Chapter 6

How to become a Head of Department (HOD) teacher in India


The Head of Department (HOD) teacher in a school holds a crucial role in the academic leadership and management of a specific subject area. As the head of their respective department, they are responsible for overseeing curriculum development, instructional strategies, and assessment practices within their subject. The Head of Department (HOD) teacher collaborates with other teachers to ensure effective implementation of the curriculum, supports their professional growth, and fosters a positive learning environment. Additionally, they liaise with other HODs and school administrators to coordinate interdisciplinary initiatives and promote a cohesive educational experience for students.
The Head of Department (HOD) teacher’s meeting table with files and papers
In addition to their administrative responsibilities, the Head of Department (HOD) in a school also actively engages in teaching and carries out regular teaching duties. By actively fulfilling their teaching responsibilities, the Head of Department (HOD) teacher maintains a practical understanding of classroom dynamics and student needs. This allows them to provide effective leadership and support to their fellow teachers.

Eligibility to Become a Head of Department (HOD) teacher in India

The eligibility criteria to become a Head of Department (HOD) teacher may vary depending on the educational institution and its specific requirements. However, in general, the following criteria are often considered:
Educational Qualifications: Typically, a candidate aspiring to become the Head of Department (HOD) teacher should have a postgraduate degree in the subject area relevant to the department they wish to lead. A higher level of academic qualification, such as a Ph.D., may be preferred or required in some cases.
Teaching Experience: This can vary but often requires several years of experience as a qualified teacher in the respective subject area, typically more than 5 years.
Leadership Skills and Administrative Abilities: Strong leadership skills, effective communication, organisational abilities, and decision-making capabilities are crucial for successfully overseeing the department's operations and collaborating with fellow educators and administrators.
Subject Knowledge and Expertise: This includes staying updated with the latest developments, research, and best practices in the field, as well as having a comprehensive understanding of the curriculum and instructional methodologies.
Professional Development: Continuous professional development and a commitment to lifelong learning are often valued qualities in HOD candidates.
Things to list when preparing Head of Department (HOD) teacher cover letter.
With these criteria in mind, remember that the path to becoming a successful head of department involves more than just meeting the minimum requirements. It's about standing out and showcasing your unique capabilities and passion for teaching.
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It is important to note that educational institutions may have specific requirements for HOD positions. Therefore, it is advisable to refer to the job postings and consult with the relevant educational institutions to obtain accurate and detailed eligibility criteria for becoming a HOD.

Selection Process to Become a Head of Department (HOD) teacher in India

While external candidates may occasionally be considered, schools often prioritise promoting in-house teachers who have showcased exceptional dedication, subject knowledge, and leadership potential. It's a testament to the school's investment in nurturing talent and recognising the expertise and contributions of its own teachers.
During the selection process, senior management, deans, and trustees carefully assess the skills, academic records, career achievements, and overall performance of experienced teachers within the school. There are typically 3-5 Head of Department (HOD) teacher vacancies in every school, depending on the school size and number of students. These positions offer an exciting opportunity for passionate educators to take on leadership roles and make a significant impact in their respective subject areas.
Cover letter and resume of a Head of Department teacher  in India
Additionally, if you're aspiring to become a Head of Department (HOD) teacher, it's important to understand what school leaders look for in a candidate. You can attend masterclasses and live sessions on advancing your career as a HOD. These sessions can provide insights into the qualities and skills that are valued in HODs, which can be a valuable resource as you work towards this dream role.

Salary of a Head of Department (HOD) teacher in India

According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a Head of Department (HOD) teacher in India lies near Rs. 7,00,000 per annum. Although, top international schools offer average salaries of 90,000 per month and higher up to Rs 1,50,000 per annum to its teachers.
It is important to note that schools today want to retain qualified and skilled teachers and are willing to provide more autonomy and good packages to deserving candidates across the country.
It is important to get in touch with particular institutions to know the specific salaries of Head of Department (HOD) teachers in their school. How much a head of the department teacher earns can vary based on factors such as the reputation of the institution, location, years of experience, qualifications, and the demand for specialised skills. By directly contacting the institutions of interest, aspiring HOD teachers can gather accurate information about salary packages and gain a better understanding of the earning potential in their desired schools.

Career Growth Opportunities for a Head of Department (HOD) Teacher in India

When it comes to career growth, being a Head of Department (HOD) in India opens up a world of exciting possibilities. As a HOD, you have the chance to advance your career and take on diverse roles within the education landscape.
To increase your career prospects you can learn strategies to nurture qualities such as effective leadership, team management, and collaboration. This can also improve your reputation as the head of the department teacher and impact your salary in your school.
First and foremost, within the school system, you can aspire to become a Vice Principal, where you'll play a key role in shaping the overall direction of the institution. This position allows you to contribute to strategic decision-making, curriculum development, and student welfare.
Beyond the school setting, opportunities await in State/Central Universities. You can explore the role of an Assistant Registrar, contributing to the administration and academic management of higher education institutions. This role offers a chance to make a broader impact on education policy and the future of students.
Office after Promoting to a leadership role as the Head of Department (HOD) teacher
Additionally, private schools in India offer their own unique career growth options. As a HOD, you may find avenues to transition into a Coordinator role, where you can lead a team of dedicated teachers, oversee curriculum implementation, and drive innovative educational initiatives. Depending on the hierarchy and size of the school, you may have the opportunity to advance to positions like Assistant Principal, Principal, or even Director.
Unlocking these career growth opportunities lies in continuous learning, honing your leadership skills, and staying abreast of educational trends and innovations. Building a strong network and seeking mentorship are crucial to success. For personalised guidance on teacher career growth, you can also book a 30-minute free call with a Suraasa mentor. You can discuss your career goals and receive tailored advice for a successful career.
Table of Contents

Wrapping Up!

We hope that this blog has provided you with valuable insights into the eligibility requirements, selection process, salary prospects, and career growth opportunities to work as a Head of Department (HOD) teacher in India.
Remember, the path to becoming a HOD begins with excelling as a teacher and demonstrating leadership potential. By actively engaging in teaching while fulfilling administrative responsibilities, you can gain a practical understanding of classroom dynamics and student needs, allowing you to provide effective leadership and support to your fellow teachers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I become a Head of Department (HOD) teacher if I don't have a Ph.D.?
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Are there any age restrictions to become a Head of Department (HOD) teacher?
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Can I become a HOD in a different subject area than my own?
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What additional qualifications or certifications can enhance my prospects of becoming Head of Department (HOD) teacher?
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What qualities do school leaders look for in Head of Department (HOD) teacher candidates?
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Written By

Simran Agarwal

Simran is a writer here at Suraasa and has formerly worked as a Teacher. She is passionate about learning and making a difference through her words.

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