What Are the Duties of a Principal at a Private School?

Research what it takes to become a private school principal. Learn about education requirements, job duties, average wages and job outlook to find out if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Principal Licensure degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What is a Private School Principal?

Like a public school principal, a private school principal is responsible for the academic performance, administration and public image of their school. They generally oversee all staff and teachers, plan the academic calendar for the year, represent the school when necessary within the community or to the media, and deal with disciplinary issues. Depending on the size of the private school, the principal's duties may differ. Consider the information in the following table to determine if a career as a private school principal is right for you.

Degree Required Master's degree in education administration or leadership*
Key Responsibilities Confer with teachers about curriculum, mission, policies and goals; meet with parents and community members; issue press releases and advertising; hire and fire staff; arrange for maintenance; manage school activities and staff; counsel and discipline students; assess and prepare reports on test scores; manage the school's budget
Licensure Required Required by most states
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% for all elementary, middle and high school principals*
Average Salary (2015) $92,940 for all education administrators in elementary and secondary schools*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Where Could I Work?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 240,000 individuals were employed as elementary, middle and high school principals both in the public and private systems in 2014. Though the BLS doesn't offer specific projections for private school principals the agency does foresee six percent growth in employment of elementary, middle and high school principals in general over the years of 2014-2024.

What Training is Preferred or Required?

Degrees programs in education leadership or education administration are the most relevant to the position and are widely available at the master's and doctoral degree level. Master's degree programs are typically completed in two years. Doctoral degree programs may be completed in 4-5 years. Most private schools specify requirements of at least a master's degree in education to become a school principal. Many also request prior administrative experience.

Educational leadership or administration programs have multiple objectives. They aim to develop your interpersonal communication and business management capabilities, impart knowledge of effective education strategies, make you more adept at advocacy and allow you to develop your own approach to leadership. Educational initiatives, school reform and strategic planning are among the other topics they might address. Some master's degree programs include an administrative internship. Doctoral programs require you to research and write a dissertation.

What Could I Earn?

As of May 2015, the BLS estimated that elementary and secondary school principals earned an average salary of $92,940 (www.bls.gov). The BLS doesn't distinguish between public school and private school salaries, but private school salaries tend to be lower.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

There are a number of other education-related careers you may be interested in that also require a master's degree. For example, you could pursue a career as a school and career counselor if you wished to work with students one-on-one and help them solve problems and plan for the future. You also may be interested in teaching, which you could do at the elementary, secondary or post-secondary level with a master's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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