How Do I Earn Superintendent Certification?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 02 December 2019
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You may earn a superintendent certification after you have completed a requisite number of graduate education hours or have earned a master's degree. In most areas, you must also have previously earned the appropriate certification to become a school principal. Upon completing the necessary prerequisites, most jurisdictions further require individuals striving to become school superintendents to complete a formal certification process. While the precise requirements for this process will vary according to where you intend to work, most involve formal training hours as well as an application and screening process to earn superintendent certification.

A superintendent certificate is required to gain access to a superintendent career. Superintendents lead entire school districts by acting as spokespersons and liaisons between school boards, regional education boards, education staff members and the general public. Due to the intense responsibility of this career, superintendent certification is mandatory for such positions in most school districts.

Middle-management professionals often apply for superintendent positions. Most school superintendents, however, begin their careers by working in private and public school systems for a number of years. Some are former school teachers, while others may have spent their early years working in the administration offices of a school or its district. Prior to seeking superintendent jobs, most are required to first spend ample time working as a school principal while honing their administrative and leadership skills.


The exact requirements for superintendent certification may vary, but in many instances superintendent jobs are not accessible to those who do not hold a graduate degree. In some areas, a post-graduate degree is preferred. Additionally, the process of superintendent certification involves a number of formal superintendent training hours in an accredited program. Upon completing formal training, candidates are then able to enter the application process for superintendent certification. Most applications must be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from a current superintendent, as well as a completed questionnaire used to further assess a candidate’s eligibility.

In addition to the formal requirements needed for superintendent certification, key administration and leadership skills are required. Specifically, school superintendents should be highly skilled communicators, effective leaders and able to work well with a variety of other professionals. Prior to seeking a superintendent job, individuals should have a proven track record of effectively managing a school or a comparable business. Demonstrating a good working relationship with parents, teachers and school boards, as well as a positive reputation, may also assist you in earning superintendent certification.


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