How to Become an Online Education Administrator

Are you good at management and love working online? Does the idea of working in postsecondary education interest you? Read on!

Job Overview
Master's Degree
1 to 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Online educational administration is a role that has grown from postsecondary administration as the online education business has taken off. Administrators handle a variety of tasks, depending on what is needed for that position.

Areas administrators can manage include admissions, registration, student affairs, or as provosts or college deans. In any department, it is expected that an administrator will keep things running smoothly.

Requirements and Qualifications

Lower level positions may not require experience, but many higher level opportunities require some experience in administration before heading a large or important department. Administrators with graduate degrees often are able to advance into higher positions within a university system.

Though work is typically full time, some educational organizations reduce administrator’s hours over the quieter summer months. Qualities that will be helpful in this type of position include computer skills as well as organizational, people and problem solving skills.

Typical Education

A bachelor’s degree may be accepted for entry positions, but most higher level career opportunities in online education administration will require a master’s or doctorate degree in accounting, social work, marketing, higher education or other fields.

Some administrators start their career as an instructor and move up through the ranks as a provost or dean and eventually move into administration.

Steps to Become an Online Education Administrator

After completing your education, you may want to find a position in administration at a local college; registration, admissions, financial aid or similar departments will give you the experience you need.

If you complete a doctoral degree, you may want to approach this process from the faculty side by looking for a job as a postsecondary instructor to start with.

In either situation, after you’ve gained some experience in the educational institution, you can begin looking for higher level administration opportunities.

Similar Jobs

Maybe you’re not sure you’d do well online, or maybe this isn’t quite what you’re looking for in a career. Below are some options you may want to check out that are in a similar career path to this one.

  • Want a little less responsibility? Administrative services managers are in charge of support services in an enterprise, providing planning, direction and coordination with other departments.
  • Interested in working with people directly? Human resources managers control recruiting new prospects, interviewing and hiring as well as planning an organization’s manpower needs.
  • Like to teach? Postsecondary teachers provide coursework for students on the college level as well as writing papers and conducting research.
  • Good at putting a great spin on an event? Public relations managers and specialists work to make a favorable image for their client or organization.
  • Are you good at figuring out what people really want? School and career counselors help people succeed at school and assist them in choosing a career path.
  • Do you have long range vision? Top executives use strategic planning to create policies and activities aimed at helping the organization meet its objectives.
  • Like to help a company improve it’s employees? Training and development managers provide training opportunities to their company’s employees aimed at improving knowledge and skills.


The average annual salary for an online education administrator is $83,710, almost triple the average annual pay for all career paths. Though many work full time, some administrators have their hours reduced during the quiet summer semesters.

Job Outlook

Online education administrators can expect to see a 19% rise in opportunities between 2010 and 2020, a little faster than the average rate of 14% for all occupations. The strong increase in students in online establishments may increase these opportunities further than predicted.

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