Becoming a College Recruiter: Job Description & Salary Information

About this article
A college recruiter could earn a median salary of about $37,000. Is it worth the education and training requirements? See real job duties and get the truth about career prospects to find out if becoming a college recruiter is right for you.
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Pros and Cons of a College Recruitment Career

College recruiters work to bring new students into a school every semester. The job requires you to travel to meet with high school counselors, parents or potential students. Keep reading to learn more pros and cons for this field.

Pros of Being a College Recruiter
15% employment growth for all postsecondary administration positions (between 2012-2022)*
Help provide customer service to parents or students concerning college**
Provides leadership opportunities with teams or in guiding young people**
Facilitates long-standing customer and social relations between high schools and college**

Cons of Being a College Recruiter
Public schools may not have the funding for college recruitment departments*
Heavy use of communication and people skills*
Variance in academic attainment for job positions*
Job requires initiative to organize your work**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **O*NET OnLine.

Essential Career Information

Job Description and Duties

A college recruiter, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is a postsecondary education administrator who helps promote the college or university to potential students. The college recruiter will directly communicate with potential candidates during every admissions period. They also help craft general, marketable strategies to attract new students to the school from high schools or college fairs. Often, they are assigned to a region of the country, where they will communicate with the admissions office about a potential student.

Job Salary and Prospects

Salary.com indicates that the median salary of a college recruiter, also known as an admissions representative, is approximately $37,000. The website further states that the bottom ten percent of workers earned an annual salary of $30,000, while the top ten percent of workers earned about $46,000.

The BLS states that all postsecondary education administrators, including college recruiters, should see employment growth by 15% from 2012-2022. The increased enrollment of students in college will create a competitive environment between schools for a large pool of potential students. However, budget cuts can adversely affect the number of positions available, especially at public universities that face deficits and budget cuts.

Career Requirements

Education Requirements

Salary.com reports that a bachelor's degree is required for positions like a college recruiter. However, the BLS states that some higher-level job positions in college recruitment, along with other administration jobs, may require a master's degree.

What Do Employers Look for?

Many employers prefer a candidate with some prior business experience, preferably in human resources or marketing. Some job postings highlight the need to speak another language; this helps you market the school to parents or students who may not speak English as their first language. Review the following are job postings from 2012 to learn more about what employers are looking for.

  • A Florida university needs an admissions recruitment advisor to travel to high schools across a geographic region. The recruiter gives high school guidance counselors information about the Florida university in order to market the school to students. The recruiter must also serve as a customer-relations worker, interacting with students or parents who make inquiries about the school via phone or e-mail. The job requires a master's degree, preferably in marketing, or a bachelor's degree with one year of experience. Being proficient in Spanish or Haitian Creole is a preferred.
  • A Vermont college needs a regional recruiter for the Midwest and Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The recruiter must work with the director of the admissions office to determine how to best market the Vermont school to students on the other side of the country. He or she will travel to college fairs and interact with parents, students or guidance counselors in conferences, interviews, over the phone or by e-mail. Marketing experience will be considered advantageous in the hiring process and a bachelor's degree is required.
  • An Illinois university needs an admissions counselor who can setup recruitment goals with a team for each admissions period. The admissions counselor needs a bachelor's degree, though the university prefers a candidate with a master's degree and some experience in human resources or marketing.

How to Get an Edge in the Field

Continuing Education

As displayed by job postings and from the BLS, some employers may prefer a job candidate who holds a master's degree. The master's degree can be in areas such as education administration or a business-related field. The skills and information learned in a graduate program may better prepare you for entry-level positions or help in a promotion toward a higher-level position in an admissions office.

Develop Related Skills

Interpersonal and people skills are qualities the BLS highlights as a necessary trait for this occupation. Having excellent communication skills may facilitate relationships with high schools in a particular region. This may help you develop a rapport with guidance counselors who can provide information about your school to potential students. At the same time, being personable allows you to communicate with a student about what they need to do to earn acceptance into the college or university.

Other Careers to Consider

School Counselors

If you want to help students and parents directly at one school, you can become a school counselor. A school counselor works beyond guidance for college education and helps a student with social, emotional or family issues. To become a school counselor, you need a master's degree and a state-issued license. The BLS states that school counselors should see an employment growth rate of 19% from 2010-2020; this is due to the constant influx of students enrolling in grades kindergarten to high school. The BLS states that the annual median salary of school counselors was about $54,000 in 2011.

Public Relations Specialists

If you enjoy marketing, especially for educational facilities, but do not want to work in recruitment, you can work as a public relations specialist. A public relations specialist helps to market and maintain a positive public image toward an organization. Around 13% of public relations specialists work for educational facilities, like colleges and universities, according to the BLS. The BLS also reports that there will be a 23% growth in employment for public relations specialists from 2010-2020; this is partly due to universities and colleges outsourcing responsibilities to third parties. The BLS shows that the annual median salary for a public relations specialist was about $53,000 in 2011.

Popular Schools

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    Master's
      • Master: Higher Education - Student Affairs
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    2. The George Washington University

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    Master's
      • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration
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      • B.S. in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
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Featured Schools

Kaplan University

  • Master: Higher Education - Student Affairs
  • MS in Educational Psychology
  • Master: Higher Education - College Admin./Leadership

Which subject are you interested in?

The George Washington University

  • Master of Arts in Education and Human Development in Educational Leadership and Administration

What is your highest level of education?

Grand Canyon University

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision
  • MS in Professional Counseling
  • B.S. in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)

What is your highest level of education?

Concordia University Portland

  • Master of Education - Curriculum & Instruction: Leadership
  • M.S. - Educational Leadership
  • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - Educational Technology Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

University of the Southwest

  • MSEd - School Counseling

What is your highest level of education?

Baker College Online

  • Educational Leadership: Higher Education - MSEE (Master's)
  • Educational Leadership: K-12 - MSEE (Master's)

What is your highest level of education?

Northcentral University

  • Ed.D. - Higher Education Leadership
  • M.Ed. - Higher Education Leadership
  • Education Specialist - Instructional Leadership

What is your highest level of education?

Saint Joseph's University

  • MS in Education - Special Education and Wilson Reading System Certification

What is your highest level of education completed?