Head teachers, also known as school principals or administrators, are responsible for leading and managing the daily operations of educational institutions. These professionals develop academic goals, policies and guidelines for their respective schools. They also supervise teachers, coaches, counselors and other school personnel.
Head teachers often design education programs, track student achievement and support teacher development. They may also oversee parent and community relations as well as student and employee recruitment. Head teachers can work in a range of workplace settings such as:
Head teachers should have expertise in the scholastic and non-academic issues affecting students and education professionals. Interpersonal, communication and management skills are also required in this profession.
Most head teacher positions at the elementary, middle and high school levels require at least a bachelor’s degree in education from an accredited online or on-site college or university. A majority of head teachers also have a master’s degree in a related field such as education administration. In addition to earning advanced degrees, many principals and school administrators have years of hands-on teaching experience.
Professionals seeking leadership roles at preschools or day care centers may also need an advanced degree in education, depending on the specific institution. For example, a private child care facility may hire a head teacher with just a bachelor’s degree, while a public preschool may be required by the state to employ administrators with post-secondary credentials.
The salary for a head teacher often depends on workplace specifics such as enrollment figures, funding and location. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a child care center or preschool administrator in May 2008 was $39,940. Salaries for elementary and secondary school administrators averaged between $68,360 and $102,830.
Job prospects for head teachers are considered strong as greater numbers of professionals are expected to retire in the near future. Other projections such as fewer qualified applicants for available positions should create excellent opportunities for experienced head teachers with advanced degrees.
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics