In the United States, the average annual salary of a school superintendent was $117,216 in 2018. Averages vary by state and region, with the low end of the salary range in the U.S. around $80,000.
One factor of the salary range of superintendents relates to the size of a district. In Texas, the current salary average of a superintendent of a district with a student body between 5,000 and 9,999 is $207,090. The current salary average for a Texas superintendent overseeing a student population between 10,000 and 24,000 is $238,552. As you may have noticed, both of these averages are well above the national average.
Superintendents of districts over 50,000 make an average of $321,253, far above the national average. Districts with fewer than 500 hundred students pay an average of $97,270 annually.
Texas Stands Out
In a survey for the 2018-2019 school year, with data from 73 percent of Texas schools, the average salary for a superintendent is $148,854 per year. This is a 1.9 percent increase in salaries from the previous years.
For the 2017-2018 school year, the highest paid school superintendent in Texas was John Henry who earned $406,484. Henry is the superintendent of Cypress-Fairbanks. Salaries in Texas can be searched by district through the Texas Education Agency.
In addition to the encouraging statistics for superintendent salaries in Texas, it has also been reported that districts are receptive to leaders new to the field. For the 2018-2019 school year, 62 percent of current Texas school superintendents had not previously held the position. This means over half of the superintendents currently serving school districts in Texas are similar to those currently working to prepare themselves for a career as a superintendent.
Completing a Superintendent Certification Online through the University of Texas at Arlington can be your path to becoming a school superintendent in Texas. According to the Temple Daily Telegram, school districts in Texas are actively searching for new superintendents.
Other U.S. States
In the United States, the salary of a superintendent draws attention in the field of education. In almost every school district in upstate New York, superintendents were the highest paid employee for the 2017-2018 school year.
While some community members in a district may question the traditionally high salary of a school superintendent, many people defend it. Maria Suttmeier, a school superintendent in New York told the publication HudsonValley360, "This is more of a lifestyle than a job. This job doesn't sleep. I'm the face of the district and responsible for the safety and success of everyone in the district."
In New Jersey, a cap placed on salaries of school superintendents backfired in 2011. The salary cap drove talented leaders away, ultimately harming districts. A researcher at Rutgers University discovered that the superintendent salary cap did not reduce costs for schools.
The New Jersey cap has since been modified for higher salary limits and superintendents can still earn annual bonuses created during the original cap years. With the backlash in New Jersey, other states are unlikely to adopt this system.
Learn more about UTA's Superintendent Certification Online program.
Sources:Burlington County Times: NJ Lawmakers Move to Eliminate Superintendent Salary Cap
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