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Become A Department Chairperson

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Working As A Department Chairperson

  • 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

  • $88,580

    Average Salary

What Does A Department Chairperson Do

A Department Chairperson is a faculty member who provides academic and administrative leadership to an academic department. They exercise leadership in recruiting and retaining capable faculty, communicate departmental needs and desires to the Dean and Provost, and coordinate the academic advisement process.

How To Become A Department Chairperson

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. 


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.


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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Department Chairperson jobs

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Department Chairperson Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Mandarin

  • German

  • Italian

  • Chinese

  • Portuguese

  • Russian

  • Arabic

  • Japanese

  • Korean

  • Carrier

  • Greek

  • Cantonese

  • Dakota

  • Swedish

  • Vietnamese

  • Hindi

  • Dutch

  • Catalan

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Department Chairperson

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Department Chairperson Education

Department Chairperson

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Real Department Chairperson Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chair, Department of Neurology Creighton University Omaha, NE Oct 25, 2010 $350,000
Professor & Department Chair University of Florida Gainesville, FL Oct 07, 2011 $225,000
Professor and Department Chair University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT Jan 08, 2016 $210,000
Professor and Department Chair The Ohio University Athens, OH Jan 13, 2014 $155,000
Department Chair, Clinical Psychology Adler School of Professional Psychology Chicago, IL Aug 13, 2013 $144,200
Department Chair, Clinical Psychology Adler School of Professional Psychology Chicago, IL Jul 31, 2011 $140,000
Professor and Department Chair Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA Jul 25, 2011 $140,000
Department Chair Syracuse University Syracuse, NY Jul 01, 2013 $122,000
Department Chair Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL Jul 01, 2013 $110,000
Assistant Chair-Voice Department Berklee College of Music Boston, MA Aug 03, 2015 $110,000
Department Chair and Professor of English Chapman University Orange, CA May 31, 2011 $110,000
Fashion Design Department Chair College for Creative Studies Detroit, MI Oct 01, 2015 $105,000 -
Professor & Department Chair University of Arkansas at Little Rock Little Rock, AR Jul 01, 2010 $99,000
Dance Department Chair Cornish College of The Arts Seattle, WA Dec 01, 2015 $95,000
Chair of The Audio Arts and Acoustics Department Columbia College Chicago Chicago, IL Jan 06, 2016 $90,000
Math Department Chairperson Mdyhs Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2014 $77,753
Language Department Chair Peddie School Hightstown, NJ Mar 23, 2016 $77,090
Math Teacher/Department Chair The Birch Wathen Lenox School, Inc. New York, NY Aug 12, 2016 $75,369
Language Department Chair The Peddie School Hightstown, NJ Sep 01, 2014 $69,263
Chair of The Piano Department International School of Music, LLC Bethesda, MD Apr 09, 2015 $65,936
Department Chair Holy Spirit Preparatory Atlanta, GA Feb 13, 2011 $65,430
Department Chair Holy Spirit Preparatory Atlanta, GA Jul 18, 2011 $65,430
Latin Teacher, Department Chair Landon School Corporation Bethesda, MD Aug 22, 2009 $65,362
Department Chair, Arts, CAS Coordinator EF International Academy, Inc. Tarrytown, NY Jun 04, 2012 $65,000
Math Department Chair Cosmos Foundation, Inc. Brownsville, TX Jun 07, 2011 $59,460
English Teacher-Department Chair Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy Colorado Springs, CO Jun 05, 2016 $52,112
English Teacher-Department Chair Cheyenne Mountain Charter Academy Colorado Springs, CO May 21, 2016 $52,112
Piano Department Chair International School of Music, LLC Bethesda, MD Sep 15, 2012 $51,915

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Top Skills for A Department Chairperson


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Top Department Chairperson Skills

  1. Curriculum Development
  2. Department Chair
  3. Classroom Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage faculty resources, curriculum development and monitoring, and student success.
  • Create and manage daily electronic data for department chair's emails and campus announcements.
  • Identify and Coach teachers on effective teaching strategies, classroom management strategies, and strategies for altering student behavior.
  • Attended professional development and collaborated with fellow teachers and professors.
  • Worked with mathematics department to design interdisciplinary activities.

Top Department Chairperson Employers

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