By The Bureau of Labor Statistics



Employment Snapshot

Education administrators held about 443,000 jobs in 2006. Of these, 56,000 were preschool or child care administrators, 226,000 were elementary or secondary school administrators, and 131,000 were postsecondary administrators. The great majority—over 80 percent—worked in public or private educational institutions. Most of the remainder worked in child daycare centers, religious organizations, job training centers, and businesses and other organizations that provided training for their employees.


Job Outlook

Employment of education administrators is projected to grow about as fast as average, as education and training take on greater importance in everyone’s lives. Job opportunities for many of these positions should be excellent because a large proportion of education administrators are expected to retire over the next 10 years.

Employment change. Employment of education administrators is expected to grow by 12 percent between 2006 and 2016, about as fast as the average for all occupations, primarily due to growth in enrollments of school-age children. Enrollment of students in elementary and secondary schools is expected to grow slowly over the next decade, which will limit the growth of principals and other administrators in these schools. However, the number of administrative positions will continue to increase as more administrative responsibilities are placed on individual schools, particularly related to monitoring student achievement. Preschool and childcare center administrators are expected to experience substantial growth due to increasing enrollments in formal child care programs as fewer young children are cared for in private homes. Additionally, as more States implement or expand public preschool programs, more preschool directors will be needed.

The number of students at the postsecondary level is projected to grow more rapidly than other student populations, creating significant demand for administrators at that level. A significant portion of the growth will occur in the private and for-profit segments of higher education. Many of these schools cater to working adults who might not ordinarily participate in postsecondary education. These schools allow students to earn a degree, receive job-specific training, or update their skills in a convenient manner, such as through part-time programs or distance learning. As the number of these schools continues to grow, more administrators will be needed to oversee them.

Job Prospects. Principals and assistant principals should have very favorable job prospects. A sharp increase in responsibilities in recent years has made the job more stressful and has discouraged some teachers from taking positions in administration. Principals are now being held more accountable for the performance of students and teachers, while at the same time they are required to adhere to a growing number of government regulations. In addition, overcrowded classrooms, safety issues, budgetary concerns, and teacher shortages in some areas all are creating additional stress for administrators. Many teachers feel that the increase in pay for becoming an administrator is not high enough to compensate for the greater responsibilities.

Opportunities may vary by region of the country. Enrollments are expected to increase the fastest in the West and South, where the population is growing faster, and to decline or remain stable in the Northeast and the Midwest. School administrators also are in greater demand in rural and urban areas, where pay is generally lower than in the suburbs.

Although competition among faculty for prestigious positions as academic deans and department heads is likely to remain keen, fewer applicants are expected for nonacademic administrative jobs, such as director of admissions or student affairs. Furthermore, many people are discouraged from seeking administrator jobs by the requirement that they have a master’s or doctoral degree in education administration—as well as by the opportunity to earn higher salaries in other occupations.


From the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook 2008-2009 – Education Administrators.