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Vice Principal Job Description & Career Outlook

An assistant educational administrator is known as a vice principal. The primary responsibility of an assistant or vice principal is to help the school’s principal with their daily administration duties. A vice principal may be the only employee in that capacity or may be one of several, depending on the size of the school. Because their job entails a range of duties, assistant principals must possess excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills.

Vice Principal Requirements and Common Tasks

How to become a vice principal in a public school involves obtaining a master’s degree in education or a related specialty. Many vice principals start out in a teaching capacity and then advance through the ranks. In a private school setting, education and experience may combine to lessen the need for a master’s degree, but frequently, at least a bachelor’s degree is required. Some vice principals spend their career in this role; others use the assistant position as a learning experience for a time before advancing to the role of principal. The ideal vice principal candidate shows a desire and capacity to work with children, some of whom are difficult to deal with. A candidate should display leadership qualities, determination, confidence and decision-making abilities in order to rise to a vice principal position. The job of vice principal is a rewarding career choice, but it is also stressful and involves numerous day-to-day routine tasks. In their assistant capacity, vice principals typically handle class scheduling and order necessary supplies, including textbooks. Many handle student attendance and discipline problems as well as coordinate the school’s support services, and social/recreational programs. A 40+ hour work week is common, as vice principals act as mentors and counselors to students, and deal with parental interviews.

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Vice Principal Salary and Job Outlook

In 2007-2008, the average salary for assistant educational administrators, or vice principals, at the secondary level was $79,391; in a middle school setting, they earned an average of $76,053, and at the elementary school level, $71,192. Through 2018, educational administration jobs should grow by eight percent, which is consistent with other job growth patterns. Fewer vice principal positions will be available over that period, due to lower student enrollment at the middle and secondary levels. Because of higher population growth in the South and West, more employment opportunities will be found in those areas. Employment in urban and rural areas will offer higher pay, which is also affected by combined experience and training.

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