Education administrator: job description

Education administrator: job description

Education administrators help to ensure the efficient and cost-effective running of higher, further, tertiary and private education institutions through a range of secretarial, administrative, supportive and financial duties.
Most education administrators work in higher or further education, but they are becoming increasingly important in schools.

What does an education administrator do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Education administrators often work within the central administrative (academic registrars) department and for individual faculties, departments and sections of universities and colleges of further and higher education. Opportunities also arise within private, tertiary and specialist training colleges. There is no ‘typical' job profile: administrators may have student recruitment, funding, quality assurance, marketing, or public relations roles, or they may be responsible for budgetary/financial administration, project management or human resources management. Many work in a general capacity – undertaking tasks from all of these areas.

Typical responsibilities of the job include:

  • handling correspondence
  • organising and servicing committee and academic board meetings (producing agendas, taking minutes etc)
  • researching and writing reports
  • preparing statistics and handling data, such as attendance figures
  • processing invoices
  • purchasing equipment/other goods
  • liaising with potential students, other institutions, government departments and external organisations
  • helping with course approval and evaluation activities
  • formulating and implementing regulations/policies
  • timetabling and planning events
  • administering and coordinating student recruitment, examinations and assessment activities

The job can be busy at key times in the academic year, when some long hours may be necessary. There are good opportunities for career progression via promotion into senior administrative, managerial and project management roles, or transfer/secondment between departments.

Vacancies are advertised by careers services, in local and national newspapers (particularly The Guardian), in the Times Educational Supplement and in Times Higher Education, plus their online equivalents.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into a career in educational administration for both university graduates and school leavers. A good higher national diploma or honours degree in any subject can be helpful for entry into the profession.

Qualifications in education, English, psychology, sociology, business studies, statistics, IT, administration or management may be beneficial. Previous higher/further education, office or commercial work experience can also be helpful.

To find out about how you can get into careers in this area via a school leaver route, (eg an apprenticeship or school leaver training programme) see the teaching and education section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for education administrators

Good interpersonal, IT, numeracy, organisational, time management, negotiation and communication skills are essential. A polite telephone manner and discretion when dealing with confidential information is also very important.