Career Development

What Does a School Administrator Do?

Find out what a school administrator does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a school administrator.

School administrators are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of schools. They commonly play a role in managing teachers, staff and other employees, as well as handling administrative tasks such as budgeting, scheduling, purchasing supplies, and developing curriculum.

School administrators may also be tasked with maintaining positive relationships with parents, students, teachers, and other stakeholders. This might include holding regular meetings to discuss school policies or initiatives, providing updates on student performance, etc.

School Administrator Job Duties

School administrators typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Overseeing the academic progress of students by monitoring their grades, attendance records, and participation in extracurricular activities
  • Managing school budgets and working with school boards to create and implement budgets
  • Managing the daily operations of a school including hiring and firing staff members and creating schedules
  • Providing support to teachers by providing feedback on lesson plans and teaching methods
  • Developing and implementing policies and procedures to ensure that the school runs efficiently
  • Assisting teachers in the classroom by providing support on specific curriculum topics or helping with classroom management issues
  • Providing leadership to teachers and other staff members by setting an example through effective communication, teamwork, and conflict resolution skills
  • Overseeing the hiring of teachers and staff members, as well as evaluating their performance and offering guidance to improve performance
  • Coordinating student activities such as dances, sports events, and field trips

School Administrator Salary & Outlook

School administrators’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and location of the school. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or benefits.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $132,000 ($63.46/hour)

The employment of school administrators is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

School administrators will be needed to ensure that schools operate efficiently and effectively as student populations increase and student needs change. In addition, school administrators will be needed to oversee the implementation of new state and federal policies related to education.

Related: 25 School Administrator Interview Questions and Answers

School Administrator Job Requirements

School administrators typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: School administrators are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in education, administration or a related field. Some school administrators choose to earn a master’s degree in education administration to increase their earning potential and qualify for leadership positions.

Training & Experience: School administrators typically receive on-the-job training in the form of shadowing a current administrator or teacher. This training allows the new administrator to learn the school’s policies and procedures and familiarize themselves with the students and faculty.

Certifications & Licenses: School administrators are required to submit to a criminal record review before being hired. The review examines the candidate’s past for any red flags that may disqualify them from the position, such as a felony conviction.

School Administrator Skills

School administrators need the following skills in order to be successful:

Leadership: School administrators often have leadership skills, which can help them manage their staff, students and other stakeholders. Administrators can use their leadership skills to motivate their staff, create a positive learning environment for students and encourage students to achieve their academic goals. School administrators can also use their leadership skills to help their staff develop their own leadership skills.

Communication: School administrators communicate with many people on a daily basis, including parents, students, faculty members, other administrators and members of the community. Effective communication skills can help administrators convey important information, answer questions and resolve issues. School administrators can also use communication skills to build relationships with others, which can help them work together to improve the school environment.

Organization: School administrators often have many tasks to complete each day, so being organized can help them prioritize their work. Administrators can use their organization skills to create schedules for their staff, plan events for students and keep track of student data.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow school administrators to identify and resolve issues that may arise in their schools. Administrators may use problem-solving skills to help students and faculty members find solutions to disagreements, resolve conflicts and find ways to improve their school’s performance. School administrators may also use problem-solving skills to help students overcome challenges they may face in their personal lives.

Decision-making: School administrators make many decisions throughout the day, including those related to curriculum, hiring, budgeting and more. Having strong decision-making skills can help administrators make the best choices for their schools. Administrators can make good decisions by gathering as much information as possible, considering the consequences of their decisions and seeking input from others.

School Administrator Work Environment

School administrators typically work in an office environment during regular business hours, although they may be required to work evenings and weekends to attend meetings or events. They may also travel to different schools within their district or to conferences or workshops. Because they are responsible for the overall operation of the school, they must be able to handle a variety of tasks at one time and be able to make quick decisions. They must also be able to deal with difficult situations, such as student discipline problems or parent complaints.

School Administrator Trends

Here are three trends influencing how school administrators work. School administrators will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Attention to Data-Driven Decision Making

As schools become more data-driven, administrators will need to focus on using data to make decisions. This means that they will need to be able to collect and analyze data in order to determine what is working and what is not.

Administrators who are able to use data to make informed decisions will be better equipped to improve the education system as a whole. They will also be able to identify areas where resources can be allocated most effectively.

The Importance of Professional Development

The importance of professional development is becoming increasingly clear in today’s educational landscape. As schools strive to provide students with the skills they need to succeed in the 21st century economy, administrators must be prepared to provide them with the training they need.

This trend means that school administrators need to be well-versed in a variety of subjects, including technology, finance, and marketing. In addition, they need to be able to create an environment where teachers feel supported and encouraged to grow as professionals.

More Focus on Student Engagement

School administrators are increasingly focusing on student engagement as a way to improve academic performance. By creating a positive learning environment, administrators can help students feel motivated and inspired to learn.

In order to achieve this goal, administrators need to be familiar with current research on student engagement and how to apply it in their own schools. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with teachers and parents about the importance of student engagement.

How to Become a School Administrator

There are many different paths you can take to become an school administrator. One option is to get a master’s degree in education with a concentration in school administration. This will give you the necessary training and experience to lead a school district.

Another option is to start your career as a teacher and work your way up the ranks to become an principal or superintendent. This path offers great opportunities for growth and leadership development.

No matter which path you choose, it’s important to have a strong understanding of educational theory and best practices. You should also be able to effectively communicate with students, parents, and staff members.

Advancement Prospects

Many school administrators are promoted from teaching positions. Principals usually have at least a master’s degree in education administration, plus several years of teaching experience. In some cases, they may also have a law degree.

Assistant principals, deans, and other administrators usually have a master’s degree in education or a related field, plus several years of teaching experience. They may also have experience in school administration.

Advancement for school administrators generally occurs by taking on additional responsibilities at their current school or by moving to a larger school. Some school administrators become consultants or education policy analysts. Others move into college administration or take positions with state or federal education agencies.

School Administrator Job Description Example

The administrator is the heart of any school, ensuring the smooth and efficient running of the institution on a day-to-day basis. [CompanyX] is looking for an experienced school administrator to join our team. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in school administration, with a focus on student welfare, staff management, and operational efficiency. He or she will be a strong leader with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, able to build relationships with students, staff, parents, and other stakeholders. The administrator will be responsible for the overall management of the school, including budgeting, planning, and decision-making.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • To lead and manage the school in accordance with its aims, policies and procedures
  • To be responsible for the educational performance of the school and all its pupils
  • To promote the welfare and safeguarding of all pupils in the school
  • To be a role model to staff, pupils and parents in terms of professional conduct and personal presentation
  • To manage the budget for the school and be accountable for its expenditure
  • To oversee the maintenance of the school buildings and grounds
  • To ensure that the curriculum is appropriate for the needs of all pupils and is being delivered effectively
  • To monitor the teaching and learning in the school and take action to improve it where necessary
  • To manage the recruitment, induction and development of all staff in the school
  • To liaise with external agencies as appropriate to support pupils and families
  • To represent the school at local, regional and national level as required
  • To undertake any other duties as may reasonably be requested by the Board of Governors

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in educational administration or leadership
  • Valid administrator license in the state of employment
  • 5+ years experience as an administrator or assistant administrator in a school setting
  • Proven track record of successful school administration and leadership
  • Thorough understanding of current educational theories, practices, and trends
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and presentation skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Doctorate degree in educational administration or leadership
  • 10+ years experience as an administrator or assistant administrator in a school setting
  • Experience with accreditation processes
  • Familiarity with curriculum development and assessment tools
  • Extensive experience with special education programs and services


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