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Become An Elementary School Principal

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Working As An Elementary School 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

  • $90,410

    Average Salary

What Does An Elementary School Principal Do

An Elementary School Principal is responsible for managing public and private schools from kindergarten to middle school. They implement elementary curriculums, set performance goals, prepare budget reports, and perform other duties, as necessary.

How To Become An Elementary School 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.


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.


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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Elementary School Principal jobs

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Elementary School Principal Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Chinese

  • Mandarin

  • German

  • Portuguese

  • Dakota

  • Cantonese

  • Japanese

  • Russian

  • Armenian

  • Malayalam

  • Arabic

  • Korean

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Elementary School Principal

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Elementary School Principal Education

Elementary School Principal

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Real Elementary School Principal Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Elementary School Principal La Fondation Du Lycee Francais International de Wa Chevy Chase, MD Sep 29, 2013 $120,000
PYP Elementary Principal German-American International School Menlo Park, CA Sep 09, 2014 $93,713
Elementary School Principal La Fondation Du Lycee Francais International de Wa Chevy Chase, MD Oct 01, 2010 $92,000 -
PYP Elementary Principal German-American International School Menlo Park, CA Jul 29, 2015 $90,260 -
Elementary Principal Putnam City Schools Bethany, OK Aug 13, 2010 $63,018
Elementary Principal Alamance Christian School, Inc. Graham, NC Sep 03, 2013 $54,770 -

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Top Skills for An Elementary School Principal


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Top Elementary School Principal Skills

  1. Curriculum Development
  2. Professional Development
  3. Classroom Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Facilitated staff and team meetings to target school improvement, curriculum development and accreditation.
  • Facilitate professional development sessions for our corporation.
  • Directed classroom management for a 30-member faculty.
  • Upgraded mathematics curriculum for K-5, purchasing Book 3 of the Everyday Math series.
  • Developed and implemented instructional leadership with the emphasis on enhanced student learning through innovative, effective appropriate methods and materials.

Top Elementary School Principal Employers

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Elementary School Principal Videos

A Morning in the Life of an Elementary School Principal

Principal Snow Day at Waterloo

Elementary School Principal, Career Video from drkit.org