School Principal Careers

A school principal sees the day-to-day running of his 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.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a school principal. For example, did you know that they make an average of $47.77 an hour? That's $99,367 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 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a school principal, we found that a lot of resumes listed 16.6% of school principals included professional development, while 14.0% of resumes included student learning, and 7.5% of resumes included special education. 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 school principal job title. But what industry to start with? Most school principals actually find jobs in the education and non profits industries.

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.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a school principal. When we researched the most common majors for a 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 school principal resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary
$99,367
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
4%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
27,318
Job Openings

School Principal Career Paths

Top Careers Before School Principal

Teacher
32.0 %
Principal
10.7 %

Top Careers After School Principal

Principal
24.6 %
Teacher
11.3 %

School Principal Jobs You Might Like

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 School Principal

School Principals in America make an average salary of $99,367 per year or $48 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $140,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $70,000 per year.
Average Salary
$99,367
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Best Paying Cities For School Principals

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range118k - 177k$145k$144,788
Wayne, NJ
Salary Range90k - 168k$124k$123,648
Norwich, CT
Salary Range90k - 166k$123k$122,664
New York, NY
Salary Range84k - 157k$115k$115,409
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range81k - 151k$111k$111,008
Boston, MA
Salary Range67k - 123k$92k$91,566
Indianapolis, IN
Salary Range67k - 121k$90k$90,340
Springfield, OH
Salary Range64k - 117k$87k$86,771
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range69k - 105k$86k$85,756
Fort Worth, TX
Salary Range66k - 108k$85k$84,969
Jacksonville, FL
Salary Range52k - 94k$71k$70,540
$52k
$177k

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Rural K-8 School Principal Vacancy
Young World Physical Education
08/04/2021
$80,92108/04/2021
School Principal
Leander Independent School District
08/04/2021
$114,97408/04/2021
School Principal at Nathan Bishop MS
Providence School District
08/04/2021
$120,58408/04/2021
Principal-Nolan Creek School-Belton Texas
Young World Physical Education
08/03/2021
$63,95808/03/2021
Principal-Newbridge Behavior Day School
Educational Service District 105
08/03/2021
$94,61308/03/2021
See More Recent Salaries

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School Principal Demographics

Gender

female

51.9 %

male

41.8 %

unknown

6.3 %

Ethnicity

White

67.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.8 %

Black or African American

11.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.2 %

French

8.0 %

Arabic

4.5 %
Show More School Principal Demographics

School Principal Education

Degrees

Bachelors

46.0 %

Masters

38.5 %

Doctorate

5.7 %

Top Colleges for 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
Show More School Principal Education Requirements

Online Courses For School Principal That You May Like

Teaching High School Students
ed2go

Master the latest teaching strategies to help you reach high school students, including differentiated instruction and classroom management...

Teaching Students With Learning Disabilities
ed2go

Learn how to successfully meet the diverse needs of students with learning disabilities in your classroom...

Differentiated Instruction in the Classroom
ed2go

Improve your ability to teach diverse learners with real-world examples from elementary, middle, and high school classrooms...

See more
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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, 16.6% 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, 16.6%
  • Student Learning, 14.0%
  • Special Education, 7.5%
  • Staff Members, 5.3%
  • Classroom Management, 4.5%
  • Other Skills, 52.1%
  • See All School Principal Skills

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 California, Nevada, New Jersey, and Connecticut. School principals make the most in California with an average salary of $143,251. Whereas in Nevada and New Jersey, they would average $134,131 and $121,233, respectively. While school principals would only make an average of $120,237 in Connecticut, 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 School Principal Jobs:
222
Highest 10% Earn:
$199,000
Location Quotient:
2.31
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. Connecticut

Total School Principal Jobs:
462
Highest 10% Earn:
$201,000
Location Quotient:
1.76
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 Jersey

Total School Principal Jobs:
985
Highest 10% Earn:
$203,000
Location Quotient:
1.57
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 School Principals

How Do School Principal Rate Their Jobs?

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5.0

School PrincipalApril 2019

5.0

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What do you like the most about working as School Principal?

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

What do you NOT like?

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. Show More

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Top School Principal Employers

1. Omaha Public Schools
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$93,849
School Principals Hired: 
9+
2. Friends Academy Summer Camps
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$88,162
School Principals Hired: 
5+
3. Killeen ISD
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$89,275
School Principals Hired: 
4+
4. WAYMAN ACADEMY OF THE ARTS
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$74,286
School Principals Hired: 
4+
5. Fulton County School System
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$82,727
School Principals Hired: 
3+
6. Fairfax County Public Schools
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$89,904
School Principals Hired: 
3+

School Principal Videos

Updated August 18, 2021