How Do I Become a State Superintendent?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Leigh
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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Individuals who enjoy making decisions, working with others and have a passion for the educational system might consider the opportunity to become a state superintendent. A state superintendent works within a school district to help determine policies that affect those within the school system. Education and experience in the school system are generally required to be hired at this position. Good communication and interpersonal skills are needed in order to become a state superintendent and to be successful once in the position.

A bachelor's degree and a master's degree are required to become a state superintendent. Education is a good choice for a major, particularly because state superintendents usually work in the school system as teachers and administrators before being hired for the position. It is possible to become a state superintendent with a different major as long as a teaching certificate or master's degree in education is obtained after the bachelor's degree.

State superintendents generally hold positions within the school system before being hired. Individuals can become a state superintendent by getting a job as a teacher or an administrator. Positions in administration that help prepare an individual to be a state superintendent include being a principal or vice-principal, provost, or holding administrator positions in school district offices.


Skills that are looked for in potential superintendents include good communication and interpersonal skills. A superintendent is in charge of making change in the school district and needs to be able to talk to others about it. He or she also needs to be able to persuade people that the changes are for the better. This requires that he or she is able to connect with people on a personal level. Listening to and responding to problems and complaints is another aspect of the job that requires good communication.

The ability to analyze data and make decisions based upon it is an important part of a superintendent's job. This type of information can help determine what is currently working in the school system and what is not. Statistics classes and an understanding of research help individuals be better prepared to take on these duties.

Those looking to become a state superintendent need to be capable of leadership. Individuals interested in this position will need to be able to show the hiring committee that they are capable of leading others. This can be done by taking on leadership activities as a teacher or administrator, during school, and in the community.


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