What Does an Assistant Principal Do?

Many education professionals such as teachers make the leap into administration by becoming assistant principals. Read here to learn more about the position and what it entails, where assistant principals typically work and what kind of salaries they earn. Schools offering College Administration & Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What are the Duties of an Assistant Principal?

Assistant principals help school principals with general administrative tasks. These vary from district to district and even school to school, but broadly fall into the areas of planning, coordinating services and maintaining order. Planning duties might include consulting with the principal, administrating the school's mission and priorities, developing master course schedules, and implementing school programs and activities.

As an assistant principal, you must adjust class schedules; evaluate, hire and train new staffers; order textbooks, equipment and supplies; communicate with colleagues, teachers, parents and students; and supervise student transportation services. To maintain order in schools, you must monitor classrooms, evaluate teacher performance, respond to complaints about school policy, discipline students and prepare reports for juvenile court hearings. You also must meet with social workers, probation officers and parents to discuss options for chronically misbehaving or troubled students.

Where Do Professionals Work?

There are 33,740 private and 98,916 public K-12 schools operating in the U.S., as of the 2007-2008 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (nces.ed.gov). While small schools might not have positions for assistant principles, larger schools might have more than one. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of education administrators will increase eight percent from 2008-2018, primarily due to population growth (www.bls.gov).

What Could I Expect to Earn?

According to Salary.com, as of March 2011, assistant principals in the 25th-75th percentile earned $66,984-$89,790 per year. The median salary of assistant principals is going to vary slightly depending on the educational level. The elementary school median is $71,192, the middle school median is $76,053 and the high school median is $79,391, reported the BLS in May 2008.

Payscale.com shows the 2011 salary statistics by city for assistant principals in the 25th-75th percentile. Assistant principals in Miami earned $53,506-$70,524, while those in Philadelphia earned $75,881-$86,656. Additionally, assistant principles in Los Angeles earned $59,040-$94,867, and those in New York earned $70,500-$112,057.

What Education or Training Would I Need?

In order to become an assistant principal, your surest path is to accumulate teaching experience and then earn a master's degree in educational leadership or education administration. Most assistant principals transition into administrative positions after working as teachers, and most public and private schools require assistant principals to have at least a master's degree.

Master's programs in education leadership or education administration use a combination of classroom study, internships and seminars to teach you contemporary theories and current practices of school leadership in the K-12 grades. Courses engage such topics as personnel management, curriculum design, needs analysis and community relations. A master's degree is typically earned in two years.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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