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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Assistant Principal
Top Careers After Assistant Principal
Hispanic or Latino10.6%
Black or African American0.5%
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Nova Southeastern University16.1%
University of Phoenix11.0%
Grand Canyon University6.3%
Wayne State University4.6%
Texas A&M University4.6%
National Louis University4.1%
University of North Texas4.0%
University of Houston3.9%
Northern Arizona University3.7%
George Mason University3.7%
University of South Florida3.4%
Prairie View A & M University2.8%
Tarleton State University2.8%
Stephen F Austin State University2.8%
George Washington University2.7%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro2.6%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|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 -
|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 School of Discovery||Houston, TX||Aug 12, 2014||$62,010|
|Assistant Principal||Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth||Fort Worth, TX||Sep 21, 2013||$62,010|
|Assistant Principal||Harmony Science Academy-Euless||Euless, TX||Aug 12, 2013||$62,010|
|Assistant Principal||Harmony School of Innovation-Fort Worth||Fort Worth, TX||Sep 02, 2013||$62,010|
|Assistant Principal||Harmony School of Discovery||Houston, TX||Dec 08, 2014||$62,010|
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Cosmos Foundation DBA Harmony Science Academy
Cosmos Foundation Inc., DBA Harmony Science Academy
Cosmos Foundation Dba Harmony Science Academy
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