AASA Releases 2020-21 Superintendent Salary Study





“We view this document as an important resource, not only for superintendents, but for those aspiring to reach the superintendency,” said Daniel A. Domenech, AASA executive director. “AASA is particularly well-suited to the task of creating this resource because it represents the vast majority of school superintendents in the country. We wish to thank the research team, as well as school system leaders who served as peer reviewers, for their tireless work that went into this document.”


Major findings include:

  • A superintendent’s median salary ranged from $140,172 to $180,500, depending on district enrollment (size).
  • More than one-half (53 percent) of the respondents, regardless of gender, indicated that their district is best described as rural, while nearly one-third (30 percent) described their district as suburban and nearly one-quarter (18 percent) described their district as urban. This is closely aligned with data from the National Center on Education Statistics.
  • In the 2019-20 school year, 32 percent of female superintendents described their districts as in declining economic condition, along with 25.1 percent of male superintendents. The findings for this year’s investigation show a trend of more superintendents, male and female, feeling less optimistic about the economic stability of their districts.
  • Most superintendents reported serving in their present position for less than five years, with just 13 percent serving more than 10 years. 
  • One-fourth (24.9 percent) of the sample consisted of females, while nearly three-fourths (73.8 percent) of respondents were male superintendents.
  • Respondents were predominantly white (89 percent), followed by African American (5.1 percent), Hispanic (2.8 percent), Native American or Native Alaska (.92 percent) and Asian (.46 percent).
  • About four out of 10 superintendent contracts specify the process, measures and indicators to be used in the formal performance evaluation.


Click here to access a copy of the 2020-21 AASA Superintendent Salary & Benefits Study. AASA members can access the full, member-only version through my.AASA.org.


For specific questions about the report, contact Noelle Ellerson Ng, AASA, associate executive director, advocacy and governance, at [email protected]