Career Choice: College Recruiters

Career Choice: College Recruiters
  • Type: Career Type
  • Opening Intro -

    College recruiters are tasked with searching for prospective students to fill the ranks of a future class of first-year or transfer students.

    These professionals, who include the college’s director of admissions, host or attend recruitment events, meet one on one with students and seek to persuade students to apply to their college.


Also known as admissions recruiters, these professionals might seek to diversify the school’s student body, explain financial assistance packages and arrange for campus visits. The pay scale for college recruiters depend on the person’s experience, employer and location.

Pay Scale

The pay scale of a college recruiter in 2010 was $47,130 to $164,540, representing salaries ranging from the 10th to 90th percentiles. The mean annual wage for these educational administrators was $96,680, and the median salary was $83,710 as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent of these professionals earned from approximately $61,440 to $117,040 annually.

Leading Industries

Among postsecondary educational institutions, four-year colleges and universities employed more than 70 percent of such professionals, paying an average annual wage of $100,920. Junior colleges had the second-most employees, paying $83,960 per year on average. Technical and trade schools paid an average salary of $80,960; business schools offered $83,250.

Pay by State

Pay for education administrators, including college recruiters, varied significantly across the country. Top earnings were given to those in New Jersey who averaged $119,170 per year. Hawaii and Nevada followed, with these professionals earning an annual mean wage of $112,910 and $109,190, respectively. Alaska offered the fourth-highest salaries at $107,700 per year followed closely by Michigan at $107,360. Among states with average wages well below the national mean were Montana at $68,200; West Virginia at $74,360 and Oklahoma at $79,300.

Job Outlook

The bureau projects that the number of new jobs among postsecondary educators will increase just 2 percent from 2008 to 2018. More then three-quarters of these professionals have a master’s or doctoral degree in educational administration while the remaining 23 percent have a bachelor’s degree. New workers may be able to find opportunities with entry-level positions and work their way up.

Admissions recruiters should find opportunities are better at those schools that are expanding. The National Association of Colleges and Employers notes that the average admissions staff has grown from an average 5.9 to 7.7 members in the past year, reflecting an ongoing trend with colleges focusing on its recruiting operations.


O-Net Online; Summary Report for: 11-9033.00 – Education Administrators, Postsecondary

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition; Education Administrators

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Employment Statistics; 11-9033 Education Administrators, Postsecondary

NACE: Current Benchmarks: College Recruiting Staffing and Salaries

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Categories: Career Planning