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Principal Careers

We all had that principal in school that had a lasting impression on us. Whether they helped us make a change in our lives that was for the better or they taught us valuable lessons, like the importance of showing up on time. Now, it's your turn to have a lasting impression on some kids' lives.

As principal, everyone is going to know who you are. You're the one that gets to enforce all of the rules, and make sure the teachers are following them, too! But you also get to go to fun conferences with your teachers and learn new ways to teach your kiddos.

The best part of being a principal is getting to watch your students go on to the next step. Whether that's middle school, high school, or college. Knowing that you had a hand in each students' education and future has to make you feel good at the end of the day.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a principal. For example, did you know that they make an average of $62.82 an hour? That's $130,657 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 Principal Do

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

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a principal, we found that a lot of resumes listed 6.9% of principals included professional development, while 6.9% of resumes included crm, and 6.0% of resumes included project management. 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 principal job title. But what industry to start with? Most principals actually find jobs in the education and professional industries.

How To Become a Principal

If you're interested in becoming a principal, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 35.6% of principals have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 37.5% of principals have master's degrees. Even though most 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 a principal. When we researched the most common majors for a principal, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on principal resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

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

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary
$130,657
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
56,039
Job Openings

Principal Career Paths

Top Careers Before Principal

Teacher
16.4 %

Top Careers After Principal

Teacher
9.1 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Principal

Principals in America make an average salary of $130,657 per year or $63 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $212,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $80,000 per year.
Average Salary
$130,657

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
New York, NY
Salary Range129k - 227k$171k$171,416
San Mateo, CA
Salary Range117k - 195k$151k$151,381
Boston, MA
Salary Range107k - 189k$143k$142,874
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range106k - 187k$141k$141,447
Bethesda, MD
Salary Range99k - 172k$131k$130,703
Washington, DC
Salary Range98k - 170k$129k$129,240
$53k
$227k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Fiau-00115-Principal Auditor
Fiau-00115-Principal Auditor
State of Wyoming
State of Wyoming
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$58,07801/30/2021
$58,078
Principal Planner (Current Planning and Development Services)
Principal Planner (Current Planning and Development Services)
City of Carlsbad
City of Carlsbad
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$99,44701/30/2021
$99,447
Principal K-5 (Villalovoz Elementary School)
Principal K-5 (Villalovoz Elementary School)
Tracy Unified School District
Tracy Unified School District
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$109,25001/30/2021
$109,250
Stockton Unified School District
Principal II (K-8)-Hong
Principal II (K-8)-Hong
Stockton Unified School District
Stockton Unified School District
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$111,67301/30/2021
$111,673
Principal
Principal
Goleta Union School District
Goleta Union School District
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$132,75301/29/2021
$132,753
See More Recent Salaries

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Principal Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Principal. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Principal Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Principal resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Principal Demographics

Gender

male

61.9 %

female

33.2 %

unknown

4.8 %

Ethnicity

White

68.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.5 %

Black or African American

11.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.1 %

French

17.5 %

German

6.4 %
See More Demographics

Principal Education

Majors

Business
19.3 %

Degrees

Masters

37.5 %

Bachelors

35.6 %

Doctorate

11.4 %

Top Colleges for 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 Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

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

4. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

5. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

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

7. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

8. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407

9. New York University

New York, NY • Private

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

10. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a 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, 6.9% of principals listed professional development on their resume, but soft skills such as decision-making skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

  • Professional Development, 6.9%
  • CRM, 6.9%
  • Project Management, 6.0%
  • Healthcare, 5.4%
  • Financial Services, 5.3%
  • Other Skills, 69.5%
  • See All Principal Skills

Best States For a Principal

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a principal. The best states for people in this position are New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Delaware. Principals make the most in New York with an average salary of $159,670. Whereas in Rhode Island and Connecticut, they would average $157,978 and $157,665, respectively. While principals would only make an average of $151,994 in Delaware, 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. Rhode Island

Total Principal Jobs:
625
Highest 10% Earn:
$241,000
Location Quotient:
2.67
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 York

Total Principal Jobs:
2,685
Highest 10% Earn:
$243,000
Location Quotient:
1.09
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. New Hampshire

Total Principal Jobs:
417
Highest 10% Earn:
$235,000
Location Quotient:
1.24
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 Principal Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ principals and discovered their number of principal opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Infosys Public Services was the best, especially with an average salary of $158,636. Boston Consulting Group follows up with an average salary of $206,904, and then comes Residential Mortgage Services with an average of $90,697. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a principal. The employers include Dell, Red Hat, and Science Applications International ..

1. Infosys Public Services
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$158,636
Principals Hired: 
267+
2. Boston Consulting Group
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$206,904
Principals Hired: 
90+
3. Residential Mortgage Services
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$90,697
Principals Hired: 
70+
4. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$147,302
Principals Hired: 
63+
5. CSC Holdings
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$137,071
Principals Hired: 
63+
6. COSM
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$126,568
Principals Hired: 
42+

What are the best companies to work for?

Dr. Faye Deters

Associate Dean, Interim Chair, Educational Leadership & Counselor Education, Eastern Kentucky University

Graduates with degrees in Educational Leadership typically seek employment as leaders within public school districts and private or charter schools.Show more

Principal Videos

Updated October 2, 2020