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Admissions Coordinator Career Guide

What is an admissions coordinator?

Admissions coordinators are crucial in educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and other organizations that operate enrollment or admission processes. They manage the entire admissions procedure, serving as the primary point of contact for prospective students, patients, or clients. The role is essential in facilitating access to services, programs, or educational opportunities.

Often an organization’s first impression, these professionals are instrumental in attracting and retaining new students, patients, or clients. They manage processes to ensure efficiency and contribute to strategic goals, such as increasing enrollment rates or improving service access. Their work directly impacts the organization’s growth and success. 

Duties and responsibilities

An admissions coordinator’s work revolves around overseeing and facilitating the admissions process. They receive and review applications, organize and maintain applicant records, and coordinate interviews or assessments as needed. Examples of ongoing communication with applicants include explaining the admissions process, answering questions, and providing status updates.

These coordinators often participate in promotional activities such as open houses or information sessions, representing their organization and its offerings. They partner with other departments, such as financial aid or academic advising, to ensure a seamless transition for new enrollees. Some are involved in developing and implementing policies that improve the admissions process.

Work environment

An admissions coordinator typically works in an office atmosphere at a school, hospital, or other organization, performing substantial computer work. However, the role also involves significant interaction in person, via phone, or by email with applicants, their families, and various internal departments.

The nature of the role often involves periods of peak activity, such as during application deadlines or the start of a new academic term or program cycle. Their workload can be intense during these times, requiring excellent organizational skills and the ability to work under pressure.

Typical work hours

Admission coordinators typically work full-time during standard business hours. However, they may work extra hours during peak admissions periods or special events. Schedule flexibility is often necessary to meet the admission cycle’s needs and provide timely responses to applicants. Despite the potential for occasional long hours, the role is rewarding as it directly facilitates access to educational opportunities for diverse individuals.

How to become an admissions coordinator

Becoming an admissions coordinator involves acquiring the necessary education, experience, and skills. This career guide section covers the steps you’ll need to follow:

Step 1: Complete a bachelor’s degree

The first step is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as education, psychology, communications, or a related field. A solid educational background will provide the foundational knowledge to understand the admissions process and the skills to work effectively with applicants, parents, and other stakeholders.

Step 2: Gain relevant work experience

Experience in admissions, student services, or related fields is essential. Obtain entry-level positions, internships, or volunteer opportunities in these areas to develop practical skills and knowledge. Focus on working with diverse populations, understanding the needs of prospective applicants, and developing strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Step 3: Develop strong organizational and time management skills

Admissions coordinators must be skilled at managing multiple tasks, prioritizing responsibilities, and meeting deadlines. Develop strong organizational and time management skills by working on numerous projects simultaneously, creating schedules, and setting priorities to ensure tasks get completed efficiently and effectively.

Step 4: Strengthen your communication and interpersonal skills

Coordinators need to communicate effectively with applicants, parents, and other stakeholders. Strong verbal and written communication skills, active listening, and empathy are essential to success. 

Here is a sample of courses available to sharpen your skills:

  • Communication in the Workplace teaches adapting to accommodate remote work environments and different generations, cultures, genders, orientations, and religions. 
  • Learn how to become more organized with Udemy’s Attention Management & Organization Skills course, which covers the psychology of attention, setting goals and tracking progress, and creating a personalized system for completing tasks. 
  • Skillshare’s Body Language 101 provides tools for modifying nonverbal and empathetic social skills to better connect with people. 

Step 5: Familiarize yourself with relevant regulations and guidelines

Understanding the rules and procedures related to the admissions process, such as state and federal laws, privacy requirements, and institutional policies, is critical. Become familiar with these regulations and guidelines to ensure compliance and facilitate a smooth admissions process.

Step 6: Obtain relevant certifications (optional)

While not required, obtaining relevant certifications related to admissions or higher education can enhance credibility and demonstrate commitment to the profession. Examples of relevant certificates include those offered by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) or the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). These certifications can help you to stand out among other candidates and advance career opportunities.

Step 7: Apply for admissions coordinator positions

With the necessary education, experience, and skills, you can start applying for jobs. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight relevant qualifications and accomplishments in admissions or related fields. During interviews, be prepared to discuss experience, communication abilities, organizational skills, and working with diverse populations. 

Step 8: Pursue professional development opportunities (optional)

Participating in professional development opportunities, such as workshops or seminars, can help enhance skills and stay up-to-date with trends and best practices. Additionally, consider joining professional organizations like the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) or the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) to expand your network and stay informed about new developments.

How much do admissions coordinators make?

The salary of an admissions coordinator can vary depending on the type of institution, geographical location, and the organization’s size. For instance, coordinators working for prominent universities or private institutions may earn more than those working for smaller colleges or public institutions. 

Coordinators who work in regions with a higher cost of living, such as major metropolitan areas, typically earn more than those in rural areas. Bonuses and benefits are sometimes offered to augment the base salary. The level of education, particularly for candidates with advanced degrees in administration, can also impact earning potential. 

Highest paying industries

  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools – $54,000
  • Junior Colleges – $52,000
  • Business, Technical, and Trade Schools – $50,000
  • Healthcare and Social Assistance – $48,000
  • Administrative and Support Services – $46,000

Highest paying states

  • Massachusetts – $55,000
  • New York – $53,000
  • California – $52,000
  • New Jersey – $50,000
  • Connecticut – $48,000

Browse admissions coordinator salary data by market

Types of admissions coordinators

In this career guide section, we will explore the different types of admissions coordinators, shedding light on their unique responsibilities and areas of focus.  

Educational admissions coordinator

Educational admissions coordinators manage the student admissions process in a school or university setting. They review applications, conduct interviews, and make admittance decisions that ensure compliance with the institution’s policies and standards.

Healthcare admissions coordinator

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities employ coordinators to provide timely and efficient patient services. The role includes managing patient intake, handling paperwork, verifying insurance, and coordinating with medical professionals to ensure a smooth admissions process. 

Rehabilitation admissions coordinator

Admissions coordinators work in rehabilitation centers to oversee the intake of individuals seeking recovery support. They assess the needs of each individual, coordinate with treatment professionals, and facilitate the admission process.

Assisted living admissions coordinator

Senior living communities or similar facilities desire a comfortable transition for new residents. These coordinators provide empathetic service when processing admissions, working with families, and coordinating with care staff. 

International admissions coordinator

In educational institutions that attract a global student body, the role of an admissions coordinator is essential. They specialize in handling applications, ensuring compliance with visa regulations, and assisting students in navigating the challenges of studying in a foreign country.

Top skills for admissions coordinators

Essential abilities for success as an admissions coordinator include organizational skills, communication, empathy, attention to detail, and proficiency in relevant software systems.

Coordinators must manage multiple tasks simultaneously, such as processing applications, scheduling appointments, and maintaining records. Excellent time management and task prioritization ensure all processes run efficiently.

Communication is another fundamental skill for interacting with applicants, family members, and internal staff. They must convey information clearly and professionally, both verbally and in writing. A strong communicator can provide excellent customer service and avoid misunderstandings.

Since these professionals often deal with anxious students, patients, or concerned family members, they should be able to deal with many emotions. Being empathetic throughout the process ensures that sensitive information is delivered tactfully and compassionately.

The role includes paperwork and data entry, so admissions coordinators must ensure all information is accurate and complete. These tasks are crucial when handling applications or medical records, as errors can lead to severe consequences. Being detail-oriented ensures procedures are correctly followed and records are accurately maintained.

Proficiency in relevant software systems is a must. They often use databases, spreadsheets, and specific software applications to manage admissions and maintain records. Technological proficiency helps to streamline duties or processes and ensures data accuracy. 

Admissions coordinator career path

An admissions coordinator’s career path often begins with a role related to administrative support or customer service. These roles provide opportunities to understand the environment and hone essential skills like communication, organization, and data management.

As you gain more experience and familiarity with admissions processes, you may advance to an admissions counselor or officer position. These roles involve more direct responsibilities in recruiting, reviewing applications, and guiding individuals through enrollment.

The next step is the admissions coordinator role, overseeing various aspects of the admissions process, coordinating with different departments, and ensuring smooth communication between individuals and the organization. Strong leadership, strategic planning, and problem-solving skills become crucial at this stage.

With significant experience and demonstrated leadership capabilities, you might advance to senior roles such as admissions manager or director of admissions. These roles involve overseeing the entire admissions department, setting admissions strategies, and making high-level decisions that affect the institution’s population.

The role, particularly in educational institutions and healthcare facilities, has undergone significant changes driven by technological advancements and changing societal norms. Admissions coordinators are expected to use digital tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software and online communication platforms.

Many organizations have shifted their processes online, including virtual tours, online interviews, and digital admissions. Coordinators need to be comfortable organizing and managing these online activities.

Analytics is another area growing in importance. Organizations increasingly use data to drive their admissions strategies, so the role now includes analyzing trends and making data-informed decisions.

A growing focus on diversity and inclusivity in admissions is also affecting how coordinators do their jobs. They are often required to implement strategies to attract and retain a diverse group of students or patients, which requires a deep understanding of different cultures, backgrounds, and needs.

Employment projections for admissions coordinators

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics categorizes admissions coordinators under “Education Administrators, Postsecondary” and “Medical and Health Services Managers” for educational and healthcare settings, respectively. Employment for education administrators is projected to grow 9% through 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The growth for medical and health services managers is projected to be much higher, at 32% over the same period. The increasing demand for healthcare services, particularly for the aging population, is a significant factor driving this growth. These projections suggest that the outlook for admissions coordinators is generally positive, though varied depending on the sector.

Admissions coordinator career tips

Stay organized and detail-oriented

Admissions coordinators deal with large amounts of information and paperwork. Staying organized and attentive to detail is critical to accurately processing and tracking documents.

Become familiar with regulations

Coordinators need to know the regulations and requirements in their organization’s industry, including any laws or policies that govern the admissions process. Staying up-to-date will enable you to provide accurate information and advice to applicants. 

Build a professional network

Networking is crucial in any profession and can help you keep up with industry trends, learn about new opportunities, and build relationships supporting professional growth. Consider joining professional organizations such as:

  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
  • National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)
  • American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)

Embrace cultural diversity

In this role, you’ll work with individuals from various cultural backgrounds. Embracing cultural diversity can help you better serve applicants, understand their unique needs, and foster an inclusive and welcoming environment.

Continual learning is a must

The landscape of admissions is constantly evolving. Staying current with the latest trends, practices, and technologies is essential. Here are a few ways you can pursue ongoing learning:

  • Attend webinars and conferences on higher education and admissions
  • Take online courses on counseling, data management, and diversity and inclusion
  • Read industry publications to stay informed about the latest news and trends

Maintain high ethical standards

Admissions coordinators often have access to confidential information and are tasked with significant, life-changing decisions. Maintaining high standards, respecting confidentiality, and making unbiased choices with integrity are essential.

Develop a strategy for stress management

The admissions process can be hectic, particularly during peak application times. Developing strategies for managing stress will help you maintain your efficiency and effectiveness, even during busy periods. Time management techniques, mindfulness practices, and regular breaks help you to recharge.

Where the admissions coordinator jobs are

Top companies

  • Kindred Healthcare
  • HCA Healthcare
  • Brookdale Senior Living
  • Genesis HealthCare
  • Encompass Health

Top states

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania

Top job sites

  • zengig
  • Indeed
  • LinkedIn
  • Glassdoor
  • Simply Hired


What is the difference between an admissions coordinator and an admissions counselor?

Admissions coordinators are responsible for department, business, or facility admissions. They are the first point of contact for students, patients, parents, or caregivers. An admissions counselor reviews prospective applications and directs individuals to the appropriate places for guidance on financial aid, career planning, or other information. 

Is certification required for admissions coordinators?

There are no mandatory certifications for admissions coordinators, but they may make you a more competitive applicant. Consider the following certifications:

● Certified Medical Office Manager (CMOM)
● Certified Medical Interpreter – Spanish (CMI)
● Project Management Professional (PMP)
● Certificate for Admission and Enrollment Professionals (CAEP)

How do I create a resume for an admissions coordinator?

Your resume should showcase transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, attention to detail, and social skills. Including relevant work experience, internships, shadowing experience, and relevant degrees or certifications is essential. 

What is the career growth potential for an admissions coordinator?

With experience and additional education, admissions coordinators can advance to positions such as director of admissions, enrollment manager, or registrar. They may also transition to other roles within the higher education sector, such as academic advising, student affairs, or institutional research.

Do admissions coordinators need to travel for their job?

Some admissions coordinators may travel, especially during recruitment seasons. For example, travel for educational institutions may include attending college fairs, high school visits, or off-campus events to promote the institution and engage with prospective students or their families.

What is the work-life balance like for admissions coordinators?

The work-life balance can vary depending on the organization and time of year. During peak admissions seasons, coordinators may need to work longer hours, on weekends, or travel extensively. However, the workload may be more manageable during slower periods, allowing for a better work-life balance.

How can I gain experience as an aspiring admissions coordinator?

To gain experience, consider internships, temporary positions, or part-time work related to the industry of interest. Networking with field professionals can provide valuable insights and connections. Volunteering for related tasks at other organizations or community events can also help develop relevant skills and build a resume.

Can an admissions coordinator role be performed remotely?

Many tasks may be performed remotely as technology and employers change. While some aspects of the role are a natural fit, such as answering queries via email or phone, other elements may require a physical presence. For example, admissions coordinators may need to conduct in-person interviews or tours.

What is the role of an admissions coordinator in healthcare versus an educational setting?

In a healthcare setting, a coordinator is often the first point of contact for patients entering the facility, managing the administrative process, coordinating with medical staff, and providing information to patients and their families. In an educational setting, they oversee the student application process, partner with faculty, and inform prospective students about the institution and its programs.

What role does an admissions coordinator play in marketing or promoting their organization?

Admissions coordinators often play a crucial role in marketing or promoting their organization. They are typically the first point of contact for prospective students or patients, and this interaction can leave a lasting impression. They may attend open houses, informational sessions, or community events to represent their organization and attract potential applicants.