The minor district (King Amphoe) Nong Yai was created on December 1, 1975, when the three tambon Nong Yai, Khlong Phlu and Nong Suea Chang were split off from Ban Bueng district. It was upgraded to a full district on July 13, 1981.
The district is subdivided into 5 subdistricts (tambon), which are further subdivided into 24 villages (muban). Nong Yai is a township (thesaban tambon) which covers the whole tambon Nong Yai. There are further 4 Tambon administrative organizations (TAO).