Student Services Specialist (All There Is to Know About the Job)

10 August
3 min read

Do you like being around young people and want to help them through their university/college years? 

Then, being a student service specialist could be just the job for you. 

A student service specialist is an employee you typically see at the front desk of the admissions office. 

They assist you throughout your application process and course selection, coordinate the student senate, and lead the campus tour, among other things.

In this guide, we’ll be going through everything there is to know about the position: main duties, minimum qualifications, the average salary for 2021, and more. 

Read along to learn:

  • What Is a Student Services Specialist? 
  • Duties & Responsibilities of a Student Services Specialist
  • Student Services Specialist: Minimum Qualifications 
  • Supervision & Salary of a Student Services Specialist

What Is a Student Services Specialist? 

A student service specialist coordinates and performs a variety of duties that support a university’s student academic services. 

They’re mainly responsible for interviewing applicants, responding to student needs and questions, processing scholarship awards, and coordinating student events. 

Hence, a comprehensive understanding of the school’s policy and procedures is crucial, in addition to oral and written communication skills.

Duties & Responsibilities of a Student Services Specialist

The duties and responsibilities of a student service specialist aren’t the same for every job opportunity. They vary depending on the specific requirements of the college or university.  

For example, some schools only need the student service specialist to deal with paperwork, data processing, and online assistance; others, look for someone who can also coordinate student events and activities. 

That being said, we’ve compiled some of the main and most common duties of a student service specialist in the section below. 

Examples of Student Services Specialist Work 

Examples of student service specialist duties include:

  • Deals with admission services such as conducting applicant interviewing, student orientation, and coordination of the campus tour. 
  • Inputs student application data and other academic records into the school’s database. Maintains permanent records for each student and handles the data with confidentiality. 
  • Responds to referrals and requests for services or resource information. 
  • Coordinates and administers program activities such as course registration, program documentation, information sessions, and graduation processing. 
  • Arranges and supervises student service activities. 
  • Uses social media platforms and the school’s website to promote student services and college information. 
  • Attends and engages in staff meetings, career development workshops, and other meetings or conferences regarding student support.
  • Directs students to the relevant program advisor for further program guidance.
  • Implements or assists in implementing student recruitment initiatives and then reviews and evaluates said initiatives. 
  • Assists in coordination with other institutions and university offices to ensure that student recruiting and retention programs are synchronized.

Student Services Specialist: Minimum Qualifications 

A student service specialist needs to possess a mix of hard and soft skills, education qualifications, and/or work experience. 

Education qualifications and work experience

  • High school diploma
  • Bachelor’s Degree OR an equivalent combination of training and experience. Typically, this is three to five years of administration or secretarial experience.

Hard skills: 

  • Proficiency in MS Office applications, specifically Word and Excel
  • Accurate calendar and database management
  • Good with photocopiers, scanners, and projectors
  • 45 WPM typing

Soft skills: 

  • Ability to communicate efficiently (verbally and in writing) with a diverse population
  • Good phone etiquette, which requires using proper language, choice of words, and tone of the way, e.g: asking someone whether they’re available to speak, letting them know before putting them on hold, closing the call politely, speaking in a warm and friendly manner, etc.
  • Strong prioritization, organization, and planning skills
  • Able to adapt to a flexible work schedule and changes in work hours
  • Able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Able to be discrete and keep the information confidential

If you’re working on your resume and want some inspiration on what skills to incorporate, check out our guide on 101+ essential skills to put in your resume (in 2021).  

Supervision & Salary of a Student Services Specialist 

A student service specialist works under the general supervision of the Director of Student Records or Dean of Students. However, after the initial orientation period, a student service specialist mostly works individually, without supervision. 

The dean or director helps by planning and organizing the work, answering possible questions, and troubleshooting issues. Performance is reviewed later on, by analyzing the quality of work provided to students. 

As far as the salary goes, the average salary for the student service specialist position in the US in 2021 is $35,000 yearly or $12,50 hourly. People on the lower spectrum (the bottom 10%), make around $26,000 a year, whereas the top 10% make up to $48,000. 

The highest paying states for a student service specialist in the US include California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Vermont. 

Key Takeaways 

And that’s a wrap! 

For a quick recap, let’s go over some of the main points we’ve covered: 

  • A student service specialist is the first point of contact that students have with a college or university.
  • They answer academic questions at the front desk, through emails, and phone calls, lead orientation days and campus tours, as well as guide students with any necessary resources and information sessions.
  • Hence, a good student service specialist always knows how to work effectively with people from differing backgrounds, ages, and nationalities.