How Long Does It Take To Become A Principal?

In this article we will discuss about how long it usually takes to become a principle when you follow the steps describes.

Updated by Rakshitha N on 16th June 2020

Education industry is evergreen where learning is never complete. The responsibilities of running the institution complex under the supervision of a principal. The tasks include planning the curriculum, monitoring the operation and performance of students, staff, workers and teachers. 

To become a principal, there are several simple steps you must follow and gain the general and core skills to handle the functions. To run a large institution, a strong candidate with leadership skills with a right aim to build the student’s future is necessary,  typically these skills and academic excellence is earned by meeting the necessary requirements to become qualified principal and land on this high position of running the school. Among your several questions, we will discuss how many years you must invest in becoming a principal. 

How many years does it take to become a principal?

To become a principal, it usually takes about 6 years or more where you require a bachelor's degree, plus a few years of experience and then a graduate degree. With a bachelor’s degree, you are more suited to become a teacher where as the experience, licensure and graduate degree shapes you to become a leader. Taking a closer look at the overall time distributed in the career path is, 

  • Bachelor’s degree- 4 degree : This is the initial step towards becoming a principal which offers 120 credits to learn the classroom management, presentation skills, leadership skills, literacy and various teaching methods to engage the class successfully.

  • Master’s degree- 2 years :  This advanced degree offers 33-36 credits which offers knowledge on specialised concepts you wish to go forward in. The coursework includes advanced educational psychology, foundation of reading and writing to enhance your educational leadership.

  • Experience- 1-5 years : Gaining experience in the field is valuable which improves your teaching and engages the classroom better. It also gives you the eligibility to obtain the school administrator license which is necessary to become a principal. 


As you work as a teacher, you will know the importance of being a principal. Working hard towards becoming a principal and leading the necessary degree is what is required. One best way is to graduate with an online master’s degree in education which helps you gain experience simultaneously. Hence a few years of experience over the period,certification and some additional skills is what will help you acquire higher earning potentials and settle at a high paying job.