What does a Principal do?

Principals are responsible for the entire administrative aspect of a school. The job role is to provide leadership and final authority within the institution on top of executing curriculum planning based on the industry. Other duties include overseeing the performance of teachers and staff members as well as making decisions regarding departments and funding. Depending on the internal organizational structure, principals may progress to an executive or directorial role.

A bachelor's degree s required preferably in education followed by a master's degree in education administration. A state school administrator license is also required. Extensive teaching experience followed by experience working as a principal is preferred. Successful candidates for this position often have a strong understanding of regulatory impacts on educational institutions alongside a passion for teaching and improving child development.

  • Oversee the entire operations of the school
  • Maintain an updated school curriculum reflective of the adopted education system
  • Make decisions on departments and funding options
  • Explore ways to improve the efficiency of education and quality in the school
  • Make necessary decisions to hire and fire teachers and support staff
  • Ensure school policies and regulations are followed at all times
  • Maintain a supportive and healthy learning environment
  • Set a good example for children for positive development
  • Master's degree in education administration required
  • Prior teaching experience followed by experience as a principal preferred
  • State school administrator license required
  • Strong understanding of laws and regulations affecting educational institutions
  • Working knowledge of financial budgeting and facilities management
  • Pass state background check
  • Exceptional communication and presentation skills
  • Strong affinity for teaching children and helping them succeed
  • Passionate about the educational system
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.7 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.9 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Principal Salaries

Average Base Pay

$130,433 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $130K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Principal Career Path

Learn how to become a Principal, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Principal III
Lead Principal
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Principal Insights

Read what Principal professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Korn FerryKorn Ferry
Dec. 3, 2019

“minute EoY performance review “CALL” although my manager and I were based in the same city”

Novogradac & CompanyNovogradac & Company
Dec. 4, 2019

“Management is interested in hearing what you want to do with your career and wants to help you develop; there is no one”

GCM GrosvenorGCM Grosvenor
Oct. 2, 2021

“No “mean boss” you can typically see in many other organizations in the industry.”

Booz Allen HamiltonBooz Allen Hamilton
Nov. 5, 2021

“Benefits are not as good as when we were private but still well above industry average.”

Bain & CompanyBain & Company
Apr. 22, 2020

“Work life balance is hard to maintain when you're pushing to grow in the career.”

North HighlandNorth Highland
Jul. 31, 2021

“There is a ton of talented people working here who care about the quality of the work and helping clients succeed.”

Senior Principal
Oct. 29, 2020

“Consequently every day is mentally challenging and a great learning opportunity.”

Success Academy Charter SchoolsSuccess Academy Charter Schools
Assistant Principal
Sep. 23, 2019

“Success Academy was my first teaching job out of my masters program and I am so grateful for this.”

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