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CAREER GUIDE Endorsement Preparation Program, Educational Leadership

WGU degree programs correspond with careers that promise continued growth. WGU creates career growth.

Career guide: educational leadership.

Every great school needs strong leadership. Have you ever considered taking your teaching credentials and marching them into the principal’s office? With education such a critically important function of our society, it’s imperative for tomorrow’s principals, vice principals, and associate principals to have sharp skills relevant to the demands and expectations of today’s schools, parents and communities. Sound like anybody you know?

In many states, it’s possible to elevate your teaching career to a position of educational leadership by completing an endorsement preparation program from an accredited teaching college. If you’re a licensed teacher with a master’s degree, such a program can help you become a highly effective, instruction-based, certified principal. A top-rated program will challenge you to perform a series of tasks that take place under the leadership of a practicing school principal or assistant principal at an elementary or secondary school in your area. Then you’ll be on your way!

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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WGU is the top choice for busy, budget-minded adults who need a degree in order to reach their career goals.

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Career opportunities.

If you’re an experienced teacher committed to school improvement and academic achievement for America’s youth, it may be time to step up to a position of educational leadership. Continuing your education and refining your knowledge and skills can help you prepare for an important role in elementary and secondary schools across the United States.

Positions in the field.

  • Principal
  • Vice principal
  • Associate principal
  • Instructional coordinator
  • Postsecondary education administrator
  • Preschool and childcare center director
“Success for me was achieving my dream of furthering my education and knowing I was able to balance work, family, and school to accomplish my goal. It is rewarding to apply what I learned at WGU in my job every day.” Tracy Tanwar
M.S. Curriculum & Instruction

Job market forecast.

Demand for elementary, middle, and high school principals is expected to grow by about 6% over the next few years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also declares that job prospects will be best for candidates who have a master’s degree and teaching experience. Other factors that can directly affect the marketplace for educational leadership positions are state and local budgets.

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

Principals play critically important roles in the schools where they work. Aside from setting the tone for the entire school, they make important faculty and staffing decisions, shape their schools’ curriculums, and manage budgets. To qualify for a position of educational leadership, you’ll need sharp administrative and communication skills. You’ll meet frequently with parents and students, make tough decisions, administer discipline, and make appearances at school functions. It’s a high-profile job that’s both demanding and rewarding.

Job search resources.

Skilled principals with certified credentials are always in demand in American schools. Check out some of the current opportunities.

Salary stats.

High-paying jobs come with lots of responsibility, and a school principal’s salary is no exception. According to the BLS, the median annual wage for elementary, middle, and high school principals was $92,510 in May 2016, with the top 10% earning more than $135,770. Many current teachers aspire to roles of leadership in their schools, and the potential salary increase is certainly a motivating factor. It’ll more than likely take a master’s degree and some specialized training, but it can be well worth the effort once all your credentials are in order.

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


Not every teacher has what it takes to become an educational leader, but if you have sharply honed skills in organization, evaluation, and management, you can make a positive difference in an elementary or secondary school seeking a forward-thinking principal, vice principal or assistant principal. It’s a position of responsibility and challenge, but it comes with the benefits of a higher salary, the respect of your peers, and the satisfaction of knowing your leadership can have a positive impact on the future of American youth.

Ready for a trip to the principal’s office? Earn an industry-current endorsement in education leadership, and get ready to elevate your teaching career!

Next Start Date

Aug 1

Start the 1st of any month — as soon as you complete enrollment!


Your career’s next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your career in educational leadership? The next step could be earning your Endorsement Preparation Program Education Leadership. Accredited, competency-based WGU offers this degree online for at a surprisingly affordable flat-rate tuition. Flexible enough for a working adult’s schedule with the option to accelerate, your degree may be closer than you think!