What Education Is Needed to Become an Elementary School Principal?

A graduate-level degree is required in most cases to become an elementary school principal. Popular degree choices include a Master of Education in Administration or a Master of Educational Leadership. Read the following article to learn more about the education needed to become an elementary school principal. Schools offering Principal Licensure degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Required Education

Most states require elementary school principals to have a graduate degree in order to obtain a principal license. Other licensing requirements might include obtaining teacher certification, completing a minimum number of years of experience, and passing a licensing exam. Graduate degree programs, such as a Master of Education in Administration or a Master of Educational Leadership, provide the business and leadership skills needed to work in an administrative capacity.

Important Facts About Elementary School Principals

Median Salary (2014)$89,540 (for elementary and secondary school principals)*
Job Outlook (2014-2024)6% (for elementary, middle, and high school principals)*
Work Environment Public and private schools
Similar Occupations Teacher, school counselor, instructional coordinator, childcare center director

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Master of Education in Administration

One option for elementary school principals is a Master of Education in Administration program. These programs usually require between 30 and 40 semester hours of coursework and cover the basic skills needed to pass a principal licensing exam and function as a school administrator. Coursework might include current issues in education, educational philosophies, school law, professional development, and designing curricula for elementary schools.

Master of Educational Leadership

Master of Educational Leadership programs are becoming increasingly available. These programs are similar to administration programs. However, they often focus on reform techniques and school policies in order to produce innovative ideas for elementary schools. Programs generally require 30 to 40 semester hours to complete. Research and technology as they relate to education are covered, along with school law, leadership skills, and curriculum development.

Principal Certificate

Some schools offer principal certificate programs. These programs are often designed for students who pursue a graduate degree in another area but wish to apply for a principal license. Some principal certificate programs are offered alongside Master of Education programs. Students are prepared to take the licensing exam in the state where the program is taught. School law, leadership skills, business administration, and elementary school curriculum are covered.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Concordia University Portland:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

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