How to Become a High School Principal in Florida

Becoming a school principal requires you to earn your master's degree in educational leadership. While you will complete all three subtests of the FELE, on-the-job experience will also be judged to determine your readiness as an administrator.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2026, the employment of principals K-12 should go up by eight percent across the nation. Below, we'll look at the steps that are required to become a Florida state high school principal.

Requirements for Florida Secondary School Principals

Average Salary for Education Administrators in Florida (2016)* $93,440 (elementary and secondary school)
Required Degree Master of Education
Required Field Educational leadership
Testing Requirements Florida Educational Leadership Examination

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Step 1: Enroll in a Degree Program

If you want to become a high school principal in Florida, you'll need the proper skills and education. The best option for this is a Master of Education in Educational Leadership program. Some colleges do offer doctoral degrees for leaders and post-graduate certificates. In either case, you must complete a Florida Department of Education (DOE)-approved program that focuses on the ten core education leadership skills. Courses may include educational research methods, administrative processes, learning and assessment, educational governance, and instructional leadership.

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Step 2: Pass the FELE

Prior to completing the master's program, students are required to pass the Florida Educational Leadership Examination (FELE), which qualifies them for the Florida Educational Leadership Certification.

Covering 13 core domains, the FELE is made up of the three subtests. These subtest areas are leadership for student learning, organizational leadership, and systems leadership. Aspiring principals must complete all three of these subtests to pass the FELE and become certified as an educational leader. The first two each have 70 multiple-choice questions and are two hours long. The final subtest, the systems leadership test, is 2.5 hours long and is made up of two parts: 55 multiple-choice questions and a written performance assessment.

Step 3: Complete an Internship

Students will also complete internships to get hands-on experience in administrative roles in a school setting. During the internships, students will be observed and assessed based on the Florida Principal Leadership Standards.

Principal Certification Resources

Should you want to become a high school principal, you'll need to study for the FELE. The following links can help you to study educational leadership and what it means to be a high school administrator.

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