Key Qualities Required for a Successful School Administrator

A career as a school administrator can be rewarding, and potentially lucrative. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income of a postsecondary education administrator is over $80,000 per year, with a job outlook growing as fast as average. However, this job is not for everyone. A successful school administrator has a few key qualities that help them perform well.


A school administrator must deal with a number of people throughout the day. For example, a principal may meet with superintendents, teachers, and concerned parents, all in the same deal. In order to get through the day and deal with a number of people with different needs, a skilled administrator must be patient. They must listen carefully to the concerns of a number of different parties.


A successful school administrator must develop strong leadership skills. Problems, such as how to deal with budget concerns, must be addressed with intelligence, calculation, and decisiveness. If a principal does not have a clear vision of how he wants his school to run, it will be unlikely to run very successful.  


A school administrator must be intelligent, and complete an extensive amount of education for many jobs. For example, to be a high school principal a master’s degree is usually required at a minimum. Other school administrators may have doctorates, often in education. 


School administrators must also be creative. They need clear goals for the way schools should operate properly, and then think about creative ways to implement them. If a principal takes over a “failing” school, they must devise a plan to turn that school around. 


As Thomas Edison once said, “There is no substitute for hard work.” Having good ideas and patience are important, but so is putting in the effort to accomplish your goals and implement your ideas. While teachers may not work during the summer, school administrators typically work all year, even during the summer.

While becoming a school administrator is not an easy task, for a person that possesses many of these qualities it may be the perfect fit. Just remember that these qualities are just a few of those required to be an effect school administrator. Most important is the willingness to never give up. To find out more details about the job of a school administrator, a variety of resources are conveniently available online.