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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 Principal Investigator
Top Careers After Principal Investigator
Hispanic or Latino9.6%
Black or African American0.9%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
University of California - Los Angeles6.5%
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill6.5%
University of Florida6.2%
University of California - San Diego6.2%
University of Pittsburgh -5.4%
Michigan State University5.1%
University of Pennsylvania5.1%
West Virginia University5.1%
University of Illinois University Administration5.1%
Texas A&M University4.7%
University of Delaware4.7%
Georgia Institute of Technology -4.7%
Johns Hopkins University4.7%
Pennsylvania State University4.3%
San Diego State University4.3%
University of Arizona4.3%
Carnegie Mellon University4.0%
University of Texas at Austin4.0%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Principal Investigator||Pharma Medica Research, Inc.||Saint Charles, MO||Jan 20, 2014||$275,000|
|Principal Investigator||Children's Hospital Corporation||Boston, MA||Jan 01, 2012||$160,000|
|Principal Investigator||The Research Foundation of State University of New||Albany, NY||May 23, 2011||$136,041|
|Principal Investigator||The Research Foundation of State University of New York||Albany, NY||Jul 16, 2015||$129,533|
|Senior Principal Investigator||Purdue Pharma L.P.||Cranbury, NJ||Sep 07, 2011||$128,485|
|Principal Investigator||Arcus Biosciences, Inc.||South San Francisco, CA||Oct 01, 2015||$120,000 -
|Principal Investigator||Research Foundation of Suny at Buffalo||Buffalo, NY||Jan 06, 2016||$113,950|
|Principal Investigator||The California Institute for Biomedical Research||San Diego, CA||May 04, 2015||$110,000|
|Principal Investigator||The California Institute for Biomedical Research||San Diego, CA||Sep 21, 2015||$110,000|
|Principal Investigator III||Northstar Technology Corporation||Silver Spring, MD||Dec 12, 2012||$108,524|
|Principal Investigator III||Northstar Technology Corp||Silver Spring, MD||Dec 12, 2012||$108,524|
|Principal Investigator||The Research Foundation of State University of New||Albany, NY||Jun 01, 2012||$108,333|
|Principal Investigator (Biochemist)||Millipore Corporation||Saint Charles, MO||Sep 10, 2010||$100,464|
|Physicist/Principal Investigator||Idesta Quantum Electronics, LLC||Newton, NJ||Aug 01, 2012||$100,000|
|Principal Investigator||Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute of Florida Corp||Port Saint Lucie, FL||Jun 15, 2012||$100,000|
|Principal Investigator (Aerospace Engineer)||Delta Group International LLC||MD||Jun 01, 2011||$93,915|
|Principal Investigator (Astronomer)||Seti Institute||Fieldbrook, CA||Jan 03, 2011||$92,120|
|Principal Investigator||The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Ho||Columbus, OH||Feb 01, 2012||$90,000|
|Principal Investigator||The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital||Columbus, OH||Jan 07, 2016||$90,000|
|Principal Investigator||The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Ho||Columbus, OH||Jul 21, 2013||$87,504|
|Friction Stir Principal Investigator and Lead Engi||Aeroprobe Corporation||Blacksburg, VA||Sep 26, 2012||$75,000|
|Principal Investigator I||Transportation Technology Center, Inc.||Pueblo, CO||Sep 13, 2013||$74,630 -
|Principal Investigator I||Transportation Technology Center, Inc.||Pueblo, CO||Dec 16, 2011||$74,586 -
|Principal Investigator||The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Ho||Columbus, OH||Jul 21, 2012||$74,241|
|Principal Investigator I||Transportation Technology Center, Inc.||Pueblo, CO||Sep 13, 2016||$74,000 -
|Child Survival Researcher/Principal Investigator||Population Services International||Washington, DC||Nov 30, 2010||$72,000|
|Principal Investigator||The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Ho||Columbus, OH||Dec 01, 2009||$71,000|
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