A school principal sees the day-to-day running of his/her school. It is your job to ensure that educational standards are maintained and that students are taught in a safe and productive environment. Your day-to-day activities might include coordinating the curriculum, assessing teaching methods and teacher's performance, encouraging students, calling for parent participation, and overseeing the management of the school facility.

Your responsibilities also include administering the budget, implementing safety protocols and other school policies, and hiring and training staff. You must be readily available to address urgent concerns regarding students, sitting in meetings with students, teachers, and parents, and ensuring that all decisions taken are in the student's best interest.

Becoming a school principal entails that you have at least a few years of teaching experience. You would also be expected to own a master's degree in school administration after your first degree in an educational field to get your school administrator license. You will be paid an average of $44.77 an hour and $99,367 annually.

What Does a School Principal Do

There are certain skills that many 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 interpersonal skills.

Learn more about what a School Principal does

How To Become a School Principal

If you're interested in becoming a school principal, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 46.0% of school principals have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 38.5% of school principals have master's degrees. Even though most school principals have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a School Principal

School Principal Career Paths

Average Salary for a School Principal

School Principals in America make an average salary of $97,138 per year or $47 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $131,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $71,000 per year.
Average School Principal Salary
$97,138 Yearly
$46.70 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of School Principal

There are several types of school principal, including:



The best thing about being a superintendent is the kids. Sure, you may not have a direct impact on them, but the things that you approve or deny can impact their education. And like the saying goes, "children are the future" so your job is pretty important. After all, you don't want to be the reason the future is bleak.

With all pressure aside, it's pretty cool having a handle on how and what kids will be learning. And when they do succeed, that's got to be a great feeling. That's where you being supportive of teachers comes into play. Not everyone learns the same way, and no one knows how your school's students learn better than your teachers. So it's important to listen to them. Because they know what's going on.

Another huge part of being a superintendent is balancing the budget. Sometimes you're going to have to figure out a way to pay for something. Whether that leads you to invest in a money tree or dig for treasure, some things are just more important than others. That's where a good backbone comes into play. You need to learn how to say "no" for some situations.

  • Average Salary: $82,458
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree



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.

  • Average Salary: $111,719
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Principal Investigator


The preparation, conduct, and administration of a research grant, contract, cooperative agreement, or other sponsored project is the sole responsibility of a principal investigator. He/She is responsible for developing project research designs. He/She plans, oversees, and participates in fieldwork and analysis and compiles various reports. Additionally, he/she keeps himself updated on the regulations surrounding his/her research, the additional requirements set by the funding agency, study sponsor, and relevant regulatory authorities. Lastly, he/she prepares costs estimates and budgets. The private investigator may consult with review agencies, tribal representatives, and other interested parties.

To become a private investigator, you need to be holding a master's degree or Ph.D. in anthropology or a related field. You must have at least ten years of fieldwork and analytical experience. You must be familiar with relevant regulations and laws. Private investigators earn a whooping sum of $106,052. Their salary varies from $63,000 to $180,000.

  • Average Salary: $84,635
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most School Principal Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active school principal jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where school principals earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of School Principal Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
4New York1,162$100,934
10New Jersey985$106,505
12North Carolina721$74,266
24New Hampshire240$93,426
26South Carolina223$71,915
27Rhode Island222$84,510
31New Mexico171$76,823
43West Virginia73$98,552
48South Dakota39$95,428
49North Dakota38$86,654

School Principal Education

School Principal Majors

17.9 %

School Principal Degrees


46.0 %


38.5 %


5.7 %

Top Colleges for School Principals

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




6. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




7. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a 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, 12.1% of school principals listed professional development on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and decision-making skills are important as well.

  • Professional Development, 12.1%
  • Curriculum Development, 8.1%
  • Student Achievement, 6.3%
  • Professional Growth, 5.0%
  • Student Learning, 4.9%
  • Other Skills, 63.6%

Choose From 10+ Customizable School Principal Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use School Principal templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your 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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School Principal diversity

School Principal Gender Distribution


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

  • Among school principals, 55.4% of them are women, while 44.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among school principals is White, which makes up 64.9% of all school principals.

  • The most common foreign language among school principals is Spanish at 68.2%.

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Best States For a School Principal

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a school principal. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Delaware, New York, and Vermont. School principals make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $106,505. Whereas in Delaware and New York, they would average $105,750 and $100,934, respectively. While school principals would only make an average of $100,143 in Vermont, 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. Vermont

Total School Principal Jobs: 123
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New Jersey

Total School Principal Jobs: 985
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Delaware

Total School Principal Jobs: 99
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For School Principals

How Do School Principals Rate Their Jobs?


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School Principal Reviews

Apr 2019

Working with children, teachers and parents. Developing programs to suit a child's needs and interests, mmoments in learning and understanding.


Pressure from parents, pressure from the board, stressful and time demanding obstacles. The fact that people treat you so utterly poorly once you become a Principal.

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Top School Principal Employers

Most Common Employers For School Principal

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Hendersonville First Baptist Church$113,023$54.343
2St Anne’s School$105,415$50.683
3Chicago Public Schools$105,221$50.593
4St. John's Lutheran School$103,209$49.623
6Anne Arundel County Public Schools$97,463$46.863
7Fulton County Schools$96,526$46.413
8Benicia Unified School District$94,845$45.603
9District of Columbia Public Schools$90,274$43.407

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