Former Fairfax County school superintendent William J. Burkholder has been hired as a deputy superintendent of the Virginia Department of Education, where one of his duties will be working to attract more money for education from business and industry.

The state Board of Education Wednesday appointed Burkholder as deputy superintendent for administration, assessment and field services, at a salary of $60,981 a year.

Burkholder, 56, retired July 1 after 29 years with the Fairfax County schools, the last three as superintendent.

Burkholder, who was selected over 11 applicants for the job, was recommended by S. John Davis, the former Fairfax County superintendent who now is state superintendent of public instruction. The board approved Burkholder unanimously. "I was certainly impressed by his credentials," said member Suzanne F. Thomas of Alexandria.

Burkholder's hiring is effective Nov. 1, but he may work part time in September and October at a yet undetermined hourly rate, according to Harry L. Smith, Education Department spokesman. Burkholder and his wife are expected to move to Richmond.

Davis said yesterday that a major reason he recommended Burkholder was the former school superintendent's expertise in attracting support from business and industry.

Forming friendships with business was one of Burkholder's priorities as Fairfax County superintendent. Two years ago, he worked with local business leaders to form a nonprofit foundation that has raised more than $1.5 million for education in the county.

"We're anxious to move forward statewide with more of those partnerships," Davis said. He cited as one example in the state a "mutually beneficial" partnership between the Chesapeake Corp. and West Point High School, east of Richmond, in which the paper company and the school share some staff and facilities.

Burkholder, who is vacationing, could not be reached for comment on his new job. But in an interview two months ago, he said, "I can tell you I won't be very happy doing nothing very long . . . . I will continue to work."

Burkholder's new state job will not affect his county pension, but as a state employe he will temporarily give up a $31,540 state annuity, according to R. Warren Eisenhower, Fairfax County's assistant superintendent for personnel. Burkholder will continue to receive $46,288 a year from the county until 1989, when his annual pension will drop to $11,468, Eisenhower said.

Burkholder had intended to retire as county superintendent in 1984; but he agreed to a request to stay on, then was forced to retire after a public outcry over the $157,000 pay and pension package the county School Board planned to pay him.

He will oversee the state's required testing program for elementary and high school students, its management information service, its review of local compliance with state standards of quality and its state schools for the deaf and blind. He also will be the department's representative to the state's 135 local school superintendents.

Burkholder will replace William L. Cochran, who is scheduled to retire Sept. 1 but is expected to stay on through November to help the state fight a lawsuit by Richmond that seeks more state funds to eliminate vestiges of segregation from the city's school system.