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School Admissions Director: Job Duties & Career Info

School admissions directors recruit, evaluate, and admit new students to private schools, colleges, and universities. Continue reading to learn more about educational requirements, employment outlook, and salary potential for admissions directors.

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Career Definition

As the leaders of admissions teams at private high schools, colleges, and universities, school admissions directors, also known as deans of admissions, are responsible for directing the recruitment, screening, and admission of students. Their responsibilities also include managing a staff of admissions officers and reporting admissions numbers and details to the institution's president. School admissions directors also work with registrars and financial aid directors to facilitate students' enrollment and attendance.

How to Become a School Admissions Director

Required Education

School admissions directors usually enter the field as recruiters who travel to 'sell' their school to prospective students. They may also begin their careers as admissions officers who work under senior and associate admissions directors to evaluate and recommend students. These positions usually require no more than a bachelor's degree, often in education.

A graduate degree, such as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), is usually required for a director's position, especially at a highly-ranked or competitive school. Continuing education and professional development resources can be found through the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (www.aacrao.org).

Skills Required

Aspiring school admissions directors must be able to demonstrate solid work experience and industry knowledge, as evidenced through a curriculum vitae or resume. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recommends expertise in accounting or statistics, along with computer literacy, since many schools' application processes are now conducted online. Also crucial are a passion for education, a knack for collaboration, and a love for working with students (www.bls.gov).

Career and Salary Outlook

According to the BLS, employment opportunities for postsecondary administrators in general are expected to grow by 15% nationwide between 2012 and 2022. This is a faster-than-average rate of growth in comparison to all other occupations, which the BLS has attributed to increases in college enrollment. As of May 2012, postsecondary education administrators earned median annual salaries of $86,490 (www.bls.gov).

Alternate Career Options

Human Resource Managers

Human resource managers oversee the executive tasks of a company or an organization, including those associated with staffing and planning. A 4-year degree in business administration or human resources is usually required in order to obtain a position; candidates who majored in another field of study can qualify with relevant coursework. Individuals aspiring to more advanced positions may need a master's degree in business administration, human resources, or labor relations.

Human resources managers who were employed in May 2012 earned median annual wages of $99,720, as reported by the BLS. At 13%, employment growth between 2012 and 2022 for human resources managers nationwide will be average (www'bls.gov).

Public Relations and Fundraising Managers

Public relations and fundraising managers work to advance the public image or raise monies for clients and worthy organizations. Educational requirements typically include a bachelor's degree in communications, fundraising, journalism, or public relations; a master's degree in a similar field of study may be preferred. Public relations and fundraising managers across the country will also see 13% growth in employment from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS. In May 2012, public relations and fundraising managers were paid median yearly salaries of $95,450 (www.bls.gov).

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