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Become A School Director

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Working As A School Director

  • 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

  • $107,150

    Average Salary

What Does A School Director 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 A School Director

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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School Director jobs

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Average Length of Employment
School Director 4.0 years
Director 3.7 years
School Principal 3.6 years
Center Director 3.5 years
Education Director 3.3 years
Campus Director 2.8 years
Co-Director 2.7 years
School Supervisor 2.6 years
Site Director 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Teacher 21.1%
Director 7.6%
Internship 5.7%
Principal 4.9%
Instructor 4.5%
Volunteer 3.4%
President 3.2%
Top Employers After
Teacher 11.4%
Director 10.3%
Principal 5.5%
Instructor 4.6%
President 3.6%
Internship 3.6%
Volunteer 3.5%

School Director Demographics

Gender

Female

62.1%

Male

35.4%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

80.0%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Asian

7.1%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.8%

French

8.8%

Japanese

6.1%

Italian

4.1%

German

3.4%

Korean

3.4%

Portuguese

2.7%

Chinese

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Mandarin

1.4%

Czech

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Hebrew

1.4%

Dutch

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Amharic

0.7%

Urdu

0.7%

Dari

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%

Polish

0.7%
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School Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

16.9%

Liberty University

12.4%

Walden University

8.4%

Grand Canyon University

6.7%

Capella University

5.8%

Nova Southeastern University

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.0%

University of Houston

3.6%

Boston University

3.6%

Florida Atlantic University

3.6%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.1%

University of California - Berkeley

3.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.1%

George Washington University

3.1%

Illinois State University

3.1%

Troy University

3.1%

University of Connecticut

3.1%

University of Denver

3.1%

Northeastern University

3.1%

New York University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

15.6%

Education

12.6%

Educational Leadership

11.0%

Elementary Education

8.7%

Psychology

6.2%

Early Childhood Education

5.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

4.2%

Management

4.0%

School Counseling

3.2%

Theology

3.1%

Special Education

3.1%

Communication

2.9%

Curriculum And Instruction

2.8%

Social Work

2.7%

English

2.7%

Criminal Justice

2.7%

Human Development

2.6%

Music

2.4%

Kinesiology

2.3%

Accounting

2.3%
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Degrees

Masters

32.8%

Bachelors

32.6%

Other

17.4%

Doctorate

6.1%

Certificate

5.4%

Associate

4.8%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real School Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director of School Service International Baccalaureate Organization Bethesda, MD Jun 01, 2015 $143,500
Lower School Director The Latin School of Chicago Chicago, IL Aug 14, 2013 $140,000
School of Architecture, Graduate Director Stephens Institute, DBA Academy of Art University San Francisco, CA Nov 17, 2015 $130,000
School of Architecture, Graduate Director Stephens Institute, DBA Academy of Art University San Francisco, CA Jul 22, 2016 $127,858
Director of Secondary School La Fondation Du Lycee Francais International de Wa Bethesda, MD Oct 01, 2011 $119,000 -
$129,000
School Director Magnolia Educational & Research Foundation Costa Mesa, CA Sep 12, 2011 $109,803
Director of The Secondary School Lycee Francais de Chicago, Inc. Chicago, IL Oct 01, 2011 $99,000
Secondary School Director/Assistant Head of Scho Lycee Francais de Chicago, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 23, 2010 $94,000 -
$98,000
School Director Magnolia Public Schools San Diego, CA Aug 03, 2012 $88,320
Golf School Director Greenville Golf Academy and School Greenville, AL Nov 01, 2009 $86,000
Golf School Director Greenville Golf Academy and School Greenville, AL Dec 01, 2009 $86,000
School Director Magnolia Educational and Research Foundation Carson, CA Jun 22, 2011 $82,510
Director, Secondary School La Fondation Du Lycee Francais International de Wa Bethesda, MD Aug 02, 2010 $80,000
Primary School Director Lycee Francais de Chicago, Inc. Chicago, IL Aug 02, 2010 $78,000
Primary School Director Lycee Francais de Chicago, Inc. Chicago, IL Mar 10, 2011 $78,000
School Director Pioneer Charter School of Science II Everett, MA Aug 19, 2013 $74,560
School Director Metropolitan Learning Institute Jersey City, NJ Jan 14, 2011 $72,000
School Director Spectrum Center Schools and Programs Pacifica, CA Mar 31, 2014 $71,751 -
$83,480
Nursery School Director Spanish House Nursery School, LLC Dallas, TX Sep 17, 2016 $65,395
Dance School Director Jiguang LLC Marietta, GA Sep 17, 2016 $62,610
Dance School Director Jiguang LLC Marietta, GA Sep 05, 2015 $62,610
School Director Dance New Amsterdam, Inc. New York, NY Feb 08, 2010 $60,000
School Director Dance New Amsterdam, Inc. New York, NY Feb 08, 2011 $60,000
Director of K-12 School Partnerships/Special Proje Ottawa University Phoenix, AZ Jun 01, 2012 $56,650
Dance School Director Jiguang LLC Marietta, GA Sep 09, 2016 $55,159
School Director Dance New Amsterdam New York, NY Dec 08, 2010 $55,000
School Director Metropolitan Learning Institute, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Jan 22, 2010 $55,000
Dance School Director Jiguang LLC Marietta, GA Sep 09, 2014 $52,196
School Director Guadalupe Montessori School, Inc. Silver City, NM Jun 20, 2014 $45,000

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Top Skills for A School Director

CurriculumDevelopmentFinancialAidPayrollSuperviseChildCareInstructorsSafeEnvironmentProfessionalDevelopmentStaffMembersDailyOperationsBiblePre-KPolicyCustomerServiceLessonPlansMonthlyStaffMeetingsSpecialEventsMinistryHumanResourcesKindergarten

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Top School Director Skills

  1. Curriculum Development
  2. Financial Aid
  3. Payroll
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Stretched curriculum development function in all academic subjects to boost the quality of education.
  • Audited student enrollment and financial aid paperwork.
  • Administer program budgets and payroll to maintain fiscal responsibility.
  • Supervised 30 teachers, district supervisors, senior counselors, counselors, and medical personnel.
  • Keep a log and receipt book for all child care payments and balances.

Top School Director Employers

School Director Videos

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Day in the life of a principal

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