There are approximately 283,200 education administrators employed throughout the United States. Most work in either public or private schools at the elementary or secondary level. Some are employed as preschool or child care administrators.
Most school administrators enter the field as teachers. College and university career services offices may help place you in your first teaching job, or you may apply directly to a local school system. Teachers, of course, must meet the requirements for state licensure. Many school districts and state departments of education maintain job listings that notify potential teachers and administrators of openings. Qualified candidates may also come from other administrative jobs, such as curriculum specialist, financial adviser, or director of audiovisual aids, libraries, arts, or special education. The important thing is having experience in organizing and supervising school programs and activities.
A teacher may be promoted directly to principal, but more often teachers begin as assistant principals and in time are promoted. Experienced administrators may advance to assistant superintendent and then superintendent. In fact, many school superintendents are former principals who worked their way up the administrative ladder. Each increase in responsibility usually carries a corresponding salary increase.
Tips for Entry
To learn more about the field, read:
- School Administrator (https://www.aasa.org/SchoolAdministrator.aspx)
- Principal Leadership (https://www.nassp.org/news-and-resources/publications/principal-leadership)
- Principal (https://www.naesp.org/principal-archives)
Visit https://aasa-jobs.careerwebsite.com and https://careers.nassp.org for job listings.
Use social media to stay up to date on industry developments, network, and learn about job openings. Many education associations have a presence on social media. The National Association of Secondary School Principals, for example, has Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages that you should check out.