How to Become a Registrar

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Institutions of higher education are very complex and administrative staff is essential to ensure the overall function and efficiency. Registrars are higher educational administrators that are responsible for the maintenance and organization of student records and the coordination of registration activities for many different colleges and universities.


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What does a registrar do?

Registrars handle all student records and direct and supervise registration activities of post secondary institutions. They process registration requests, assist students in registering, schedule courses and maintain class lists, keep a permanent record of grades, and evaluate academic records. They also prepare student transcripts, evaluate and collect tuition and fees, supervise the preparation of course catalogs, examine statistics related to enrollment and demographics, and plan and employ commencement exercises. Registrars are responsible for assisting with the implementation of procedures. They also make sure that students graduates in an effective manner. They make sure all coursework, credit requirements, financial responsibilities are satisfied. Registrars also verify student matriculation to potential employers.

What kind of training does a registrar need?

Registrars typically need at least a master degree in higher education administration, education services, college student affairs, or other related field. Some registrars have doctorate degrees in education administration. Many employers prefer applicants with sufficient experience in higher education. Many registrars begin their careers in entry-level administrative positions and advance to registrar positions as they gain the essential education, skills, and experience. Registrars must be proficient in academic record keeping and be able to efficiently use registration computer software. Many employers provide on the job training to new registrars to enable them to learn the policies and procedures of the institution. Registrars must stay up to date on the advancements and changes that take place at their institution. They often participate in additional training, seminars, conferences, and workshops as needed throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a registrar?

Employment of registrars is expected to have little or no change, increasing 2% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The increase in post secondary student enrollments will create some job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good especially for registrars with advanced education and extensive experience. Many job opportunities will arise from the need to replace registrars that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do registrars make?

As of December 2009, the middle 50% of registrars earn annual salaries between $59,768 and $90,458. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $106,674 (2).

A career as a registrar is a great choice for individuals with a strong interest in the coordination of registration activities and maintenance of student records for higher education institutions. Registrars must have a solid understanding of the registration policies and procedures of their institution. Honesty, integrity, confidence, motivation, and organization are essential characteristics. Registrars must have excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills and ability to interact with a variety of students and other professionals.

Joshua T Osborne

Founder/CEO – Mr. & Mrs. Leads

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