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Junior High Principal: Job Duties & Requirements

Junior high principals set the academic tone for a school, maintain high standards, and enforce national educational guidelines as required by law. They are also responsible for addressing a variety of problems and tackling funding issues. Read further to learn more about the requirements and benefits of this profession.

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Career Definition for Junior High Principals

Junior high principals face a broad scope of duties that have resulted from state and national testing mandates, budget cuts, and a decentralization of authority that allows individual schools to make their own decisions. The primary responsibility of a junior high principal is to maintain high academic standards and ensure adherence to national educational guidelines, which have legal and budgetary implications if not met. Principals work to attract the most skilled teachers, collaborate to develop curricula, deal with disciplinary issues, address and mediate conflicts between students, teachers, parents, and administration, and manage budgets, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.org).

Education Graduate degree in education administration or a related field
Job Duties Attract teachers, develop curricula, address disciplinary issues
Median Salary (2015) $90,410 (all elementary, middle, and high school principals)
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6% (all elementary, middle, and high school principals)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most junior high principals begin their careers as teachers, which provides practical insight for those seeking to work in administration. Junior high principals must have a graduate degree in education administration or a related field, in addition to meeting the basic requirements for a teacher. Most states also require licensure in education administration, according to the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, www.ncate.org.

Skills Required

Education administration can be difficult and frustrating. Those aspiring to be a junior high principal must show a commitment to improving the educational system through leadership, determination, and innovation. They must have superb interpersonal skills demonstrated by an ability to make sound judgments, motivate both students and teachers, and resolve disputes. They must also have an understanding of junior high students, who can be difficult and unpredictable as they struggle to mature.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the BLS, job opportunities for elementary, middle, and high school principals in general should grow at an average rate compared to other occupations with a 6% rise in employment from 2014-2024. The BLS reported that the median annual salary earned by elementary and secondary school education administrators, including junior high principals, was $90,410 in May 2015.

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options in this field include:

Postsecondary Education Administrator

Normally requiring at least a master's degree, administrators who oversee various areas of colleges and universities often have previous experience in the field. An annual median wage of $88,580 was earned in 2015 by these administrators, according to the BLS. From 2014-2024, faster-than-average employment growth of 9% was expected in this profession by the BLS.

School and Career Counselor

Fast as average employment growth of 8% was forecasted by the BLS for this profession during the 2014-2024 decade. With a master's degree in school counseling or a similar field, these counselors assist students in developing social skills and help individuals make career choices for their futures. In 2015, the BLS reported a median salary of $53,660 per year for school and career counselors.

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