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What does a Principal do?

Learn all about Principal duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Principal.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A principal is the head of a school.

Principal job duties include:

  • Overseeing the daily operations of the school
  • Developing and implementing educational policies
  • Planning and coordinating academic and extracurricular activities
  • Supervising and evaluating teachers and other staff members
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of curriculum
  • Managing budgets and other financial resources
  • Building and maintaining relationships with parents, students, and community members
  • Advocating for the needs of the school and its students
  • Investigating and resolving complaints or concerns

1. Overseeing the daily operations of the school

2. Developing and implementing educational policies

3. Planning and coordinating academic and extracurricular activities

4. Supervising and evaluating teachers and other staff members

5. Overseeing the development and implementation of curriculum

6. Managing budgets and other financial resources

7. Building and maintaining relationships with parents, students, community members

8. Advocating for the needs of the school and its students

9. Investigating and resolving complaints or concerns

Principal Job Requirements

A principal is the head administrator of a school. In the United States, a principal is usually in charge of an elementary, middle, or high school. To be a principal, one must have at least a master's degree in education or a related field. Many states also require principals to have a license or certification. Principals typically have several years of experience working in education as teachers or administrators.

Principal Skills

  • Communication
  • Organizational
  • Planning
  • Budgeting
  • Staff Development
  • Curriculum Development
  • Evaluation
  • Instruction
  • Student Discipline
  • Community Relations
  • Public Relations

Related: Top Principal Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Principal

There is no one formula for becoming a school principal. The best way to become a principal is to first understand what the job entails and what skills are necessary to be successful in the role. Then, gain as much experience as possible in leadership roles, whether that means working as a teacher leader, assistant principal, or even in another capacity outside of education. Once you have the necessary experience, it is important to network with other principals and build relationships with those in positions of influence. Finally, stay current on educational research and trends so that you can be the best possible advocate for your students and staff.

Related: Principal Resume Example

Related: Principal Interview Questions (With Example Answers)