How to Become a

College Admissions Director

The complete career guide to be a College Admissions Director: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $102,610
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 8.7%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

College admissions directors are responsible for all activities related to recruiting, admitting, and enrolling new college students. They develop admissions criteria along with other college leaders, manage a team that’s responsible for reviewing applications, and manage school scholarship programs.

Recommended Schools

What is a College Admissions Director?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in college admission director roles:

  • Develop admissions standards, which may include academic performance, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, and quality of application essays
  • Work with financial aid departments to determine which incoming students should be awarded scholarships that are administered by the college
  • Manage a team of individuals who are responsible for reviewing incoming applications
  • Recruit new students and increase school enrollments
  • Review curriculums to ensure that college programs meet standards and are comparable to programs offered by competing colleges

A Day in the Life of a College Admissions Director

A college admissions director oversees the application, approval, and enrollment of every new college student. Working with other college leaders, the admissions director creates the standards for application approval for students admitted to a college. Requirements may include student’s academic achievements, GPA, standardized test scores, extracurricular activities, recommendations, and the quality of the student’s application essay.

These standards are applied by a team that the college admissions director manages to all incoming applications in order to determine which students are admitted to a college and which are turned away. The college admissions director is in charge of hiring, training, and managing admissions personnel that handle the application intake and acceptance process, and the director may only get involved when there are questions about admittance or appeals for decision reconsideration.

The admissions director also has a role in growing school enrollments and reporting projected and real data to overall college leadership to inform on progress towards goals. The admissions director may also work with other offices—such as financial aid or athletics—to secure scholarships for promising incoming students. Additionally, the admissions director plays a role in increasing enrollments in some organizations and may oversee programs at a high level to ensure offered programs are competitive.

Typical Work Schedule for College Admissions Directors

College admissions director roles are almost always full-time and performed during normal business hours. During busy times of the year—such as application deadline periods—college admissions directors may be required to work overtime. However, they may also have the flexibility to work reduced hours during times of the year when there is less activity in the admissions office.

Typical Employers

Colleges and universities—both public and private—hire college admissions directors to manage the admissions process for the school.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a College Admissions Director

The degree required of a college admissions director varies by institution, but a bachelor’s degree in a related field is the minimum requirement. With a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to work your way up in college admissions departments after many years of relevant experience. Many aspiring college admissions directors start in entry-level positions in admissions, financial aid, or registrar’s offices and work their way up into more senior positions until earning enough experience to apply for admissions director roles.

However, many colleges require admissions directors to hold graduate degrees in addition to bachelor’s degrees. Some may require that college admissions directors have a master’s degree in education administration, and others may require applicants to hold both a master’s and doctoral degree in fields related to education administration. Some schools may allow staff to attend classes for free or at a discounted rate, so it’s possible that you could gain experience and needed degrees without going into significant student loan debt.

Ultimately, the hiring individual or group will look for potential college admissions directors with relevant experience, necessary degrees, and—above all—a record of success in similar roles. It’s important for aspiring college admissions directors to keep records of their successes over their careers so those accomplishments can be highlighted when applying for college admissions director roles.

College Admissions Director Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do College Admissions Director salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, College Admissions Director's can make an average annual salary of $102,610, or $49 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $65,410 or $31 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #62 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among College Admissions Directors

  • 13.2%   Doctorate
  • 44.8%   Masters
  • 23.5%   Bachelors
  • 5%   Associates
  • 8%   College
  • 4.6%   High School
  • 0.7%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does College Admissions Director job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 15,200 jobs for a total of 190,300 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 8.7% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #256 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most College Admissions Directors

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; private 73,600 9,900 10%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state 56,100 2,200 2%
Junior colleges; local 11,300 1,600 2%

Want To Be a College Admissions Director? Get Started!

Generate your free SmartPlan™ to identify colleges you like, and potential ways to save on a degree or certification program toward your career with courses, offers, and much more!

Enroll Now and Get Started

or Learn More →