How to Become a School Superintendent

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


All school districts require highly trained leaders for the effective and efficient operation of all educational institutions. School superintendents are executive administrators that are responsible for the overall functions of a specific school district.

What does a school superintendent do?

School superintendents are responsible for managing all aspects of a school district and improving the quality of education. They create and implement policies and procedures, directly supervise all heads of departments, manage teachers and staff, develop educational goals and objectives, and develop and maintain budgets. They make decisions regarding pay raises, budget cuts, and hiring of new staff members. School superintendents handle difficult issues such as complaints related to the behavior of students, teachers, nurses, librarians/media specialists, principals and other school faculty members. They also handle renovations, projects, and school schedules. School superintendents often act as representatives for the media at school related rallies and events.

What kind of training & skills does a school superintendent need?

School superintendents typically need at least a master degree in education administration or a related field. Many have a doctorate degree and extensive experience in the greater field of education. School superintendents must have a solid understanding of the principles of business management and the implementation of educational policy. They typically have to prove their abilities to a governing board of trustees for a school district. Most school superintendents begin their careers as teachers, principals, or school administrators and advance to higher-level positions after gaining the essential skills and experience. Many school superintendents have a superintendent professionals certificate. School superintendents must complete continuing education to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast on the current trends in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a school superintendent? Job outlook

The employment of school superintendents is expected to experience little to no change through 2018 (1).

The school superintendent job outlook is expected to be fair, with strong competition due to the prestige and high salaries associated with this position. Individuals with advanced education and extensive related experience will have the best job opportunities. Some job openings will arise from the need to replace school superintendents that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

School Superintendent Salary: How much do school superintendents make?

As of 2015, the middle 50% earn an annual school superintendent salary of between $113,606 and $167,812. The top 10% earned an average school superintendent salary of more than $193,983 .

A career as a school superintendent is an excellent choice for individuals with extensive experience in education and the desire to perform a variety of tasks to ensure excellent education and overall productivity of a school district. School superintendents must ensure meaningful learning experiences that enable all students to reach their maximum potential and achievement. Determination, dedication, careful reasoning skills, excellent leadership ability, good problem solving skills, and effective decision-making abilities are necessary characteristics. School superintendents must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and be comfortable working with a variety of students, teachers, and members of the community. Those interested in becoming school superintendents may also be interested in learning how to become an academic dean at a college or university.

Becoming a School Superintendent Requires Skills & Training Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a School Superintendent? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what course you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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