The Job Description of an Assistant Principal


An assistant principal, also known as a vice principal, helps to ensure a school runs smoothly. The assistant principal is responsible for a variety of administrative duties. To work as an assistant principal, an individual needs prior teaching experience and education as an administrator. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, average annual salaries for assistant principals ranged from $71,192 to $79,391 during the 2007-08 school year.

Administrative Responsibilities

  • The assistant principal is responsible for overseeing academic and administrative tasks. For instance, an assistant principal might work on curriculum, order textbooks and supplies, and prepare student schedules. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, assistant principals also coordinate support services such as cafeteria, transportation and custodial services. They also may evaluate teachers' work performance. However, the principal supervises the teachers and support staff, and creates and executes procedures and policies. An assistant principal may set performance goals, create mission statements and prepare budget reports, if directed to by the principal.

Working With Students

  • Assistant principals provide counseling to students about education, vocational opportunities and personal matters, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They may have to discipline students who miss too many classes or disrupt teachers during class time.

Required Skills

  • This position requires excellent communication skills and diplomacy, according to Education-Portal. Assistant principals work with a diverse body of students who are sometimes challenging. An assistant principal also needs leadership and organizational skills to coordinate and evaluate staff, teachers and students. Computer skills are necessary, as well.


  • An assistant principal for a public school generally needs a master's degree in administration or educational supervision. A master's degree program may take one to two years to complete. In addition, the individual must pass state-required licensing as an educator.

    Licensure is not required for an assistant principal working in a private school, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also, an individual interested in working at a private school may only need a four-year degree, according to Career Overview, but many successful applicants do have advanced degrees.


  • Typically, an assistant principal works more than 40 hours per week. The extra hours are usually on the weekends and evenings when the assistant principal may supervise or participate in school-related activities. These activities can include plays, conferences and sporting events. The assistant principal works year around.

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