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School Administrator Training

Most schools require elementary, middle, and high school principals to have a masterís degree in education administration or leadership. Most principals also have experience as teachers.

In public schools, principals often must have a masterís degree in education leadership or education administration. These programs prepare future principals to lead teachers and other instructional staff, prepare and manage budgets, set goals and carry out plans to meet them, and work with parents and the community.

Education leadership or administration programs require candidates to have a bachelorís degree in training, school counseling, or a related field to enter the program.

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Principals often gain experience in education by working as a teacher before entering a masterís program or applying for a job as a school principal.

Most states require public school principals to be licensed as school administrators. Licensure requirements vary from state to state, but most require a masterís degree or some other training. Some require candidates to pass a test and take continuing education classes to keep their license. Working with a mentor may be required, as well. Some states have alternative programs for job candidates who do not have a degree in education administration or leadership but have experience in another field.

Principals in private schools do not have to be licensed as school administrators.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

for State specific information, visit  Job Outlook by State

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Special Features:

Special Districts in the USA

School Districts in the USA


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