How to Become a School Administrator

A career as a school administrator is not one that you can simply acquire but rather one that is built and fostered over time. Being put in the immensely powerful role of school administrator is not only contingent upon you receiving the appropriate education but also a list of several other factors.

The road to becoming a school administrator starts with first becoming a teacher.   Because school administrators often times work closely with teachers in order to craft curriculums for their students, an understanding of the world of a  teacher from first-hand experience will become an invaluable asset in the years ahead. In order to become licensed as a teacher you will first need a Bachelor’s in Education. This all-important first step will act as the very corner-stone of your future academic studies. As an undergraduate you’ll learn the basics of educational philosophy and psychology, as well as teaching methods.

Once you’ve finished your classwork and have earned your Bachelor’s your next step would be to obtain your teaching license. All fifty states require public school teachers to become licensed before they can begin teaching students.  Although the licensing requirements vary from state to state, beyond having your Bachelor’s you will most likely also be required to undergo a certain number of hours of “on the job” training teaching in a classroom under the supervision of an experienced teacher. You’ll also be expected to pass a series of test evaluating your literacy as well as your teaching abilities and knowledge of the subject matter at hand.

It’s always a good idea to have a clear goal in mind when entering the educational field. Know exactly what level of schooling you want to someday administer over and enter into a teaching position at that level. For example if you hope to one day be a school administrator for a K-12 school, you should seek a teaching job at a K-12 school. Also, keep in mind that some states may also require a certain number of years of teaching experience before you are eligible to become a school administrator.

You’ll also need to have earned an advanced degree – either a master’s or doctoral degree in education administration or educational leadership at some point before you can become a school administrator. You may actually be able to earn your teaching degree and Master’s concurrently but situations vary from state to state and school to school so you’ll have to check with your school advisor to see if this is possible. These advanced degree programs will include coursework in finance, human resources, leadership theory and help you obtain the skills necessary to draft budgets, deal with student issues and hire teachers as well as any number of other duties required of a school administrator in today’s field.

Finally the last piece of the educational puzzle lies in gaining your school administrator license. As is the case with the teaching licensing you obtained earlier, school administrator licensure often times entails passing an examination and spending hours interning in school administration. You’ll be expected to pass certification exams on both state and national level for your specific area of administration.

Now that you’ve finally achieved all the educational degrees and certifications required to become a school administrator the only thing left to do is to begin applying for that position of your dreams! When applying, make sure to research the areas and districts to which you are interested in.  You’ll find that each state will have its own set of challenges in hiring requirements. Aside from preparing yourself for your potential new work environment you should also be acquiring letters of recommendation and letters of reference to send along with your college transcripts to your perspective employers.

All things going accordingly you should be ready to begin your exciting new career as an educational administrator. Wherever you end up, you’re sure to find a variety of challenging and exciting work environments. If you have followed the above steps you should have all the experience necessary to tackle each day head on and steer both yourself and your new found career into a brighter tomorrow.


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