What's the Average Salary of an Elementary School Principal?

Read more about what elementary school principals do, how to become one and commonly preferred skills and experience. You can also learn more about the career outlook and salary prospects for elementary school principals. Schools offering Principal Licensure degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Becoming an Elementary School Principal

The requirements to become an elementary school principal can vary according to the institution. You may need a master's degree or a specialized doctoral degree in elementary education administration or educational leadership. Master's degrees typically take 2-3 years to complete and culminate in a thesis, while doctoral degrees take 4-6 years to finish and culminate in a dissertation.

In graduate degrees in this field, you could learn about the history of urban education, public educational policy, qualitative research methodologies, education organization and administrative behavior. Other areas of study could include the politics of education, administration for elementary education, educational finance, pedagogical issues and decision-making in education administrations. Courses in these programs often combine pedagogical training with business and leadership training.

In addition to your education, some employers may value job applicants who have knowledge of management, customer service, security or public safety. Active listening, critical thinking, writing, speaking and reading comprehension could also be helpful skills.

Job Prospects

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employment of elementary school principals is expected to increase eight percent between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). Growth will be driven by a number of factors despite the declining overall enrollment in elementary schools. These factors include an increase in the breadth of job duties for administrators and an increasing need to monitor student performance.

Additionally, the BLS reports job prospects are expected to be very good. A large number of retirees combined with fewer applicants will likely create an abundant of job openings.

Salary Information

The BLS stated that the median annual salary for elementary school principals was $87,530 as of 2009. West Virginia, Vermont, Maine, New Jersey and Illinois were the states with the highest concentration of employment, while Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, California and New York were the highest-paying.

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