What Is Education Management?


Education management is the administration that oversees an education system. This administration is responsible for designing, planning and implementing learning structures. Professionals in education management can specialize in human resources, student services, financial aid, testing and disability accommodations. These positions focus on various aspects of education and work toward the improvement and optimization of the educational system.

What Is Educational Management?

Educational management, also sometimes known as educational administration, is commonly associated with elementary and secondary schools as well as institutes of higher learning like colleges and universities. Education management professionals can also be found working in governmental agencies, private companies, and not-for-profit organizations. Those working in educational management might develop education policy, conduct research, or consult to help evaluate and develop ways to enrich and enhance the educational system at all levels. Most educational management professionals have earned at least a master’s degree and many are licensed teachers or principals.

Important Facts About Education Management Occupations

Median Salary (2018)$95,310$94,340
Job Outlook (2016-2026)8% growth10% growth
Key SkillsLeadership, problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skillsInterpersonal, organizational, and problem-solving skills
Similar OccupationsCareer/Technical Education Teacher, School/Career Counselor, Special Education TeacherAdministrative Service Manager, Public Relations Specialist, Training/Development Manager
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Educational management elements |

Required Education

Those interested in an educational management career will likely need to complete a master’s or doctoral degree program. Some of these programs are intended specifically for public education teachers and administrators; however, completing a teacher education program is not a requirement for enrollment in some educational management programs. You can also find educational management programs that focus on preparation for careers in higher education. Master’s degree programs might require completion of a thesis project and internship. Doctoral programs generally require a dissertation based on original research.

Common Coursework

The core coursework in educational management degree programs varies slightly from program to program. Listed below are some common courses that you can expect to encounter in a graduate-level educational management program:

  • Education economics
  • Education legislation
  • Public policy and education
  • Management of educational organizations
  • Evaluation of educational systems


Education managers who work in school administration, usually as principals, are required to be licensed in most states, if they work at public schools. Requirements vary, but they often include a master’s degree and additional training. Sometimes continuing education is needed to maintain licensure. Private schools do not require licensure.

Job Skills

Leadership skills are a must in this field. Professionals working in education management must also have good decision-making and problem-solving skills. They should also be good communicators and be comfortable working with teachers, parents, and children, as well as other community members.

Occupational Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for elementary and secondary school principals was $95,310, while academic administrators at the postsecondary level earned $94,340 in 2018. The BLS predicts job growth for these two careers around 8% and 10% respectively during the 2016-2026 decade. The BLS indicates this might be due to a need to replace retiring professionals. Additionally, the advanced educational requirements for many positions might deter some from pursuing openings in the field, making positions more readily available to those who do hold the necessary degrees.

18 careers in education management

Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration

Here’s a list of education management positions to consider:

1. Paraeducator

National average salary: $36,152 per year

Primary duties**:** A paraeducator assists students with special needs in their classrooms. They help supervise students and prepare their learning materials. Paraeducators work with the students’ teachers, development programs and agencies to ensure that students have the tools they need to succeed.

2. Admissions counselor

National average salary: $36,719 per year

Primary duties: An admissions counselor recruits future students to their college or university. They attend college fairs, provide information to students and parents, answer questions about applications and campus, guide students on campus tours and develop programs to aid recruitment. Admission counselors often work with the administration office to review incoming applications, verify applicant materials and help make final approvals for admissions.

3. Career counselor

National average salary: $38,328 per year

Primary duties: Career counselors assist students with their job searches and help them develop skills in job seeking, applying and interviewing. They might organize workshops or job fairs to help students and alumni gain employment opportunities. Counselors often work in high schools or colleges, but they can also work independently or for private companies.

4. Financial aid coordinator

National average salary: $39,371 per year

Primary duties: Financial aid coordinators oversee the distribution of grants, loans and payment plans. Coordinators decide on a student’s financial aid eligibility based on their institution’s protocols. They compile data and reports to assess a student’s needs and can advise them on their financial aid options.

5. College adviser

National average salary: $40,161 per year

Primary duties: Academic advisers guide students with their choices for classes and future career goals. They can help students enroll in the classes they need to graduate, apply for study abroad programs and ensure that they have the information they need to succeed. College advisers can work specifically with freshmen, transfer or academic probation students.

6. Preschool director

National average salary: $42,535 per year

Primary duties: A preschool director is in charge of office staff, budgeting, payroll and student records. They handle the budget for their school, collecting tuition fees, handling bank transactions and the purchase of equipment or supplies. They also ensure that the school follows program curriculums, licensing and safety procedures.

7. Student coordinator

National average salary: $42,984 per year

Primary duties: Student coordinators manage students who live in student housing. They administer housing facilities, conduct residential events and offer peer mentoring. Student coordinators typically live in the housing for free as part of their job. While living on site, they handle emergencies outside of regular hours.

8. Fundraising manager

National average salary: $50,353 per year

Primary duties: A fundraising manager coordinates fundraising events and conducts outreach for potential donors. They record budget data to identify strategies for fundraising and ensure the proper allocation of funds. Fundraising managers may collaborate with organizations outside of their schools for larger events.

9. Librarian

National average salary: $54,364 per year

Primary duties: A librarian assists students in accessing the resources and information available to them. By analyzing student trends and coursework requirements, they can anticipate resource needs and order specific materials and equipment for their inventory. This inventory can include books, journals, computers and other audio-visual equipment to facilitate students’ learning and research.

Read more: Learn About Being a Librarian

10. Athletic director

National average salary: $57,307 per year

Primary duties: Athletic directors typically work at colleges or universities. They oversee athletic events, from budgeting to marketing. Directors ensure their teams follow the rules and regulations of their sport, and they may also travel to recruit athletes. Athletic directors often have experience as a coach and can work at different educational levels from middle school to college.

11. Education consultant

National average salary: $61,207 per year

Primary duties: Education consultants are often independent contractors hired by schools and universities. They may help a school develop a curriculum or choose a principal. Consultants may also provide feedback to teachers on developing their teaching techniques.

12. Dean of students

National average salary: $61,467 per year

Primary duties: Deans can specialize in areas such as student affairs, faculty or development. Deans of student affairs focus on student experience, with an emphasis on discipline, performance and student services. Faculty deans manage hiring and the determination of tenure. Deans of development may raise money from alumni and other organizations to fund the school.

13. Human resources manager

National average salary: $68,316 per year

Primary duties: A human resources manager manages the school’s hiring process. They handle aspects such as employee relations, training, compensation and benefits. Human resources managers aim to maintain a positive work environment for all administrative staff.

Read more: Learn About Being an HR Manager

14. Assistant principal

National average salary: $74,161 per year

Primary duties: Assistant principles work in elementary, middle or high schools and handle student discipline issues. They work closely with the principal, counselor, deans and directors to implement plans for struggling students. An assistant principal monitors and ensures the maintenance of attendance rates.

15. Superintendent

National average salary: $81,452 per year

Primary duties: A superintendent is responsible for executive management of a school district. They administer the policies and vision of the school board through daily operational decisions about programming, budgets and staff. Superintendents hire, manage and supervise the principals of their district and are directly accountable to the district’s school board.

16. Management analyst

National average salary: $85,739 per year

Primary duties: Management analysts assess the school’s efficiency to identify areas of improvement. They give advice to administrators on how they can optimize their management of the school. Management analysts track workflow data to ensure that the school runs efficiently.

17. School principal

National average salary: $100,547 per year

Primary duties: A school principal evaluates and hires school staff and coordinates the work of all school administrators and teachers. They handle all daily school operations, including admissions, scheduling and discipline. Many principals have a background in teaching, and they work closely with teachers to maintain students’ academic standards.

18. Chief academic officer

National average salary: $102,157 per year

Primary duties: Chief academic officers evaluate academic programs to ensure they meet the regulations and policies at the state and federal levels. They may develop and implement curriculum initiatives and assessments to improve academic programs. Chief academic officers can also present educational developments and trends at conferences. They might serve on a board of directors for a college, or they may supervise a region of K-12 schools.


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