What is the Best Degree To Get To Become a School Principal?

School PrincipalWorking as a school principal means that you’ll spend much of your day performing administrative tasks, talking to teachers and sitting at a desk, and many interested in these positions want to know the best degree to become a school principal. Whether you want to work at the elementary, middle or high school level, you need at least two degrees. Most principals also have some experience teaching, a license to teach and strong leadership skills.

Minimum Degree Required

The minimum degree required for school principals is a master’s degree. Education administration is one of the more popular degree paths for future principals. These programs focus more on how schools create a budget, gain additional income, pay teachers and apply for funding. You’ll also learn more about the specific tests that students take at different age levels that are mandated by either the state or federal government. Education leadership is another master’s level program that will prepare you for working as a principal. These programs focus more on how to lead teachers and students, how to work with groups of different sizes and how to highlight the authority that you have in the school.

Obtaining a License

While the best degree to become a school principal is a degree in education leadership or education administration, you might find that you need a license as well. The requirements for obtaining a license vary from state to state. Many states ask that principals successfully pass a licensing examination and take the test again every few years to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and competency. Other states require that recent graduates work with a mentor and gain some more experience before working as principals.

School Principal Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, school principals make a median salary of $87,760 a year. Those working for private schools often make more than those working for public schools do. The BLS also points out that the outlook for school principals is poor. The elementary, middle and high school principals job market will grow at a rate of six percent, which is slower than other industries. Despite growing at such a slow rate, the field will still see an increase of more than 13,000 jobs between 2012 and 2022.

Other Requirements for Principals

Once you know the best degree to become a school principal, you might think that you know everything you need to know. Obtaining a degree and passing your license are just two of the steps that you need to take. Most principal positions require some level of experience working with students. After completing your undergraduate degree, you need to obtain a license to teach in the state. You can then spend a few years teaching while working on your graduate degree or going back to school. Many public and private schools today won’t hire principals unless those applicants worked in leadership and teaching positions in the past.

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School principals do everything from hire new teachers to ensure that students are happy and satisfied with their experiences at the school. The most successful principals are those who spent a few years working as teachers, which gives them a better understanding of how schools operate. The best degree to become a school principal is a graduate degree in education leadership or education administration, but you also need a license to practice in your state and some experience.