Education administration can make for an interesting and engaging career. Attaining such a position, however, is going to require work, with many principals and administrators achieving their job after years of education and experience as teachers, counselors and other kinds of school leaders. Those who are interested in a career in this field should have an understanding of what jobs are available and what each one requires.
The world of education is hierarchical, meaning that you'll likely have to work your way up through a series of ranks before being able to take over as a school administrator. As such, you'll likely put in plenty of hours as a teacher before ascending to the rank of principal. The same goes for becoming a superintendent of a school. You may also need plenty of postsecondary coursework, with many teachers earning education degrees with a focus on their field of study. Administrators, meanwhile may be expected to have a master's degree in education leadership or administration, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.[i] Follow these steps, and you may well be on your way to one of these careers in education administration.
Most people are probably familiar with teaching as it exists in the classroom. Lesson plans are taught and tests are administered. However, that's just a taste of what teachers are actually responsible for. They must make lesson plans, coordinate with teachers and principals, solve disciplinary issues, and look for new ways to implement set curricula. It can be demanding work, but it also serves as a strong foundation for anyone interested in getting involved in education administration, as teachers are exposed to the inner workings of school bureaucracy and gain an intimate understanding of what students need for learning of a higher quality.
People may become a teacher at the preschool elementary, middle or high school level, with the former two potentially requiring a specialized degree in early education, according to the BLS.[ii] The other two levels may just require an education degree and a teaching certificate if you choose to work with public schools.[iii] Private schools on the other hand, don't necessarily require education degrees. It may also be possible to become a special education teacher, who work with students with disabilities that may otherwise hinder an education.
Working in this capacity may also serve as a stepping stone to work as an education administrator. They are responsible for helping students manage problems and figure out career goals. The career generally requires a master's degree in counseling, according to the BLS.[iv]
Principal or superintendent
Educational leadership is defined by these positions, as they are responsible for the coordination of a school's policies, objectives and personnel. Such careers generally require a master's degree in education administration, as people must learn how to manage, fund and budget for a school.i Principals are generally the head of a school, with vice principals acting in an auxiliary capacity. Should someone do well as a principal, they may be able to become a superintendent, who oversees part of or an entire school system. Teaching experience is needed in addition to the mater's degree.
[i] bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm#tab-4 [ii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm#tab-4 [iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm#tab-4 [iv] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/school-and-career-counselors.htm