School Leadership Careers Can Really Pay Off

Read these top reasons why a love of education doesn’t rule out a healthy income.

school-leadership-education-administration-salaryThere’s plenty of media attention focused on the perceived shortcomings of teaching salaries.

But that same coverage fails to note the comparatively high earnings for those advancing into school leadership positions.

If you’re considering an education administration career, the salary and benefits can certainly make it well worth your while.

Education Administration Salaries

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for elementary, middle and high school principals is $87,760.

Postsecondary education administrators earn a median annual salary of $88,390. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

Benefit Packages

School leadership positions are usually accompanied by generous benefit packages. Most include comprehensive health and pension plans as well as four to six weeks of vacation and performance-based bonuses. In addition, many universities and colleges offer tuition waivers for employees and their families.

For anyone entering one of the many available education administration programs, the timing is excellent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, large numbers of current education administrators are likely to retire within the next decade, leaving a favorable job environment for prospective leaders.

The BLS projects that school principals will have 6 percent job growth through 2024. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.

Jump Into School Leadership

Most public school principals, assistant principals and school district administrator positions only require a master’s degree. However, larger, more competitive institutions tend to look for candidates with doctoral degrees when they are recruiting for school leadership positions.

Classroom teachers looking to advance their careers often move into administrative positions as academic deans, central office administrators and principals while others gain experience working as assistant principals or as a department head, curriculum specialist or subject matter advisor at the school or district level.

For those in support staff positions like school counselors, admissions personnel and librarians, moving up to the high salary potential of an administrative position is possible with a degree from a college offering school leadership programs.


Tell us a little about yourself and we’ll connect you with schools that offer education administration degree programs.