Working as an Elementary School Principal

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an elementary school principal. For example, did you know that they make an average of $50.17 an hour? That's $104,348 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 11,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Elementary School Principal Do

There are certain skills that many elementary school principals have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed leadership skills, critical-thinking skills and decision-making skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an elementary school principal, we found that a lot of resumes listed 14.7% of elementary school principals included student learning, while 14.5% of resumes included professional development, and 8.7% of resumes included instructional materials. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the elementary school principal job title. But what industry to start with? Most elementary school principals actually find jobs in the education and non profits industries.

How To Become an Elementary School Principal

If you're interested in becoming an elementary school principal, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 12.4% of elementary school principals have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 59.9% of elementary school principals have master's degrees. Even though most elementary school principals have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an elementary school principal. When we researched the most common majors for an elementary school principal, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on elementary school principal resumes include doctoral degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an elementary school principal. In fact, many elementary school principal jobs require experience in a role such as teacher. Meanwhile, many elementary school principals also have previous career experience in roles such as assistant principal or principal.

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Average Salary$104,348
Job Growth Rate4%

Elementary School Principal Jobs

Elementary School Principal Career Paths

Top Careers Before Elementary School Principal
Teacher25.7 %
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Top Careers After Elementary School Principal
Principal17.7 %
Teacher10.1 %
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Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Elementary School Principal

Elementary School Principals in America make an average salary of $104,348 per year or $50 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $129,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $84,000 per year.
Average Salary
$104,348

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Principal at Albert F. Biella Elementary School (Considered A Disaster Service Worker and/or Essenti
Principal at Albert F. Biella Elementary School (Considered A Disaster Service Worker and/or Essenti
Santa Rosa City Schools
Santa Rosa City Schools
07/28/2020
07/28/2020
$106,67007/28/2020
$106,670
Elementary (Kindergarten-8Th Grade) Principal
Elementary (Kindergarten-8Th Grade) Principal
Grand Rapids Public Schools
Grand Rapids Public Schools
07/06/2020
07/06/2020
$81,32807/06/2020
$81,328
Elementary Principal
Elementary Principal
Helena School District
Helena School District
06/20/2020
06/20/2020
$81,00006/20/2020
$81,000
Elementary Principal
Elementary Principal
South Kitsap School District
South Kitsap School District
06/19/2020
06/19/2020
$137,13906/19/2020
$137,139
Elementary School Principal
Elementary School Principal
Albuquerque Public Schools
Albuquerque Public Schools
06/17/2020
06/17/2020
$73,74806/17/2020
$73,748
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Elementary School Principal Demographics

Gender

Female

53.5 %

Male

40.8 %

Unknown

5.7 %
Ethnicity

White

65.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.9 %

Black or African American

10.9 %
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.3 %

French

8.2 %

Portuguese

4.1 %
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Elementary School Principal Education

Schools

Nova Southeastern University

11.6 %

Temple University

6.2 %

Grand Canyon University

6.2 %

National University

5.4 %
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Majors

Educational Leadership

51.5 %

Education

16.1 %

Elementary Education

7.6 %

Business

5.7 %
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Degrees

Masters

59.9 %

Bachelors

12.4 %

Doctorate

12.3 %

Certificate

10.7 %
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Entry Level Jobs For Becoming An Elementary School Principal

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Elementary School Principal

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.7% of elementary school principals listed student learning on their resume, but soft skills such as leadership skills and critical-thinking skills are important as well.

Best States For an Elementary School Principal

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an elementary school principal. The best states for people in this position are California, New York, Nevada, and Rhode Island. Elementary school principals make the most in California with an average salary of $134,347. Whereas in New York and Nevada, they would average $134,193 and $132,751, respectively. While elementary school principals would only make an average of $124,823 in Rhode Island, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Nevada

Total Elementary School Principal Jobs:
59
Highest 10% Earn:
$201,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total Elementary School Principal Jobs:
2,160
Highest 10% Earn:
$203,000
Location Quotient:
2.71
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Rhode Island

Total Elementary School Principal Jobs:
21
Highest 10% Earn:
$194,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Elementary School Principal Employers

1. Baltimore County Public Schools
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$40,126
Elementary School Principals Hired: 
8+
2. Cumberland County Schools
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$37,646
Elementary School Principals Hired: 
5+
3. Springfield School District 19
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$34,401
Elementary School Principals Hired: 
5+
4. Canton City Schools
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$35,769
Elementary School Principals Hired: 
5+
5. Oklahoma City Public Schools
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$41,231
Elementary School Principals Hired: 
5+
6. Oakland Unified School District
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$47,303
Elementary School Principals Hired: 
4+

Elementary School Principal Videos

Recently Added Elementary School Principal Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020