What Training Do I Need to Be a Principal?
Explore the curricula of degree programs for aspiring principals, and find out if online learning options are available. Learn more about the responsibilities of principals.
Get Your Degree
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), aspiring school principals often gain necessary job training through master's programs in educational leadership or education administration. The BLS notes that while most schools prefer to hire principals with a master's degree, some principals have a doctorate in education administration. Principals who work in public schools may need to be state-licensed; common licensure requirements include a master's degree and completion of an exam.
To earn a master's degree in education administration or educational leadership, you must have a bachelor's degree, preferably in education. Additional prerequisites may include at least one year of professional teaching experience as well as a teaching license.
|Prerequisites||Bachelor's degree in education (preferable field); teaching license; one year of teaching experience|
|Common Courses||Classroom technology, leadership, supervising and evaluating teachers, budgeting, community relations|
|Online Availability||Fully and partially online programs are available|
|Job Duties||Parent meetings, ensuring school education standards, assessing building repairs, addressing budget concerns, planning workshops|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$95,310 (for elementary, middle, and high school principals)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||8% (for elementary, middle, and high school principals)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Topics Will I Study?
Through a master's program, you may study methods for planning a budget and making operational decisions. Other topics pertain to supervising and evaluating teachers as well as administrative staff members. Some courses cover school ethics and train you to evaluate and implement new policies for teachers and students alike. Additional courses may cover topics like leadership development, technology in the classroom and community relations. You may need to complete an internship or field experience in order to receive your degree.
Enroll in an Online Program
Some schools offer two-year master's degree programs in educational leadership and education administration that include a combination of online and hybrid courses. Some programs are available entirely online and have neither residency nor internship requirements; other online programs may have summer residency requirements. In a distance learning program, you'll watch streaming or pre-recorded video lectures, complete assignments and interact with classmates as well as professors online.
Typical Job Duties for Principals
According to the BLS, principals make sure their school meets local, state and federal standards of education. Additional job duties for principals may include meeting with parents, planning teacher workshops, assessing building repairs and addressing budgetary concerns. According to the BLS, principals earned a median annual salary of $95,310 as of May 2018.