Elementary Principal Certification and Certificate Programs

Apr 24, 2020

Essential Information

Certificate programs are typically offered to educators who already hold a master's degree or are currently pursuing a master's degree. Students in these programs learn about education-related business topics designed to serve as the foundations of being a successful principal.

Graduate Certificate in Education Administration

The curriculum covers a broad range of topics preparing individuals for leadership positions within schools. Graduates have the skills to manage operations as well as providing direction for teachers and staff. The topics covered might include:

  • School law
  • Organizational leadership
  • Program assessment and evaluation
  • Curriculum design
  • Human resources
  • Facilities management
  • Budget and finance
  • Technology in education
  • Current issues in education
  • Elementary school systems

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 4% job growth for elementary, middle, and high school principals during the 2018-2028 decade ( The median salary for these professionals was $96,400 in 2019 according to the BLS.

Licensing, Certification and Continuing Education

Elementary school principals must obtain a state license. Continuing education courses are required by many states in order to maintain licensure. Professional organizations, such as the National Association of Elementary School Principals, provide opportunities for continued learning and career development. As of 2010, there was no national certification program for elementary principals. However, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has announced plans to develop a board certification for principals.

Graduate certification programs for education administration prepare individuals with the knowledge and skills to become successful licensed elementary principals.

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