Professional advancement for experienced educators lies primarily in two places: within the teaching profession and in positions of educational leadership. Earning an advanced degree in school administration may be the best first step you can take toward achieving one or both these goals. But are there sufficient opportunities in the State of Texas to warrant the work and expense of going back to school?
School Administrators – Who Are They and What Do They Do?
School administrators include principals and assistant or vice principals in elementary, middle and high school settings. Principals, with the assistance of other building leaders, enact and manage the policies and benchmarks set by the district's administrative offices and facilitate day-to-day operations of a single school within a district. Principals work closely with students and teachers and must be well-equipped to nurture a positive learning and work environment. They also work closely with the office, maintenance and para-professional staff to ensure that the school is meeting state and district standards, as well as the needs and expectations of the community.
Job Outlook for Texas School Administrators
In May 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that Texas has the highest number of elementary and secondary educational administrators in the U.S. with a total of 28,310 professionals. May 2019 data pulled via Burning Glass Technologies' Labor Insight showed that 2,121 open positions for educational administrator were posted in Texas between April 30, 2018 and May 1, 2019. In fact, those teachers interested in pursuing jobs as school leaders will be interested to know the National Association for Secondary School Principals predicted that, "the demand for employment of elementary, middle, and high school principals will grow 6 percent nationwide by the year 2022 due to population increases."
Texas districts with the highest number of job postings for these positions include Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio (in that order). These districts accounted for more than half (1,480) of the administrative job openings in the state throughout the entire year.
Jobs in these metropolitan areas typically offer higher salaries than those in rural areas. Across the state, the average salary for principals in Texas is slightly higher than the national average. Based on a 2018 update, elementary, middle, and high school principals working for public districts have a national average salary of $75,705 per year, but in Texas the average salary is closer to $83,000. Starting salary for Texas principals begins at around $60,000, junior to mid-level experienced principals earn from $70,000 to $83,000, and senior- and top-level principals have reported earning between $99,000 and $118,000 annually.
How to Become a School Administrator
In most districts, positions in school administration require a Master of Science in Educational Administration degree. At the same time, most individuals pursuing these jobs are currently teaching and cannot afford to give up their jobs to return to college. Selecting a high-quality online degree program like the one offered by Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), however, can provide a comprehensive and rigorous course of study in educational administration, with the convenience of working on your schedule but without the time and expense of traveling to and from campus. TAMIU's M.S. in Educational Administration online degree program can be completed in as few as 10 months. The in-state tuition cost is just over $10,000.
Learn more about the TAMIU online M.S. in Educational Administration program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.