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How to Become a High School Principal by Gaining Required Qualifications

how to become a high school principal by gaining required qualifications

Do you know how to become a high school principal? An education leader has a very responsible management position and will require you to have the right educational background and skills needed to perform an excellent job.

It will take years of study to become a principal, but it is worth the while. If you want to become a high school principal, you must set your goals early and get trained in education management. Proper training and networking will help you make the right connections throughout your career.

New high school principals need to develop solid educational leadership skills to ensure they benefit the school community.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), principals are in charge of setting and implementing policies and procedures. The school leader will need to supervise the teaching staff and subordinate staff, develop academics and extra-curricular activities. Head principals play a role in maintaining relationships between students, parents, and teachers. These activities, when done effectively, bring success to the school.

To become a high school principal, you must possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Strong skills will help you work well with others and effectively manage your staff, a critical component in this field. Different states have different education requirements to become a principal.

First, you need to study for a bachelors’ degree from a well-known university. Having some teaching experience would be helpful before becoming an administrator. Most school principals started in education as teachers and worked their way up into the position.

To move into the high school principal’s role, you will need to advance the level of your education with a master’s degree, preferably in administration or secondary school management. After this, you may serve as the assistant school principal before a job opportunity presents itself to sharpen your leadership skills. In the meantime, ask around for school principal job vacancies. If your finances and time allow you, pursue a P.H.D or an M.B.A. This will significantly improve your chances of getting that position.

A profession in education requires certification and licensing. Principals are not an exception, and they must be certified appropriately according to their state’s requirements. However, a master’s degree, some teaching experience, and an internship mastery test are common nationwide requirements. These requirements don’t necessarily apply to all private schools; many don’t follow the state licensing and certification guidelines for high school principals.

Continuing studies are essential for aspiring school principals; they have responsibility for implementing programs that will run the school. To be possible, you will need to update your leadership skills with the latest education courses and information. A major requirement in many states is the number of hours that have been put in to maintain your administration license. Even though there is no minimum requirement, you must continuously be informed because education trends are continually changing.

It is interesting to note that being a principal is the least desired job for many teachers. According to BLS statistics, there is a substantial increase in the number of duties and responsibilities that school principals deal with, along with additional stress. 

This will put off many teachers who might have been interested in the position. So it is crucial for aspiring school principals to fully understand the degree of responsibility and workload that comes with the job. It takes a particular type of person to become a principal, but those with the necessary qualifications and qualities will find it an enriching career.

For an additional resource for aspiring high school principals, check out our eBook: Principal’s Interview Edge, which will help you through your job search and give you the tools necessary to ace your educational leadership job interviews.