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Become An Athletic Director

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Working As An Athletic Director

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $67,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Athletic Director Do

Postsecondary education administrators oversee student services, academics, and faculty research at colleges and universities. Their job duties vary depending on the area of the college they manage, such as admissions, the office of the registrar, or student affairs.

Duties

Postsecondary education administrators who work in admissions decide if potential students should be admitted to the school. They typically do the following:

  • Determine how many students to admit to the school
  • Meet with prospective students and encourage them to apply
  • Review applications to determine if each potential student should be admitted
  • Analyze data about applicants and admitted students
  • Prepare promotional materials about the school

Many admissions counselors are assigned a region of the country and travel to that region to speak to high school counselors and students.

Admissions officers often work with the financial aid department, which helps students determine if they are able to afford tuition and creates packages of federal and institutional financial aid, if necessary.

Postsecondary education administrators who work in the registrar’s office, sometimes called registrars, maintain student and course records. They typically do the following:

  • Schedule and register students for classes
  • Schedule space and times for classes
  • Ensure that students meet graduation requirements
  • Plan commencement ceremonies
  • Prepare transcripts and diplomas for students
  • Produce data about students and classes
  • Maintain the academic records of the institution

Registrars have different duties throughout the school year. Before students register for classes, registrars must prepare schedules and course offerings. During registration and for the beginning of the semester, they help students sign up for, drop, and add courses. Toward the end of the semester, they plan graduation and ensure that students meet the requirements to graduate. Registrars need computer skills to create and maintain databases.

Postsecondary education administrators who work in student affairs are responsible for a variety of cocurricular school functions, such as student athletics and activities. They typically do the following:

  • Advise students on topics such as housing issues, personal problems, or academics
  • Communicate with parents or guardians
  • Create, support, and assess nonacademic programs for students
  • Schedule programs and services, such as athletic events or recreational activities

Postsecondary education administrators in student affairs can specialize in student activities, housing and residential life, or multicultural affairs. In student activities, they plan events and advise student clubs and organizations. In housing and residential life, they assign students rooms and roommates, ensure that residential facilities are well maintained, and train student workers, such as residential advisers. Education administrators who specialize in multicultural affairs plan events to celebrate different cultures and diverse backgrounds. Sometimes, they manage multicultural centers on campus.

Postsecondary education administrators can be provosts or academic deans. Provosts, also called chief academic officers, help college presidents develop academic policies, participate in making faculty appointments and tenure decisions, and manage budgets. Academic deans direct and coordinate the activities of the individual colleges or schools. For example, in a large university, a dean may oversee the law school.

Education administrators’ duties depend on the size of their college or university. Small schools often have smaller staffs who take on many different responsibilities, but larger schools may have different offices for each of these functions. For example, at a small college, the Office of Student Life may oversee student athletics and other activities, whereas a large university may have an Athletics Department.

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How To Become An Athletic Director

Although a bachelor’s degree may be acceptable for some entry-level positions, a master’s or higher degree is often required. Employers often want candidates who have experience working in the field, particularly for occupations such as registrars and academic deans. 

Education

Educational requirements vary for different positions. A bachelor’s degree may be sufficient, but a master’s degree or Ph.D. is generally required. Degrees can be in a variety of disciplines, such as social work, accounting, or marketing.

Provosts and deans often must have a Ph.D. Some provosts and deans begin their career as professors and later move into administration. These administrators have doctorates in the field in which they taught. Other provosts and deans have a Ph.D. in higher education or a related field.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Employers typically prefer to hire candidates who have several years of experience in a college administrative setting. Some postsecondary education administrators work in the registrar’s office or as a resident assistant while in college to gain the necessary experience. For other positions, such as those in admissions and student affairs, experience may or may not be necessary.

Important Qualities

Computer skills. Postsecondary education administrators often need to be adept at working with computers so they can create and maintain databases and use computer programs to manage student and school records.

Interpersonal skills. Postsecondary education administrators need to build good relationships with colleagues, students, and parents. Those in admissions and student affairs need to be outgoing so they can encourage prospective students to apply to the school and existing students to participate in cocurricular activities.

Organizational skills. Administrators need to be organized so they can manage records, prioritize tasks, and coordinate the activities with their staff.

Problem-solving skills. Administrators often need to respond to difficult situations, develop creative solutions to problems, and react calmly when problems arise.

Advancement

Education administrators with advanced degrees can be promoted to higher level positions within their department or the college. Some become college presidents, an occupation which is discussed in the profile on top executives.

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Athletic Director Demographics

Gender

Male

75.2%

Female

23.5%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

65.4%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Black or African American

11.7%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.8%

French

14.3%

Mandarin

4.8%

Portuguese

3.2%

Chinese

3.2%

Dakota

3.2%

Cantonese

3.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Swahili

1.6%

Gujarati

1.6%

German

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Japanese

1.6%

Lakota

1.6%

Cherokee

1.6%

Italian

1.6%

Croatian

1.6%
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Athletic Director Education

Schools

Liberty University

10.9%

University of Phoenix

9.0%

Grand Canyon University

8.7%

United States Sports Academy

6.4%

Ohio University -

5.5%

Michigan State University

5.5%

Wichita State University

4.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

4.8%

Ball State University

4.5%

Northern Arizona University

4.2%

Concordia University (California)

4.2%

California University of Pennsylvania

4.2%

Murray State University

3.9%

Northern Illinois University

3.9%

University of Alabama

3.5%

Temple University

3.5%

University of Northern Colorado

3.2%

Walden University

3.2%

Western Michigan University

3.2%

Wayne State University

2.9%
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Majors

Kinesiology

18.7%

Educational Leadership

13.6%

Business

12.4%

Health Education

10.8%

Education

10.0%

Elementary Education

5.3%

Psychology

3.2%

Management

3.0%

Athletic Training

2.5%

Communication

2.3%

History

2.3%

Recreation Management

2.0%

Criminal Justice

1.9%

Marketing

1.9%

Political Science

1.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.8%

Sociology

1.7%

English

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Special Education

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.8%

Masters

37.1%

Other

14.2%

Associate

3.3%

Certificate

3.1%

Doctorate

2.9%

License

0.3%

Diploma

0.2%
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Real Athletic Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director of Athletics Gaelic Athletic Association of Greater New York Yonkers, NY Feb 18, 2016 $204,090
Director, Athlete Performance Under Armour, Inc. Baltimore, MD Feb 03, 2014 $145,000 -
$225,000
Director, Athlete Performance Under Armour, Inc. Denver, CO Feb 03, 2014 $145,000 -
$225,000
Athletic Director Life Chiropractic College West Hayward, CA Sep 01, 2014 $100,000
Athletic Director Chicago Math and Science Academy Chicago, IL Sep 01, 2015 $86,003
Athletic Director Value Schools Los Angeles, CA Jan 15, 2010 $80,712
Athletic Director Value Schools Los Angeles, CA Sep 08, 2010 $80,712
Athletic Director Value Schools D/B/A Central City Value School Los Angeles, CA Apr 14, 2010 $80,000
Director of Wellness and Athletics Emma Willard School Troy, NY Jul 29, 2014 $79,000
Athletic Director Island Tennis, L.P. Mamaroneck, NY Sep 15, 2010 $77,073
Athletic Director Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences Seattle, WA Jun 15, 2011 $75,000
Athletic Director Horizon Science Academy-Toledo Toledo, OH Feb 19, 2016 $73,377
Athletic Director La Fondation Du Lycee Francais International de Wa Bethesda, MD Jun 08, 2011 $65,860
Athletic Director Mission Squash of Houston Houston, TX Jan 11, 2015 $65,000
Assoc. Athletic Director for Compliance & Student Services Portland State University Portland, OR May 26, 2015 $55,000
Athletic Director Fredericksburg Academy Fredericksburg, VA Aug 01, 2010 $52,000
Athletic Director The University of Georgia Athens, GA Oct 01, 2010 $48,972
Athletic Director Tennessee Temple University Chattanooga, TN Apr 01, 2013 $47,500
Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Student-Athlete Services/Senior Woman Administrator Northwestern Oklahoma State University Alva, OK Jan 07, 2015 $46,351
Athletic Director Marlboro Health and Fitness, LLC Morganville, NJ Oct 01, 2012 $45,142
Athletic Director Premier Uk Soccer Mebane, NC Sep 30, 2012 $45,000
Director of Athletic Certification Idaho State University Pocatello, ID Jul 01, 2012 $36,608
Athletic Director Hamptons Tennis Company, Inc. East Hampton, NY Sep 16, 2015 $36,400
Director of Performance and Sport Science Athletics Mission Viejo Pateadores, Inc. Costa Mesa, CA Jun 09, 2016 $36,000
Director of Athletics and Academics JGC Tennis Inc. New Braunfels, TX Aug 10, 2015 $36,000
Athletic Director Bk Champion TKD Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $36,000
Director of Athletics JGC Tennis Inc. New Braunfels, TX Sep 23, 2015 $36,000
Athletic Director Bk Champion TKD, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $36,000
Athletic Director Brooklyn Ma Center Corps. New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $36,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR An Athletic Director

Average Yearly Salary
$67,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$29,000
Min 10%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Median 50%
$153,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
MSU Federal Credit Union
Highest Paying City
Hayward, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.8 years
How much does an Athletic Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Athletic Director in the United States is $67,293 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $29,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $153,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of an Athletic Director?

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Top Skills for An Athletic Director

  1. Student Athletes
  2. Physical Education
  3. Soccer
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Administered and enforced compliance to entire athletic department while monitoring and evaluating academic progress of student athletes.
  • Designed and implement physical education program, including procedural and compliance requirements.
  • Educated children on rules and skills needed in football, soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, and lacrosse.
  • Oversee a complex and comprehensive budget of more than $2.6M on an annual basis for ten varsity sports programs.
  • Oversee 30 sports teams for boys and girls including basketball, track & field, baseball, volleyball, and golf.

How Would You Rate Working As an Athletic Director?

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Top 10 Best States for Athletic Directors

  1. New York
  2. West Virginia
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Texas
  5. New Jersey
  6. South Carolina
  7. Arizona
  8. Massachusetts
  9. California
  10. Rhode Island
  • (39 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)

Top Athletic Director Employers

Jobs From Top Athletic Director Employers

Athletic Director Videos

Asst. Athletic Director for Media Relations, Career Video from drkit.org

A Day in the Life of Athletic Director, Mike Bohn

Here's what Colin would do if he was an Athletic Director in college football - 'The Herd'

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