A degree in educational management, also called educational leadership, leads to management jobs in the educational system such as principal or administrator. For students who want to work in leadership positions in schools, this degree is often a requirement. Many colleges offer educational leadership or management as a graduate degree option and require students to first have a teaching degree and even to work a certain number of years as a classroom teacher before seeking this degree.
What Do Educational Managers Do?
Principals and administrators concentrate on the running of schools so that teachers can teach. They handle the day-to-day management issues of discipline, plant operations, and budget control. While they are technically “in charge” of teachers, they actually work alongside teachers to ensure that the school runs smoothly and that students are given the best possible educational experience.
In smaller schools, educational leaders may be called on to teach classes in addition to their other job duties. Many school systems have implemented administration “teaching” sessions so that administrators can get back into the classroom at least part time in order to understand the issues teachers face so that they are better-equipped to handle them.
How Much Do Educational Managers Make?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, educational leaders such as principals earn a median salary of $86,970 per year. This includes principals of elementary, middle, and high schools and takes in data from all over the country. Obviously, the state in which you work and the size of your school will have a great impact on your salary. While principals of large high schools can earn more than $129,000 per year, principals and administrators of smaller schools earn a median of $58,000. Some teachers also take on administrative duties part-time as they train for educational leadership positions; their salaries may not change at all as a result of these jobs. Your earnings will depend greatly on your position, your years of experience, the school district and more.
The job outlook for school administrators is about average, according to the BLS, with ten percent growth expected through 2020. As school populations grow, there will be far more need for administrators in areas of high population density. As budgets shrink, some schools may be forced to cut administrative positions.
How Do I Become an Educational Manager?
Most educational managers have at least a master’s degree, and some have a doctoral degree. In most cases, administrators are teachers who have furthered their education by taking additional classes in educational leadership leading to a Master’s in Educational Leadership degree. Doctoral programs for teachers vary widely, but a Doctorate in Education with a concentration in leadership is the most common type of terminal degree for administrators. However, administrators may also have masters or doctorates in other areas of education or even in other fields, such as finance or public policy. This is especially true for administrators who work in the central office of a school system, dealing with the entire system’s budget or management needs.
For those who are interested in becoming an administrator or principal, the first step is a bachelor’s degree in a subject that you would like to teach or in education. If you choose a non-education degree, you may have to take additional education classes to become certified. Once you are certified by your state as a teacher, you will spend at least one year in the classroom teaching students. Many schools offer long-term graduate programs for working teachers so that they can gain their graduate degrees while they teach. Once you have a master’s in administration or leadership, you will need to become certified as an administrator in addition to your teaching certificate. This is most often accomplished by a state-administered test.
Becoming a school administrator is a multi-step process but it can lead to a rewarding and lucrative career path that has the additional benefit of allowing you to help teachers and students on a daily basis.