Education Establishments – Administrative Employee Exemption


Employees at educational establishments may also qualify for the administrative employee exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) if:

  • they are compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate of not less than $455 per week (Beginning December 1, 2016, employers will be required to pay employees qualifying for this exemption not less than $913 per week; starting on January 1, 2020, this minimum earnings amount will change every three years according to a formula set forth in federal regulation changes issued on May 17, 2016) or on a salary basis equal to the entrance salary for teachers in the educational establishment where employed , and
  • they have a primary duty of performing administrative functions directly related to academic instruction or training.

29 CFR 541.204(a)



Educational establishments include elementary or secondary school systems, an institutions of higher education, or other educational institutions. Elementary and secondary schools include day or residential schools that provide elementary or secondary education, as determined under state law. Typically, such education includes the curriculums in grades 1 through 12 and may include introductory programs such kindergarten and nursery school. Other educational establishments include special schools for mentally or physically disabled or gifted children. Factors relevant in determining whether post-secondary career programs are educational institutions include whether the school is licensed by a state agency or accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting organization. Also, for purposes of the exemption, no distinction is drawn between public and private schools, or between those operated for profit and those that are not for profit. 29 CFR 541.204(b).
Employees engaged in academic administrative functions include:

  • superintendents;
  • principals and vice principals;
  • department heads;and
  • academic counselors

29 CFR 541.204(c)


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