3 Things You Will Need in Order to Become a School Principal

August 6, 2021

The field of education is one that is incredibly diverse in regard to the opportunities for advancement that exist. While many people find their true calling in working as full-time teachers in the classroom for the duration of their careers, others find themselves hoping to help affect positive change at a higher level within the education system.

Such individuals might look to become school administrators or even school principals. The position of a school principal is one that involves a great deal of responsibility and the ability to wear multiple hats throughout the day.

If you aspire to become a school principal one day, there are several steps that you should be prepared to take. You will need more than just your credentials as a teacher to be qualified for the job. Furthermore, you will want to make sure that you take steps to set yourself apart from any competition for the position that you have your eye on.

With that in mind, here are three of the things that you will need in order to become a school principal.

1. The Right Level of Education

Most states and schools only require you to earn a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject to become a teacher. However, if you wish to become a school principal one day, you will need to earn a graduate degree as well.

While in most cases a master’s degree in education will suffice, you might wish to consider a PhD in education if you are hoping to really set yourself apart from the competition and be as prepared as possible for the job. 

Consider looking into Merrimack College Master's Degree in Education program to get a better understanding of what such a degree program would entail.

2. Plenty of Experience

Becoming a school principal means that you will be working as the go-between for the teachers working at your school and other members of administration and the school board. This means that you need to not only have experience as a teacher to help manage them, but you will also require administrative skills to excel in the other part of your job.

You will need to understand the needs of your teachers and help them accomplish all of their goals within the classroom. They will be turning to you for support throughout the school year in regard to various aspects of their own jobs.

This means that you will need to have plenty of experience working as a teacher yourself. Several years of teaching experience is an important piece of the puzzle when your goal is to become a school principal.

3. State Licensing

Having the right education and experience under your belt will qualify you to be able to apply for state licensing and certification as a school principal. Make sure that you know precisely what your state’s requirements are so that you can be prepared as possible for the certification and licensing process. This will include taking and passing the licensing exam as dictated by your state of residence.