The purpose of this study was to identify the professional development needs of administrators in rural schools in California. The author examined the perceptions of rural school administrators relative to their leadership practices to improve student achievement and to be effective in their job. Specifically, this study was guided by three research questions: (a) How do rural California administrators rate their knowledge and skills in the various aspects of their job? (b) How much time do rural California administrators report they spend in various activities related to their duties and responsibilities as administrator? and (c) What are administrators' perceived needs for their continued leadership development? Using an adaptation of a survey of rural Nevada principals, this study surveyed California rural administrators. The researcher sought to discover professional development needs of rural school administrators in order to assist school districts and education agencies in general as they move forward to reform building level administration expectations and support administrators to lead schools effectively. Results of the study suggested that administrators are knowledgeable in research-based skills necessary to improve student achievement; however, respondents generally reported they spend the majority of their time on paperwork and dealing with parent and student issues, as well as other mundane tasks that are not necessarily connected to increased student achievement. Implications and conclusions of the study include the need to develop systemic, on-going leadership development programs that include assistance in implementation, mentoring, and monitoring and evaluation of school administrators' continued development in knowledge and skills that make a difference for student achievement.