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Assistant Superintendent Career


What is an Assistant Superintendent?


School district superintendents provide leadership and administrative guidance to school districts. Opportunities abound in this field of work. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. has more than 13,000 school districts. Many hire one or more assistant superintendents. Assistant superintendents may have responsibilities in any of the areas below:

  • Curriculum development and oversight. Creating and monitoring the curriculum—what students will learn—for all schools in the district. This requires experience in developing a curriculum and knowledge of instructional strategies. Success is measured by meeting state requirements for student learning. The assistant superintendent works with curriculum coordinators, teachers, and school administrators. They develop teaching strategies and select the books and materials that will be used in the classroom.
  • Administration and personnel. The assistant superintendent makes decisions and supports the superintendent, as directed. That means helping with anything he or she asks for, or if the superintendent is absent, filling in for him or her. The assistant superintendent recruits, hires, evaluates teachers, and oversees staff development. They also deal with unforeseen events, such as emergencies and natural disasters.
  • Financial duties. The assistant superintendent creates and monitors the school district's budget and spending. They develop the salary scale for district employees. They also provide funding for extracurricular activities and programs such as graduation ceremonies. The assistant superintendent also works on generating revenue for the district. They may assist the school district board in setting property tax rates and applying for grant funding.


What Does an Assistant Superintendent Do?

The superintendent acts as the CEO of the school district. Assistant superintendents are the managers who assist the superintendent. Depending on the school district, assistant superintendents may have responsibility for

  • Serving as school spokesperson for the community about district matters.
  • Acting as a liaison between educational staff and the school board.
  • Overseeing hiring, discipline, and firing of all district staff.
  • Evaluating student test scores.
  • Putting in place state-mandated educational requirements into the school curricula.
  • Writing school budgets and allocating financial resources.
  • Approving cafeteria menus and ensuring their compliance with federal nutritional guidelines.
  • Forming school expansion plans.
  • Leading school board meetings.
  • Advocating for increased funding from local and state legislatures.
  • Making safety decisions. These can include weather closings or delays and security measures such as metal detectors or police presence on campus.
  • Interacting with students at the campus level by attending games and performances.


How Do I Become an Assistant Superintendent?

The most common entry point to becoming an assistant superintendent is through the education field, as a teacher. A bachelor’s degree in education can lead to a job working in a school. Classroom teaching means you will also need a teaching license for the state in which you work.

The typical next step after a few years of teaching is moving into school administration as an assistant principal or principal. These roles allow aspiring superintendents to gain experience as an executive. As a principal, you will learn how to manage an organization, set and meet goals, and meet state and federal regulations while still working with students.

Attaining an advanced degree at this stage will help in making a successful leap into the school district office as an assistant superintendent. 

School superintendent careers almost always require a graduate degree related to high-level administration. For example, an M.S. in Education Administration or an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Management. A master’s degree in a field like curriculum and instruction can also be a great stepping-off point for those who want to become assistant superintendents.

The size of the school district usually determines educational requirements for school superintendents. Larger school districts require an Ed.D. or Ph.D., but some may accept an M.Ed. degree. Professional certifications may also be an additional required credential.

School districts tend to hire assistant superintendents who have master's degrees. Common degrees include business administration, public administration, or educational leadership. A background as a school principal or teacher may also help a candidate’s chances of landing a job.

Best Degree for an Assistant Superintendent


Curriculum and Instruction – M.S.

An online master's degree for those who have educational experience and...

An online master's degree for those who have educational experience and are looking to further their careers with a graduate program focused on curriculum development and design.

  • Time: 62% of students earn this degree within 12 months.
  • Tuition: $3,975 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 10 total courses in this program.

Skills for your résumé included in this program:

  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Curriculum and Instruction Design
  • Educational Research
  • Assessment

Help schools create engaging, meaningful, and memorable learning experiences to improve learning outcomes for all students with this M.S. degree.


Educational Studies – B.A.

These online, non-licensure educational studies degrees prepare you to...

These online, non-licensure educational studies degrees prepare you to make a difference in a field that interests you.

Based on your career goals and interests, you can choose an educational studies program in one of 10 content areas that meets your needs while working toward employment in school settings, corporate training, or instructional design. These programs do not lead to a teaching license.

  • Time: Completion time varies depending on the specialty track you choose.
  • Tuition: $3,825 per 6-month term.
  • This bachelor's degree allows students to learn about education but does not include student teaching and it does not lead to a teaching license.

Focus areas of this educational studies degree program include:

  • Elementary Education
  • Elementary and Special Education
  • Mild to Moderate Special Education
  • Secondary Biology Science Education
  • Secondary Chemistry Science Education
  • Secondary Earth Science Education
  • Secondary Physics Education
  • Middle Grades Science Education
  • Secondary Mathematics Education
  • Middle Grade Mathematics Education

How Much Does an Assistant Superintendent Make?


Assistant superintendents can make between $65,000 and $150,000. Compensation can vary, depending on the size and location of the school district. Assistant positions generally pay less than the head superintendent. However, assistant superintendents in large well-funded districts can be paid higher than a full superintendent in a smaller district.

Average salaries for assistant school superintendents from various sources:

Payscale: $107, 442

ZipRecruiter: $58,481

Glassdoor: $71,023

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment growth for school superintendent positions. Experts expect the field to grow by around 4% from 2018 to 2028. This is on par with the national employment outlook. School superintendents are the highest-ranking jobs in school districts. Experience and education requirements are steep. These are some of the most competitive positions in the education field. As school enrollment increases, some districts may split or add more support and assistant positions.


What Skills Does an Assistant Superintendent need?

Assistant superintendents need to have strong leadership, administrative, and team-building skills. Strong interpersonal communication skills are also essential. Experience in the following can be helpful: school leadership, employee evaluation, negotiations, teaching and learning, finance, strategic planning, and school construction management.

Assistant superintendents supervise administrators in areas including teacher and staff performance. They work with teachers and administrators to implement the curriculum. They make sure students achieve the required academic skills to pass state and local standardized tests.

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Interested in Becoming an Assistant Superintendent?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this meaningful career.