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7 Careers to Consider in Education Administration

Industry Advice Education

Education administrators help establish a school’s vision and strive to achieve student outcomes. They tackle roles that shape the future of education at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels.

These senior-level roles typically require an advanced degree, making a Doctor of Education (EdD) the right fit. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in education administration, here are seven popular roles within the field to consider if you want to advance your career.

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In Elementary and Secondary School Education  


Superintendents are often referred to as the CEO of their school district. They work closely with a school board to establish goals for their district and implement new policies and programs designed to achieve their short- and long-term plans. Superintendents manage the budget for their district, allocate financial and human resources, and often oversee curricula. They also hire school principals and evaluate those principals’ performance. The average annual salary for a school superintendent is $118,929. 


Principals oversee a school’s daily operations. They handle the budget, establish educational programming, manage teachers and staff, and enforce disciplinary rules when necessary. Principals set goals for their school that align with state and federal policies, and strive to create a safe and positive learning environment for students. By 2024, there will be an estimated 14,000 positions available, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, commanding an average $92,510 per year in salary.

Director of Curriculum

Directors of curriculum typically work at the district level, rather than at a single school. They review textbooks, develop and select curricula, and monitor and analyze student performance and test data. Curriculum directors also work closely with teachers, recommending instructional techniques, as well as technology they can incorporate into the classroom. The salary for a curriculum director averages around $73,339.   

In Postsecondary Education  


Deans typically manage faculty and staff, support research initiatives, help fundraise, and set academic goals for their department. That department tends to vary depending on the school but could include:

  • Student Affairs: Student affairs often spans a variety of offices, such as diversity and inclusion, residence life, athletics, and student support services. A dean of student affairs will typically develop and assess nonacademic programs aimed at improving campus life and enriching the student experience, as well as handle disciplinary issues and communicate with students and their parents or legal guardians.
  • Admissions: Admissions professionals establish and oversee recruitment efforts for their college or university and communicate with prospective students. They evaluate applications, determine the number of students who should be admitted to the school, and decide which students to accept.
  • Research: A dean of research often collaborates with faculty to develop a strategy that supports short- and long-term research initiatives. They also strive to secure research funding, manage the research budget, and work to establish partnerships with industry-leading organizations.
  • Advancement: Otherwise known as “development,” the advancement office is responsible for raising money for their school from potential donors, which range from alumni and corporations to government policy makers and foundations. They then foster and maintain those donor relationships to guarantee all gifts are being used as initially intended.

Deans earn an average $90,000 per year and, by 2024, postsecondary education administration jobs are expected to increase nine percent—faster than the national average.


A provost, also known as a “vice president” depending on the institution, typically serves as the second in command to the president. Provosts help establish their school’s academic vision and work closely with deans and department heads to work toward goals that help achieve that overarching mission. They also often oversee daily operations, such as allocating financial and human resources and hiring and retaining a diverse faculty. Provosts earn an average $146,356 per year.

Chief Academic Officer

Chief academic officers assess a school’s academic programs and work to ensure they meet state and federal policies. They typically also help hire and evaluate faculty and staff, as well as develop and implement new curricula and professional development initiatives. Chief academic officers earn an average $124,430 per year.

College President

Presidents are the top leaders of a college or university, who focus on establishing and executing their school’s strategic vision. That often involves maintaining academic standards, overseeing all fundraising initiatives, developing key industry partnerships, and meeting with students, deans, and faculty to discuss any challenges or opportunities the school is facing. Presidents’ salaries vary depending on the type of institution they lead; public college presidents earn an average $431,000, while private college presidents receive $513,817.

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