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Admissions Coordinator Career Guide

What is an admissions coordinator?

Admissions coordinators are responsible for admissions to a department, business, or facility. They are most commonly seen in higher education or healthcare facilities. These professionals work as the first point of contact for students, patients, parents, or caregivers.

The work of an admissions coordinator includes assisting with paperwork, organizing admissions, answering questions, and front desk assistance. They must also manage admissions, input information into databases, handle phone calls and emails, maintain relevant records and documentation, and perform project planning. 

An admissions coordinator must be well versed in the facilities policies and enrollment processes to properly help those applying. They must also be strong team players because they often are the head of a team to plan and coordinate events. Admission coordinators often act as the face of the institution they work for because they’re the first point of contact and first interaction of those applying and their families. 

Common responsibilities of admission coordinators are to maintain admission guidelines by writing, updating, and recommending changes to policies, procedures, and admission criteria. Not only that, but they market programs and facilities by providing informational brochures and advertisements, answering questions, and conducting tours. Lastly, it is common for admission coordinators to input data into online databases so a strong knowledge of technology is very important. The ability to multitask and stay organized is also very important for this position.

Qualifications and eligibility

Admissions coordinators must be personable and have strong communication skills and a passion for working with others. They must be comfortable working one-on-one as well in group settings to answer questions or mitigate any issues. They should be comfortable multi-tasking and be able to work as part of a team. It is also important for admission coordinators to be comfortable in the limelight due to being the first point of contact for many applicants. Depending on the type of position, they should also be comfortable within a medical setting due to many positions for admission coordinators being within the healthcare field.

The requirements for admissions coordinators is a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minimum of three years of experience in a similar field. There are no specific education requirements, but it’s suggested that a bachelor’s degree in business administration or a similar field such as communications or marketing is ascertained. Some employers even prefer a master’s degree in a related field.

Admission coordinators often receive on-the-job training but it is recommended that at least three years of experience in a similar field is already earned. This could be in marketing, business, or in any other similar field. Certifications are also not usually required for admission coordinators, they can help make you more competitive within the job market as well as demonstrate leadership abilities.

Here are the best universities with the top admissions coordinator programs:

Work environment

Admission coordinators often work in an office environment and it is generally a sedentary position, and rarely some light lifting and filing may be required. It may also be required to give prospective students/ patients a tour of the facility so it is important to know your work environment very well. It is also imperative for these professionals to have strong organizational skills. Admission coordinators also often input data into databases so a strong knowledge of computers is also recommended.

Admission coordinators work closely with people all day so it is essential to have strong interpersonal skills, as well as a good ability to work with others. Many individuals work within a team or must coordinate with groups of people, so communication and leadership skills are essential.

This position is becoming increasingly competitive so it is a good idea to earn a master’s degree or at least have a few different certifications. Some specialty certifications can help you too. Some of the best specialty certifications for an admissions coordinator are as follows:

These certifications also depend on what industry you are most interested in working in.

Admission coordinators must also meet strict deadlines often for certain seasons or semesters so punctuality is key. In admission coordinators’ day-to-day, they often repeat the same clerical tasks. Admission coordinators need to stay up to date on the latest admission trends and technology.

Typical work hours

Admission coordinators typically work full-time. A lot of it depends on the institution that they are working for, but commonly, admission coordinators work about forty hours per week. However, many admission coordinators are on call after work so they are open for calls and emails from prospective applicants and applicants’ families.

This can increase the number of work hours significantly depending on the number of calls and emails received. Some admissions coordinators work a typically 9 am to 5 pm position and some can work as late as 10 pm depending on the institution. When applying to positions, be sure to ask about the expected hours of work and after-hours work that the employers would like you to perform.

Types of admissions coordinators

There is not a varying “type” of admission coordinates but rather a varying type of fields in which admission coordinators can work. They can work in a medical setting, such as at a long-term care facility, a nursing home, or even a rehabilitation center. If a medical setting is not your preference, admission coordinators commonly work at colleges/ universities, and high schools. A lot of it depends on preference, what institutions are hiring in your area, and the type of people you prefer to interact with daily.

It should be noted that admission coordinators working within the medical field may be required to have a longer training period after they have been hired. This may be to ascertain a CPR certification and to better understand the medical conditions that are treated within the facility. 

Income potential

The earning potential for an admission coordinator can vary greatly depending on geographic location, industry, education, experience, and specialty. The following bullets contain important income information for admission coordinators:

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for admission coordinators was $47,000 annually, about 22.60 an hour. The lowest 10% of trainers were paid an annual wage of $35,376 whereas the highest 10% earned more than $70,500 annually, about $33.89 an hour.
  • The top industries for admission coordinators are:
    • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools
    • State Government Hospitals 
    • Local Government Hospitals
    • Technical and Trade Schools
    • High Schools
  • The top-paying cities for admission coordinators are:
    • New York, NY – $25.96 per hour (about $51,920 annually)
    • Jacksonville, FL – $21.54 per hour (about $42,020 annually)
    • Oklahoma City, OK – $21.51 per hour (about $42,003 annually)
    • West Palm Beach, FL – $21.47 per hour (about $41,940 annually)

Position trends

Position trends depend on the industry of the admissions coordinator. Those admission coordinators that work in higher education, there is an increasing number of people attending higher education institutions, therefore there is an increased demand for admission coordinators. It is a competitive field and these professionals must stay on top of the latest trends in technology. 

Those working within the healthcare industry will always be of need due to an increasing need for long-term care facilities.

Career path

As an admissions coordinator, you have a variety of career paths available to you, including working at a college or university, hospital, high school, etc. You can work with the general public or focus on working in the healthcare industry with potential patients. Some of the career options include:

  • College admissions coordinator where your primary role is to work with potential new students, transfer students, new students, and their families. This can be a daunting new chapter for many and families often have a lot of questions.
  • Medical facility admission coordinators more often work with potential patients and their families. This process can involve insurance issues, ensuring the facility is the right fit for the patient, and that the family feels confident in your institution taking care of their loved one.

There are also some similar career choices to consider if an admission coordinator wants to expand their earning potential and they include:

  • Marketing director – oversees the development and implementation of marketing strategies and they oversee a team to execute the marketing strategies.
  • Sales manager – responsible for leading the sales teams to reach goals for sales as well as responsible for setting quotas and adjusting performance.
  • Director of admissions – recruits new students, evaluates potential students, and manages the comprehensive admissions process.

Steps to becoming an admissions coordinator

1. Get a bachelor’s degree

Get a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing, communications, or any field related. This will usually consist of a four-year program at an accredited college or university. Some top universities for a bachelor’s degree in business administration are as follows:

Some top universities for a bachelor’s degree in marketing are as follows:

2. Obtain a few certifications

It is not required for an admissions coordinator to have any certifications, however, it is highly recommended due to the competitive nature of the industry. If a master’s degree is not for you, then the more certifications, the better. If you choose to earn a master’s degree, then you may choose to ascertain fewer or no certifications. Listed are a few certifications that are recommended for these professionals to have:

3. Earn a master’s degree in business administration or a similar field

A master’s degree is not required to be an administration coordinator, however, it is recommended. The hiring process is competitive and having a master’s degree, whether in business administration, marketing, or another related field, will significantly better your chances of being hired. A master’s program will only take about two years to complete on a full-time school schedule and about three years on a part-time school schedule.

Some of the best business administration master’s programs are at the following universities:

Listed below are some of the best master’s programs for communication majors:

4. Apply for jobs

Start applying to jobs in areas of admission coordinators that you are interested in. It is necessary to gain work experience to advance your career. You can apply for jobs online, like through Linkedin or Indeed, or even job board postings. Your university will often have job recommendations and may be able to help you find the perfect job.

5. Continuing education

Admission coordinators need to stay up to date on the latest admission trends as well as technology for database usage. It is also essential for admission coordinators to know and understand their facilities’ latest policies and requirements for admission.

5. Maintain the certification

If you opted to earn certifications, be sure to maintain the certifications and do not let them expire. The certifications can expire at various points, one may be good for three years and one may only be good for one year. Be sure to keep track of these dates and renew the certifications if need be.

Tips for becoming an admissions coordinator

If you are planning to become an admissions coordinator, there are a few things you can do to put yourself ahead of the game. This is a highly competitive field and it always helps to have an edge. Here are some tips:

  • Develop strong interpersonal skills due to continually interacting with potential admits and families.
  • Have good communication skills to build and maintain a good relationship with your potential admits and families. 
  • Be timely when it comes to scheduling and due dates because this is a huge part of the job.
  • Have a passion for what you do. Make sure you enjoy working with the public and helping people make big decisions about their life or the lives of their loved ones.
  • Be comfortable with computers and technology in general. It is imperative to be able to use online databases and be familiar with data entry.
  • Go to a master’s program to be more competitive within the job market.
  • Enjoy answering questions whether through email or on the phone. A lot of an admission coordinator’s job is done over the phone or email and a lot of it is answering questions for students /patients.
  • It is essential to be organized and clean due to the need to multitask and keep information organized.
  • Determine your interests within the field of admission coordination. Are you passionate about medicine? Do you want to work with college students? Would you prefer to work in a high school setting? These are questions you must consider when applying to jobs and even if admission coordination is the right field for you.
  • Shadow an admissions coordinator for a day to truly determine if that’s the career for you. They can also discuss their perspective as well as give you firsthand knowledge.
  • Join admission coordinator associations. Here you’ll find career resources, job opportunities, and other helpful information. Some of the best associations for admission coordinators are:

Admissions coordinator interview questions to expect

  1. How do you conduct yourself when dealing with a difficult client or student?
  2. In your opinion, what is needed to create and maintain an efficient admissions process?
  3. What administration software are you familiar with?
  4. Are you familiar with the admission policies and procedures of our institution?
  5. What would you do if you noticed a significant drop in the number of applications to your institution during a particular season/ semester?
  6. When meeting with a prospective admit for an interview, what is the first thing you do?
  7. What do you think is the most important thing an admission coordinator can do for students/ patients?
  8. How often do you think an admission coordinator should update their knowledge of their institution’s admissions?

Admissions coordinator FAQs