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Education directors choose and implement their school's curricula. They work to align teaching procedures and educational materials with these courses to meet educational goals. Education directors work in schools, colleges, art museums, businesses or nonprofit organizations. They work closely with community advisory groups to shape and mold curricula to meet student needs. As mentors, they coach teachers on how to implement the courses and work closely with school boards to ensure rules, law and regulations are upheld.
Education directors typically hold a master's degree in social work, education, accounting or marketing. Most have teaching certificates in the states in which they work. Some areas such as special education require extra certifications. Typically a director of special education must earn a teaching certificate and an administration certificate, complete 30 hours of special education instructions as well as two years full-time work experience in special education and 12 semester hours of special education director courses.
Most education directors are computer savvy, as they spend countless hours writing and rewriting curriculum, maintaining databases, and monitoring and managing student records. They need to be organized to be able to manage these records, prioritize job tasks, and coordinate student and staff activities. Good people skills are essential as education directors have to interact with teachers, students, alumni and parents. Good problem-solving skills and the ability to manage stress help directors react calmly to crises and to find creative solutions, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.
An education director develops best teaching practices by collaborating with teachers and paraprofessionals. In public and private schools settings, the education director implements different curricula based on grade level and school subject, choosing textbooks and classroom materials. At smaller schools, he might even design and write educational materials. Education directors conduct training workshops for teachers prior to the school year starting to teach them how to implement the chosen curricula. Once the school year starts, the education director monitors the teachers' progress toward achieving educational goals.
Salary and Outlook
Education directors are included in the BLS postsecondary education administrators' category, earning an annual median salary of $83,710 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent of earners in this category made less than $47,130 annually, while the top 10 percent earned more than $164,540 per year. Education directors work full-time year around, though many have a reduced schedule in the summer. Projected job growth is at 19 percent though 2020, compared to 14 percent for all other occupations.
2016 Salary Information for Postsecondary Education Administrators
Postsecondary education administrators earned a median annual salary of $90,760 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, postsecondary education administrators earned a 25th percentile salary of $66,730, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $126,750, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 180,100 people were employed in the U.S. as postsecondary education administrators.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Postsecondary Education Administrators
- Iowa Department of Education: About the Director
- Aurora University: Director of Special Education Endorsement
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Postsecondary Education Administrators
- Career Trend: Postsecondary Education Administrators
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