About Educational Leaders
A career as a school principal can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. An educational leader can have tremendous influence on the learning environment, therefore having a profound impact on both teachers and students. Among an elementary, middle or high school principal's primary tasks are the school's educational and financial objectives. They implement the programs, schedules, curricula and budgets to attain these goals. Other duties might include: supervising all school personnel, which includes recruiting, hiring, mentoring and evaluating; creating security and emergency plans; and ensuring compliance with district, state and federal regulations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov, 2012).
Principals serve as the public face of the school, communicating with parent and community groups, school board and district officials, and student committees. Larger schools and districts have more resources for support staff, such as assistant principals, who help with school administration, safety and discipline, head student activities, help coordinate buses, and supervise building and grounds maintenance. While some principals work in public magnet and charter schools or private religious and secular schools, the majority of elementary, middle, and high school principals are employed in public and private schools.
How to Become an Educational Leader
An aspiring educational leader may be able to distinguish themselves from the competition by meeting more than the minimum education and certification requirements for an educational leader. A master's degree focuses on the knowledge and skills to lead, think strategically and to motivate teachers in reaching higher levels of achievement for their students. Education leadership or administration master's degree programs require candidates to have a bachelor's degree in education, school counseling or a related field to enter.
Working teachers may be able to transition to a career in education administration by first becoming an assistant principal, a department head or curriculum specialist. It may also help to involve yourself in school and community activities. Volunteering for committees or confidently heading a planning committee highlights a person's ability to effectively motivate others. Showing off qualifications in these areas to the right people may help to land a positive recommendation when pursuing a principal position.
Career Earnings :
Great schools require a precise kind of leadership, both at the classroom and administration levels. A good educational leader has the schooling and skills to reach goals and ensure increased student success. Nationally, the BLS (bls.gov, 2012) projects 10 percent job growth for elementary, middle school and high principals between 2010 and 2020. Median annual pay for elementary, middle, and high school principals working nationwide was $86,970 as of May 2010. Those in the lowest 10 percent made less than $58,300 annually while those in the top 10 percent earned more than $129,480 annually. Anticipated increases in school enrollment are likely to compel employment growth for principals. Nevertheless, employment growth varies by region. For more information about related programs, please click on one of the schools below. Someone should be contacting you to answer the questions you may have.
- Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School, O*NET OnLine (2012), http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/11-9032.00
- Elementary, Middle and High School Principals, Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-2013 Edition), http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/elementary-middle-and-high-school-principals.htm#tab-5