Education Administration Certificate and Certification Program Info

Oct 20, 2021

Essential Information

Education administration certificate programs are available through 4-year colleges and universities at the graduate level. Completing an education administration program is necessary in order to obtain certification or licensure as a school administrator in the state where the individual lives. A master's degree, teacher licensure and experience in an administrative role may be needed for entry into the program. Certificate-level training in education administration (for a principal, administrator or supervisor position) is composed of both classroom instruction and an internship. Such programs may be offered online and may have coursework requirements ranging from 16 to 18 or more credits. Students acquire knowledge in areas related to the management of human resources, administration and finance. Through an internship, students are able to put this knowledge into practice and hone their administrative skills.

Certificate Programs in Education Administration

Coursework focuses on leadership and business practices within a school environment. Students also learn how to deal with district bureaucracy and conflicts. Required courses may include:

  • Theories in educational leadership
  • Leadership in a school district
  • Instruction supervision
  • Business administration
  • Personnel management
  • Management ethics and conflict resolution

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Education administrators can find employment in both public school districts and private or religious schools, most often in levels of management and upper-management. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),, employment of elementary, middle and high school principals was expected to grow by 4% from 2019-2029, which was as fast as average for all occupations. In May 2020, elementary and secondary education administrators earned a mean annual salary of $103,010. The same year, postsecondary education administrators made $115,200 in average income.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

Requirements for certification or licensure in education administration vary by state. Most states require that students complete a master's degree program, a graduate certificate in education administration and an internship. A state may require that a candidate for certification pass a state test. For example, students in Texas must pass a principal certification test after finishing the coursework portion. A state may have various levels of certification. Take for example the state of Tennessee. Tennessee has a beginning administrator license (or certification) and a professional administrator license (or certification). Administrators just starting out are awarded the beginning license, valid for five years. Once a beginning administrator finds employment and completes other requirements, he or she is issued a professional license. The professional license is valid for ten years, after which it needs to be renewed. Some states require administrators to complete continuing education credits in order to renew their licenses. Principals in private schools do not have to abide by state certification requirements, according to the BLS.

Completing a graduate-level certificate in education administration will help propel a student toward a career as an education administrator by providing leadership training for managing day-to-day school environments and by helping meet state requirements for licensure.

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