How do I Become an Assistant Principal?

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  • Written By: Jill Gonzalez
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 13 February 2019
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To become an assistant principal in the United States, it is necessary to meet a wide variety of criteria that is generally specific to the area that you live in. For the most part, people who want to become an assistant principal need to have at least a master's degree in education. Even though the specific requirements for obtaining this type of job will vary, depending on what state you live in, there are some basic requirements that are generally the same.

First of all, if you want to become an assistant principal, you need to find out what the particular requirements are in the state in which you want to work. This will provide you with an excellent starting point for obtaining a job. Once you have determined the steps that you need to take, you will be ready to look for schools that offer the educational program that will benefit you the most.

In addition to having at least a master's degree, many school systems also require applicants to have at least three years of teaching experience. There are some, however, that require quite a bit more. The most competitive candidates will also hold at least one certification in a field that is appropriate for such a leadership position.


Individuals who are currently in college need to take electives that will be beneficial in an assistant principal position. Some of the most important electives to focus on include education and training, personnel and human resources, and management and general administration. It is also important to take extra courses in English, psychology, and public safety, in order to be as prepared as possible for future working environments. Some school systems may require potential candidates to have an educational background in sociology, economics, or communications and media.

Anyone who wants to become an assistant principal needs to possess exceptional communication skills, orally and in writing. In order to be truly effective at this job, it is critical that candidates be able to speak and listen to other people in a reasonable, considerate manner. Assistant principals are often responsible for conducting the training of new staff members, in addition to having regular communication with parents, students, and school officials.

People who hold these positions are usually quite good at managing their time, and they generally excel when it comes to working with other people. Regular social interaction is a staple of many assistant principal positions, so potential candidates should be prepared for frequent interaction with a variety of different kinds of people. For this reason, having a background in psychology is often very beneficial for people who choose this particular career path.



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