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Become An Assistant Principal

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Working As An Assistant Principal

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Developing and Building Teams
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Make Decisions

  • $71,040

    Average Salary

What Does An Assistant Principal Do

Elementary, middle, and high school principals manage all school operations, including daily school activities. They coordinate curricula, oversee teachers and other school staff, and provide a safe and productive learning environment for students.

Duties

Elementary, middle, and high school principals typically do the following:

  • Manage school activities and staff, including teachers and support personnel
  • Establish and oversee class schedules
  • Develop, implement, and maintain curriculum standards
  • Counsel and discipline students
  • Observe teachers and classroom activities
  • Assist teachers in managing students’ behavior
  • Evaluate teachers’ performance
  • Meet with parents and teachers to discuss students’ progress and behavior
  • Assess and prepare reports on test scores and other student achievement data
  • Organize professional development programs and workshops for staff
  • Manage the school’s budget, order school supplies, and schedule maintenance
  • Establish and coordinate security procedures for students, staff, and visitors

Elementary, middle, and high school principals manage the overall operation of schools, including building maintenance and cafeteria services. They set and oversee academic goals and ensure that teachers have the necessary equipment and resources. In public schools, principals also implement standards and programs set by the school district, state, and/or federal regulations. They evaluate and prepare reports on their school’s performance based on these standards by assessing student achievement and teacher performance. Principals may establish and oversee additional programs in their school, such as counseling, special education programs, and before- and after-school childcare programs.

Principals serve as the public face of their school. They meet with superintendents, legislators, and members of the community to request or explain funding for their schools. They also address the concerns of parents and members of the community.

The duties of principals vary by the size of the school and district. In larger schools and districts, principals have additional resources and staff to help them achieve goals. For example, large school districts often have instructional coordinators who help with data analysis and with teachers’ professional development. Principals also may have staff who oversee the hiring process of all school personnel, including teachers, custodians, and cafeteria workers. Principals in small school districts may need to assume these and other duties themselves.

Many schools have assistant principals who help principals with school administration. Principals typically assign specific administrative duties to their assistant principals. In some school districts, assistant principals are hired to handle a specific subject area, such as literacy or math. Assistants may be assigned to handle student safety, provide student academic counseling, or enforce disciplinary or attendance rules. They may also coordinate buses or supervise building and grounds maintenance.

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How To Become An Assistant Principal

Most schools require elementary, middle, and high school principals to have a master’s degree in education administration or leadership. Most principals also have work experience as teachers.

Education

Principals typically need a master’s degree in education leadership or education administration. These master’s degree programs prepare future principals to manage staff, prepare and manage budgets, set goals, and work with parents and the community. To enter the master’s degree programs, candidates typically need a bachelor’s degree in education, school counseling, or a related field.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Principals typically need several years of work experience as a teacher. For more information on how to become a teacher, see the profiles on kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require public school principals to be licensed as school administrators. Licensure requirements vary by state, but most require a master’s degree. Some states have alternative programs for candidates who do not have a master’s degree in education administration or leadership. Most states also require candidates to pass an exam and a background check.

Principals in private schools are not required to have a state-issued license.

Advancement

An assistant principal can advance to become a principal. Some principals advance to become superintendents, which may require completion of additional education. Others become instructional coordinators.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Principals must communicate effectively with students, teachers, and parents. For example, when dealing with student disciplinary or academic issues, they consult with and listen to parents and teachers to understand the problem.

Critical-thinking skills. Principals analyze student test results and testing procedures to determine if improvements are needed. They must assess the available options and choose the best means to help students achieve better results.

Decisionmaking skills. Because principals are responsible for students, staff members, and the overall operation of the school, they consider many factors when making decisions.

Interpersonal skills. Because principals work with teachers, parents, and superintendents, they must be able to develop positive working relationships with them.

Leadership skills. Principals set educational goals and establish policies and procedures for the school. They need to be able to motivate teachers and other staff to achieve set goals.

Problem-solving skills. Teachers, students, and other staff members report problems to the principal. Principals need to be able to analyze problems, and develop and implement appropriate solutions.

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Assistant Principal Demographics

Gender

Female

51.7%

Male

45.7%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

13.5%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.1%

French

8.1%

Italian

5.7%

German

3.8%

Portuguese

2.4%

Arabic

2.4%

Russian

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Romanian

1.0%

Hindi

1.0%

Mandarin

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Cherokee

0.5%

Shona

0.5%

Gujarati

0.5%

Sanskrit

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Bengali

0.5%

Marathi

0.5%

Filipino

0.5%
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Assistant Principal Education

Schools

Nova Southeastern University

15.8%

University of Phoenix

10.3%

Walden University

7.4%

Grand Canyon University

6.0%

Capella University

5.0%

Lamar University

4.9%

Wayne State University

4.5%

Texas A&M University

4.5%

National Louis University

4.3%

University of North Texas

4.0%

Northern Arizona University

4.0%

University of Houston

4.0%

Liberty University

3.8%

George Mason University

3.8%

University of South Florida

3.3%

Prairie View A & M University

3.2%

Stephen F Austin State University

3.0%

George Washington University

2.8%

University of Southern Mississippi

2.8%

Tarleton State University

2.7%
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Majors

Educational Leadership

47.9%

Education

15.6%

Elementary Education

6.8%

Business

6.6%

Curriculum And Instruction

3.5%

Special Education

3.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.7%

School Counseling

2.1%

English

1.7%

Management

1.3%

Health Education

1.2%

Psychology

1.0%

Counseling Psychology

1.0%

History

0.8%

Human Resources Management

0.8%

Early Childhood Education

0.8%

Secondary Education And Teaching

0.8%

Music

0.7%

Educational Technology

0.7%

Social Work

0.7%
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Degrees

Masters

51.2%

Other

20.0%

Doctorate

13.5%

Bachelors

8.2%

Certificate

5.4%

Associate

0.8%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.4%
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Real Assistant Principal Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Principal Surveyor American Bureau of Shipping Mobile, AL May 17, 2016 $110,947
Assistant Principal The Principia Saint Louis, MO Jul 01, 2014 $110,000
Assistant Principal Brooklyn Amity School New York, NY Nov 15, 2016 $95,037
Assistant Principal Charter Schools USA, Inc. Royal Palm Beach, FL Oct 29, 2014 $92,270
Assistant Principal Charter Schools USA, Inc. Royal Palm Beach, FL Oct 18, 2014 $92,270
Assistant Principal Horizon Science Academy-Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH Dec 20, 2016 $83,613
Assistant Principal Imagine Schools, Inc. Washington, DC May 22, 2013 $82,392
Assistant Principal Bridges Public Charter School Washington, DC Feb 09, 2016 $80,000
Assistant Principal New Design Charter School Los Angeles, CA Aug 15, 2014 $79,220
Assistant Principal of Specialized Services Clymer Elementary-Mastery Charter School Philadelphia, PA Sep 14, 2015 $77,680 -
$108,000
Assistant Principal Minnesota Math and Science Academy Saint Paul, MN Sep 18, 2016 $76,540
Assistant Principal Mm1 Inc. Center Line, MI Sep 28, 2016 $74,500
Assistant Principal North Davis Preparatory Academy Layton, UT Aug 30, 2016 $73,573
Assistant Principal North Davis Preparatory Academy Layton, UT Oct 06, 2016 $73,573
Assistant Principal Wilson County Schools Elm City, NC Aug 14, 2016 $65,177
Assistant Principal Harmony School of Science-Houston Sugar Land, TX Aug 01, 2016 $64,890
Assistant Principal Harmony School of Discovery Houston, TX Aug 11, 2016 $64,890
Assistant Principal Harmony School of Science-Houston Sugar Land, TX Jan 08, 2016 $64,890
Assistant Principal Harmony School of Discovery Houston, TX Nov 08, 2016 $64,890
Assistant Principal Wilson County Schools Elm City, NC Aug 17, 2015 $64,214
Assistant Principal Sonoran Science Academy Broadway Tucson, AZ Apr 17, 2015 $64,157
Assistant Principal Harmony School of Excellence-Dallas Carrollton, TX Sep 22, 2015 $64,000
Assistant Principal Little Scholars of Arkansas Little Rock, AR Mar 08, 2015 $62,050
Assistant Principal Little Scholars of Arkansas Little Rock, AR Aug 03, 2015 $62,050
Assistant Principal Harmony Science Academy-Euless Euless, TX Sep 30, 2013 $62,010
Assistant Principal Harmony Science Academy-Euless Euless, TX Aug 12, 2013 $62,010
Assistant Principal Harmony School of Discovery Houston, TX Aug 12, 2014 $62,010
Assistant Principal Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth Fort Worth, TX Sep 02, 2013 $62,010
Assistant Principal Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth Fort Worth, TX Sep 21, 2013 $62,010

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Top Skills for An Assistant Principal

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  1. Curriculum
  2. Professional Development
  3. Classroom Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed program development and evaluation, curriculum and instruction, teacher training, and district responsibilities.
  • Designed faculty technology professional development.
  • Attend a variety of professional development workshops centered on learning goals, classroom management, student motivation and engaging learning activities.
  • Implemented transportation procedure for students picked up by private transportation to ensure safety of students.
  • Monitored classroom performance of all teachers on a regular basis offering pathways to improve individual student performance through improved teaching practices.

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Top 10 Best States for Assistant Principals

  1. New Jersey
  2. Connecticut
  3. Delaware
  4. New York
  5. Washington
  6. California
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Maryland
  9. Oregon
  10. Massachusetts
  • (146 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)
  • (585 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (76 jobs)
  • (39 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)

Top Assistant Principal Employers

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Jobs From Top Assistant Principal Employers

Assistant Principal Videos

Career Advice on becoming an Assistant Principal by Narinder S (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a Vice Principal by Amanda H (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a Vice Principal by Richard H (Full Version)

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