A principal smiling in the library

Your guide to certificates in administrative education

Gaining a certificate in school administration prepares you for a career that touches on nearly every level of the educational system, from PreK through college. The many job responsibilities of an education administrator include taking charge of school programming, hiring and supervising staff, and managing budgets. As an administrator, you will make important decisions that affect everyone in the school building or the entire school district. A school administrator works together with faculty, school boards, and community members to develop a school’s mission and its vision for future educational goals.

Is a teaching certificate in administration right for you?

If you feel strongly about making a difference in the lives of teachers, students, and entire communities, you may want to consider studying for an administrative certificate. The employment opportunities in the field of school administration can also be a factor in your decision to pursue this certification. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for secondary administrators will grow 4% from 2018 to 2028 and postsecondary education administrators is expected to grow 7% over the same 10-year period. This anticipated growth outpaces the average increase in job openings for all other occupations over the same time period.

Does a teaching certificate in administration suit your personal and professional interests?

If you’re an educator working in a school setting, getting a certificate in administrative education may help advance your teaching career. In most states, a master’s degree from an accredited college is a prerequisite for obtaining this certificate. You will need to have a state teaching license and at least two years of teaching experience. This certification can also provide you with helpful training that translates to other career settings, and the achievement of personal goals.

Think about the following attributes pertaining to administrative careers to see if you have the passion and determination needed to complete an administrative certificate in education:

  • You’re knowledgeable and care a lot about school policies
  • You’re organized, detail-oriented, enthusiastic, and have innovative ideas
  • Your communicative and interpersonal skills are strong
  • You’re an experienced teacher with a postgraduate degree

Educational program titles — what you need to know

Administrative certificates in education programs are often titled differently by schools offering them, and some serve different purposes, as you’ll note in the title examples given below.

It’s important to understand the requirements and course prerequisites necessary in your state before enrolling in a particular certificate program.

Here are some of the most common program titles in this field:

  • School Administrator Certification
  • Education Leadership Graduate Certificate
  • School Building Leader Certificate
  • Vocational Administrative Director Certificate Program
  • Residency Administrator Certificate (Principal)
  • Post-Master’s K-12 School Administrator Certificate

Sample courses in administrative certificate programs:

Nearly all of the administrative certificate programs offered will include required courses in curriculum development, communication, and leadership.

The curricula for each school’s administrative certificate program will vary somewhat, depending on the specific program and the school. Be sure to research all of the courses in a certificate program you’re considering. You’ll want to be certain the entire program is relevant to your career goals.

Here are some sample course titles:

  • Organizational Theory and Leadership — Study leadership models and organizational theories in professional environments and practical applications in educational settings
  • Using Research to Lead School Improvement — Develop skills and understanding of how leaders use research to improve educational settings
  • Curriculum Development for Programs of Study in Career and Technical Education — Study and analyze curriculum theories and ways to apply a systems approach to technical education and training programs
  • Developing Staff and Community Relations — Overview of supervision of instruction, staff development, personnel, and community relations

What else makes administrative certificate programs unique?

Gaining an administrative certificate in education lets potential principals and other leaders show they now have the knowledge necessary to help lead schools or businesses to prosperity and success. The unique benefits that are acquired upon completion of this certificate program may include:

  • Leadership skills — Administrators, especially principals, work to increase the motivation and prestige of an educational system. Learning how to lead involves knowing the skills involved in planning and directing the goals of a school. These skills also apply to many areas of life.
  • Budgeting skills — Becoming a school administrator involves devising and managing a large budget. Learning about finance is beneficial in most career choices and also can be helpful on a personal level.
  • Communication skills — Learning how to communicate well and effectively deal with others is an important skill in any line of work, but is especially important in an administrative capacity.

What jobs are available to people with a certificate in administration?

Obtaining an administrative certificate prepares you for a few different, rewarding career opportunities on various educational levels. Positions exist on the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. Some examples include the following:

Education – PreK-12 and universities or colleges


  • Shapes and leads a school’s academic vision and policies
  • Manages and evaluates faculty performance
  • Hires staff
  • Builds community relationships

College President

  • Sets an institution’s broad vision and direction
  • Manages a school’s budget
  • Raises funds
  • Governs board relations


  • Leads a school district
  • Works with the Department of Education, legislators and community leaders
  • Advocates for district funding
  • Oversees personnel matters

Other corporations and businesses

Business organizations and nonprofits understand the benefits of administrative training and certification. Corporations and government agencies, some of which include schools, need qualified teachers with leadership skills and administrative training.

Corporate Trainer

  • Teaches new skills to employees
  • Updates employees on company goals and policies
  • Communicates with managers to identify training needs

Education Consultant

  • Guides faculty on curriculum and teaching styles
  • Recommends textbooks and other resources to schools
  • Holds school meetings

Human Resource Manager (HRM)

  • Recruits, interviews, and hires new staff
  • Develops, reinforces, and changes the culture of an organization
  • Trains and motivates employees