accomplished registrars can also join the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) to build a network with fellow school registrars around the country.

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