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While many of us may have been more concerned with social status and college or career tests coming up in high school, an important player in the background kept our daily systems running smoothly. A high school principal is responsible for keeping the gears of a school well oiled so that the machine can function properly.

Being a High School Principal means regularly meeting with teachers, staff, and parents to ensure everyone is not only on the same page but as satisfied as possible with the processes and policies you put into place. You're there to ensure an efficient workflow and develop quality guidelines for schedules, budgets, and other strategies pertaining to your school. Making sure everyone under your care is safe, healthy, and well taken care of is your main priority.

To become a high school principal, you'll typically need a bachelor's or master's degree in teaching, education, or a related field. You'll also be required to have a number of years as a teacher or in a position within the school system or school board. What may surprise you is that, on average, a High School Principal makes about $95,000 a year!

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a high school principal. For example, did you know that they make an average of $54.19 an hour? That's $112,721 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 a High School Principal Do

There are certain skills that many high 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 communication skills, decision-making skills and leadership skills.

Learn more about what a High School Principal does

How To Become a High School Principal

If you're interested in becoming a high school principal, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 52.8% of high school principals have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 33.9% of high school principals have master's degrees. Even though most high school principals have a college degree, it's impossible 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 a high school principal. When we researched the most common majors for a high school principal, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on high school principal resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

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

High School Principal Career Paths

Average Salary for a High School Principal

High School Principals in America make an average salary of $112,721 per year or $54 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $153,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $82,000 per year.
Average High School Principal Salary
$112,721 Yearly
$54.19 hourly
$82,000
10 %
$112,000
Median
$153,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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High School Principal Education

High School Principal Majors

17.3 %

High School Principal Degrees

Bachelors

52.8 %

Masters

33.9 %

Associate

4.7 %

Top Colleges for High School Principals

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

7. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,099
Enrollment
21,404

8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

10. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

Top Skills For a High 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, 18.7% of high school principals listed student learning on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and decision-making skills are important as well.

  • Student Learning, 18.7%
  • Professional Development, 11.7%
  • Staff Members, 7.0%
  • Instructional Materials, 5.6%
  • Community Members, 4.0%
  • Other Skills, 53.0%

Choose From 10+ Customizable High School Principal Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use High School Principal templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your High School Principal resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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High School Principal Demographics

High School Principal Gender Distribution

Male
Male
64%
Female
Female
36%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among high school principals, 35.9% of them are women, while 64.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among high school principals is White, which makes up 69.2% of all high school principals.

  • The most common foreign language among high school principals is Spanish at 56.6%.

Online Courses For High School Principal That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Providing Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Special Education Services in School
coursera

Welcome to our the third course in the School Health specialization: Providing Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Special Education Services in School. In this course, you will learn about how social-emotional skills, mental health, and learning are related. We will focus on how schools can support social-emotional learning and promote mental health for all students. We will walk through the reasons that schools should promote student mental health. Next, we'll review school wide activities to s...

What Works in Education: Evidence-Based Education Policies
edX (Global)

This course has been organized around five key features of successful education systems: High goals for student achievement that guide all activities within an education system; Access to high-quality early childhood and preschool development programs that prepare students entering the school system; Effective teachers to improve learning and reduce achievement gaps among students; Access and effective use of adequate resources in all schools to promote student learning; and Ensuring that all...

Learn basic high school Maths the easy way!
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A comprehensive guide to the most common math topics in high school...

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Best States For a High School Principal

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a high school principal. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, and West Virginia. High school principals make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $136,830. Whereas in Connecticut and New York, they would average $131,724 and $129,535, respectively. While high school principals would only make an average of $124,530 in West Virginia, 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. Connecticut

Total High School Principal Jobs:
478
Highest 10% Earn:
$185,000
Location Quotient:
1.74 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. New Jersey

Total High School Principal Jobs:
1,024
Highest 10% Earn:
$193,000
Location Quotient:
1.56 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. Vermont

Total High School Principal Jobs:
125
Highest 10% Earn:
$173,000
Location Quotient:
1.97 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
Full List Of Best States For High School Principals

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