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Become A Principal Investigator

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Working As A Principal Investigator

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Developing and Building Teams
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Make Decisions

  • $84,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Principal Investigator Do

Elementary, middle, and high school principals manage all school operations, including daily school activities. They coordinate curricula, oversee teachers and other school staff, and provide a safe and productive learning environment for students.

Duties

Elementary, middle, and high school principals typically do the following:

  • Manage school activities and staff, including teachers and support personnel
  • Establish and oversee class schedules
  • Develop, implement, and maintain curriculum standards
  • Counsel and discipline students
  • Observe teachers and classroom activities
  • Assist teachers in managing students’ behavior
  • Evaluate teachers’ performance
  • Meet with parents and teachers to discuss students’ progress and behavior
  • Assess and prepare reports on test scores and other student achievement data
  • Organize professional development programs and workshops for staff
  • Manage the school’s budget, order school supplies, and schedule maintenance
  • Establish and coordinate security procedures for students, staff, and visitors

Elementary, middle, and high school principals manage the overall operation of schools, including building maintenance and cafeteria services. They set and oversee academic goals and ensure that teachers have the necessary equipment and resources. In public schools, principals also implement standards and programs set by the school district, state, and/or federal regulations. They evaluate and prepare reports on their school’s performance based on these standards by assessing student achievement and teacher performance. Principals may establish and oversee additional programs in their school, such as counseling, special education programs, and before- and after-school childcare programs.

Principals serve as the public face of their school. They meet with superintendents, legislators, and members of the community to request or explain funding for their schools. They also address the concerns of parents and members of the community.

The duties of principals vary by the size of the school and district. In larger schools and districts, principals have additional resources and staff to help them achieve goals. For example, large school districts often have instructional coordinators who help with data analysis and with teachers’ professional development. Principals also may have staff who oversee the hiring process of all school personnel, including teachers, custodians, and cafeteria workers. Principals in small school districts may need to assume these and other duties themselves.

Many schools have assistant principals who help principals with school administration. Principals typically assign specific administrative duties to their assistant principals. In some school districts, assistant principals are hired to handle a specific subject area, such as literacy or math. Assistants may be assigned to handle student safety, provide student academic counseling, or enforce disciplinary or attendance rules. They may also coordinate buses or supervise building and grounds maintenance.

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How To Become A Principal Investigator

Most schools require elementary, middle, and high school principals to have a master’s degree in education administration or leadership. Most principals also have work experience as teachers.

Education

Principals typically need a master’s degree in education leadership or education administration. These master’s degree programs prepare future principals to manage staff, prepare and manage budgets, set goals, and work with parents and the community. To enter the master’s degree programs, candidates typically need a bachelor’s degree in education, school counseling, or a related field.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Principals typically need several years of work experience as a teacher. For more information on how to become a teacher, see the profiles on kindergarten and elementary school teachers, middle school teachers, and high school teachers.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require public school principals to be licensed as school administrators. Licensure requirements vary by state, but most require a master’s degree. Some states have alternative programs for candidates who do not have a master’s degree in education administration or leadership. Most states also require candidates to pass an exam and a background check.

Principals in private schools are not required to have a state-issued license.

Advancement

An assistant principal can advance to become a principal. Some principals advance to become superintendents, which may require completion of additional education. Others become instructional coordinators.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Principals must communicate effectively with students, teachers, and parents. For example, when dealing with student disciplinary or academic issues, they consult with and listen to parents and teachers to understand the problem.

Critical-thinking skills. Principals analyze student test results and testing procedures to determine if improvements are needed. They must assess the available options and choose the best means to help students achieve better results.

Decisionmaking skills. Because principals are responsible for students, staff members, and the overall operation of the school, they consider many factors when making decisions.

Interpersonal skills. Because principals work with teachers, parents, and superintendents, they must be able to develop positive working relationships with them.

Leadership skills. Principals set educational goals and establish policies and procedures for the school. They need to be able to motivate teachers and other staff to achieve set goals.

Problem-solving skills. Teachers, students, and other staff members report problems to the principal. Principals need to be able to analyze problems, and develop and implement appropriate solutions.

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Principal Investigator Demographics

Gender

Male

44.4%

Female

40.8%

Unknown

14.8%
Ethnicity

White

53.1%

Asian

16.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

10.7%

Unknown

5.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.6%

French

14.3%

Russian

6.3%

Portuguese

4.8%

Chinese

4.8%

German

4.8%

Hindi

4.2%

Japanese

3.7%

Mandarin

3.2%

Italian

3.2%

Arabic

2.6%

Urdu

2.1%

Cantonese

1.6%

Swedish

1.1%

Bulgarian

1.1%

Turkish

1.1%

Hebrew

1.1%

Swahili

0.5%

Lithuanian

0.5%

Estonian

0.5%
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Principal Investigator Education

Schools

University of California - Los Angeles

6.9%

University of Florida

6.4%

New York University

5.7%

University of Washington

5.7%

University of Delaware

5.7%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

5.7%

Columbia University

5.2%

Pennsylvania State University

5.0%

University of Texas at Austin

5.0%

University of Pittsburgh -

5.0%

West Virginia University

4.7%

Harvard University

4.7%

Emory University

4.7%

University of California - Berkeley

4.5%

Michigan State University

4.5%

University of Pennsylvania

4.5%

University of California - San Diego

4.5%

George Washington University

4.0%

Wayne State University

4.0%

Georgetown University

4.0%
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Majors

Psychology

10.5%

Clinical Psychology

9.3%

Medicine

8.5%

Chemistry

8.1%

Biology

7.6%

Public Health

6.5%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

6.4%

Nursing

4.9%

Pharmacy

4.2%

Counseling Psychology

4.2%

Anthropology

3.9%

Business

3.6%

Physiology And Anatomy

3.4%

Electrical Engineering

3.1%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

3.0%

Sociology

2.9%

Microbiology

2.6%

Physics

2.5%

Education

2.4%

Criminal Justice

2.2%
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Degrees

Doctorate

37.8%

Masters

27.7%

Bachelors

16.9%

Other

14.2%

Certificate

2.1%

Associate

0.8%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$84,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$44,000
Min 10%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$84,000
Median 50%
$160,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
California Institute of the Arts
Highest Paying City
Saint Louis Park, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Principal Investigator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Principal Investigator in the United States is $84,773 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $44,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $160,000.

Real Principal Investigator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Investigator Pharma Medica Research, Inc. Saint Charles, MO Jan 20, 2014 $275,000
Principal Investigator Children's Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Jan 01, 2012 $160,000
Principal Investigator The Research Foundation of State University of New Albany, NY May 23, 2011 $136,041
Principal Investigator The Research Foundation of State University of New York Albany, NY Jul 16, 2015 $129,533
Senior Principal Investigator Purdue Pharma L.P. Cranbury, NJ Sep 07, 2011 $128,485
Principal Investigator Arcus Biosciences, Inc. South San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2015 $120,000 -
$170,000
Principal Investigator Research Foundation of Suny at Buffalo Buffalo, NY Jan 06, 2016 $113,950
Principal Investigator The California Institute for Biomedical Research San Diego, CA Sep 21, 2015 $110,000
Principal Investigator The California Institute for Biomedical Research San Diego, CA May 04, 2015 $110,000
Principal Investigator III Northstar Technology Corp Silver Spring, MD Dec 12, 2012 $108,524
Principal Investigator III Northstar Technology Corporation Silver Spring, MD Dec 12, 2012 $108,524
Principal Investigator The Research Foundation of State University of New Albany, NY Jun 01, 2012 $108,333
Principal Investigator (Biochemist) Millipore Corporation Saint Charles, MO Sep 10, 2010 $100,464
Principal Investigator (Aerospace Engineer) Delta Group International LLC MD Jun 01, 2011 $93,915
Principal Investigator (Astronomer) Seti Institute Fieldbrook, CA Jan 03, 2011 $92,120
Principal Investigator The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Ho Columbus, OH Feb 01, 2012 $90,000
Prinicipal Investigator Qurgen Inc. Troy, MI Jan 10, 2016 $90,000
Principal Investigator The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus, OH Jan 07, 2016 $90,000
Principal Investigator The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Ho Columbus, OH Jul 21, 2013 $87,504
Principal Investigator The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Ho Columbus, OH Feb 01, 2011 $86,736
Principal Investigator I Transportation Technology Center, Inc. Pueblo, CO Apr 06, 2015 $84,053 -
$123,551
Principal Investigator, Software Development Prometheus Computing, LLC Gaithersburg, MD Jul 20, 2009 $76,000
Principal Investigator, Software Development Prometheus Computing, LLC Gaithersburg, MD Jul 27, 2009 $76,000
Principal Investigator E.I. Dupont de Nemours and Company, Inc. Wilmington, DE Sep 15, 2011 $75,234 -
$111,240
Friction Stir Principal Investigator and Lead Engi Aeroprobe Corporation Blacksburg, VA Sep 26, 2012 $75,000
Principal Investigator I Transportation Technology Center, Inc. Pueblo, CO Sep 13, 2013 $74,630 -
$121,129
Principal Investigator I Transportation Technology Center, Inc. Pueblo, CO Dec 16, 2011 $74,586 -
$119,338
Principal Investigator The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Ho Columbus, OH Jul 21, 2012 $74,241

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Top Skills for A Principal Investigator

  1. Research Projects
  2. PHD
  3. Data Collection
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained detailed records, successfully completed complex research projects, published results in peer-reviewed journals and assisted with grant proposals.
  • Recruit staff members and oversee a staff of 6 undergraduates, 1 PhD student, and 2 professors.
  • Assess current data collection and reporting methods and developed proposals for making improvement.
  • Phase III included a record review follow up of Texas forensic psychiatric patients from one through four years after discharge.
  • Performed exploratory data analysis and created data visualizations with the statistical package R. Networked within client organizations for additional consultative projects.

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Top 10 Best States for Principal Investigators

  1. New Jersey
  2. Delaware
  3. New York
  4. Connecticut
  5. California
  6. Washington
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Maryland
  9. Minnesota
  10. Massachusetts
  • (155 jobs)
  • (14 jobs)
  • (121 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)
  • (541 jobs)
  • (82 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)
  • (123 jobs)

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