Education administrator: job description

Education administrators keep universities, colleges and other educational institutions running smoothly by managing administrative, financial and support systems.

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

Education administrators support teaching staff and keep organisations running smoothly. There’s no typical job profile or job title: for example, administrators can focus on student recruitment, fundraising, quality assurance, marketing or communications roles, or they may be responsible for financial administration, project management or human resources management.

However, duties most frequently include:

  • devising and managing processes and projects, which could include recruitment, finances, advertising campaigns and events, and quality assurance
  • liaising with potential students, other institutions and government departments
  • preparing statistics and handling data, such as student numbers and attendance figures
  • handling queries and complaints
  • researching and writing reports
  • organising events.

It’s common to work your way up from an entry-level role via promotions and secondments between departments. Vacancies tend to be advertised on institutions’ websites, and on national and local newspapers’ sites. There are also specialist job sites, such as jobs.ac.uk, for educational roles. Jobs in schools are advertised directly by schools and on local authority job sites. All these sites will break available jobs into categories, such as finance, marketing and HR.

Starting salaries

These vary widely because of the variety of roles available. However, many salaries in this sector are covered by pay scales agreed by trade unions. Under this system, pay is reviewed every year and increases based on your length of service. As a first port of call, take a look at the salary levels negotiated by the University and College Union .

Typical employers of education administrators

  • Universities.
  • Further education and sixth form colleges.
  • Schools (state-governed and private).

Qualifications and training required

You don’t always need a degree to work in education administration, although if you’re aiming for a specialist role such as marketing or human resources, it can help. Experience of administration via work experience or an apprenticeship is more important.

If you want to work in a regulated profession (such as accountancy ) within the education sector, you’ll need professional qualifications – but you don’t need a degree to achieve these.

Key skills for education administrators

  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • IT skills.
  • Organisational and time management skills.
  • The ability to work with people from all backgrounds.

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