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School Administrator Employment and Working Conditions

Elementary, middle, and high school principals held about 236,100 jobs in 2010.

Elementary, middle, and high school principals are employed in public and private schools. Some work in public magnet and charter schools. Others work in private religious and secular schools.

Elementary, middle, and high school principals hold leadership positions with significant responsibility. Most find working with students extremely rewarding. Coordinating and interacting with faculty, parents, students, community members, and state and local policymakers can be fast paced and stimulating, but demanding. Principals are held accountable for their schools meeting state and federal guidelines for student performance and teacher qualifications, which can be stressful.

Generally, principals work full time. However, they also sometimes work in the evening to meet parents and other members of the community and to attend school functions, such as concerts and athletic events.

Many principals work year-round and do not have summers off, even if students are not in school. During the summer, principals prepare for the upcoming school year.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition

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