How to Become an Education Programs Administrator


If you have an interest in organizing and managing education or training programs, and you like directing the work of others, then a career as an education programs administrator might be right up your alley.


This field offers great pay, plenty of room for advancement, and the chance to make an impact on the live of many students.


If this career field sounds promising, then read on below; we’ll fill you in on what you’d be doing, how much you could make, and what you need to do to get into this field!



What is an Education Programs Administrator?

An education programs administrator is a blanket term that refers to those who who organize and manage the administration, support systems and activities that enable the effective running of an educational or training program.



Education You’ll Need

The type and level of education you will need varies widely and depends on what industry you’ll be working in.


For example, a bachelor’s degree in education, liberal arts, social work or business is often listed as a requirement by community organizations looking for education program administrators.


However, you will likely need a master’s degree (or even a doctorate) in a field related to education administration if you're looking to work for an educational institution or school board.





Relevant Work Experience You’ll Need

Employers generally prefer to hire candidates with at least a few years of work experience in teaching, or in education program administration at some level. In general however, the more education you have, the less experience you will need (and vice-versa).



Extra-Curricular Experience

In Addition to relevant work experience, employers may give preference to you over other candidates if your resume shows evidence of an interest in the education sector. This evidence may include:


• Involvement in university life

• Committee work

• Student recruitment activities

• Participation in skills development programs and mentoring



Professional Certification

Depending on the type of job that you’ll have, you may or may not require certification. For example, if you're going to work as a school principal in a public school system, you will require a state/provincial license. However if you're going to work as a bachelor of arts program administrator for a local university, you would probably not require certification of any kind.



Skills You’ll Need

In order to be hired on as an education programs administrator, and to succeed once you’re in the role, you’ll need certain skills and competencies, including:


• Interpersonal and instructional leadership skills necessary to promote increased student achievement

• The ability to plan and manage daily school/program operations

• Able to provide instructional leadership

• Able to foster team collaboration, differentiated instruction and positive community relationships

• Able to effectively develop, supervise and evaluate faculty and staff

• A practical understanding of how to analyze and use performance data and external evaluations

• A clear understanding of the principles and practice of quality assurance systems

• An understanding of strategies for improving the quality of teaching and learning, including promoting excellence & challenging poor performance



What You'd Be Doing: General Job Description

Education program administrators are responsible for maintaining a comfortable and effective learning environment for students, and providing support and assistance to staff.


Education program administrators also may assist with marketing their programs, hiring teachers or instructors, developing course materials, ordering classroom materials, administering competency tests, and conducting orientation for new students.



General Job Duties

Although the functions you would perform could vary depending on the type of institution that employs you, tasks you would be responsible for performing might include:


• Providing direction for specific educational programs, such as adult diploma programs

• Planning and implementing curricular, instructional and assessment programs

• Reviewing student disciplinary issues

• Composing, administering and proofing final transcripts for students

• Overseeing the creation of program promotional materials

• Providing program information to parents, students, counselors and other interested parties

• Interpreting and evaluating high school, college or university transcripts to determine credit status of new students

• Monitoring academic progress of students by documenting and recording credits earned

• Liaising with other academic staff, colleagues and students

• Working on committees including academic boards, governing bodies and task groups

• Assisting with recruitment, public or alumni relations and marketing activities





Who Employs Education Programs Administrators?

Education programs administrators can be employed by virtually any organization or institution that has an education or training program of some sort.


For the most part, they work in traditional academic settings, such as schools, colleges and universities, or for school boards. However, they may also be employed by businesses, museums, correctional facilities, community groups, and other types of organizations. 


Self-employment opportunities, in the form of freelance or consulting work, are rare, and typically only suitable for administrators who are very experienced in specialized areas, such as quality assurance, project management, preparing funding bids, marketing and public relations. 



Average Salary Level

The salary level you could earn as an education programs administrator can vary, typically depending on the following factors:


• Your professional qualifications (education, experience, etc.)

• The size and budget of your employer

• The industry in which you work

• The region in which you work

• The scope of your job duties


Salary - Canada: According to the 2018 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the "School principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education" occupational group earn an average salary of $117,092 per year. Unfortunately, no similar statistics were available from reliable sources for other Canadian provinces or territories at the time of writing (June 26, 2019).


Salary - United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary level of Americans working in the Education Administrators, All Other occupational group is $82,90 per year. Those in the lowest 10th percentile earn an estimated salary of $42,520, while those in the top 90th earn an estimated salary of $127,480 per year.



Current Job Opportunities

Our job board below has "education programs administrator" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, when available:




Is this Profession Right for You?

To survive the ups and downs of a career as an education programs administrator, and to enjoy yourself along the way, you need to have a certain set of traits, including:


• An interest in working closely with others

• An interest in supervising and directing the work of others

• Personal and professional integrity

• A willingness to model standards for positive and supportive staff

• A commitment to continuous improvement and a student-centered learning environment

• A commitment to meeting the needs of all students

• Willing to take accountability for the success of the program(s)



Work Environment

Hours: Most jobs would be of the 9-5 variety, although some may involve evenings, weekends or shift work. Many positions in this field require overtime on occasion, particularly around when enrollment is beginning, or examinations are taking place.


Setting: Your work would likely be based out of an office, which could be found within a school, office building, museum, or other types of buildings. Travel within a working day would be occasional, in order to supervise program implementation, or attend meeting and conferences.



Career Advancement Possibilities  

There will be many opportunities to move into other roles or to otherwise advance your career, as there is such a wide range of positions in education programs administration. Some forms of career advancement may include, for example:


• Getting a raise in pay or bonuses

• Earning a more senior position (for example, going from principal to superintendent)

• Becoming self-employed as a consultant or freelancer (relatively rare in this field)

• Become a specialist in an area such as human resources or finance (which may require further qualifications)



Similar Occupational Profiles in Our System

Listed below are occupations in our database that have similar responsibilities, and/or require similar skills, or be in the same sector of industry, as 'education programs administrator':


Community Program Director

• Curriculum Director

• Dean

• Principal

• University or College Administrator

• University President




Salary information for this career guide, as well as other information, was retrieved from the websites listed below. Some information has also been compiled from actual job postings from various organizations.


Wages & Salaries in Alberta:School principals and administrators of elementary and secondary education.” (n.d.). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 12, 2019.

Occupational Employment Statistics:Education Administrators, All Other.” (March 29, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 12, 2019.

Job Profile:Education administrator.” (n.d.). Prospects website. Retrieved November 12, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming an Education Programs Administrator

The “Applicable Majors” section below shows fields of study relevant to a career as an education programs administrator. You can search for scholarships matched to those fields of study on the following pages:


Business Administration Scholarships

Education Scholarships

Management Scholarships


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Applicable Majors

Studying one of the college/university majors listed below can be helpful (or are necessary) for getting started in this profession. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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