Principals are responsible for managing elementary, middle, or high school operations. This includes daily activities and curriculum coordination, but it also means overseeing school staff and providing a safe, productive environment for learning. It's the principal's responsibility to develop class schedules, evaluate teacher performances, discipline and counsel students, manage school activities and cafeteria services, organize professional development programs, schedule maintenance, order school supplies, manage the school's budget, and coordinate security efforts for staff, students, and visitors. Principals report directly to the district's superintendent, and many have assistant principals on staff to assist with the school's administration.
School Principal Job Education Requirements
Most school principal jobs require candidates have a master's degree in education administration or education leadership. Coursework for this type of degree prepares candidates to manage budgets, work with parents and the community, manage teachers and staff, and set goals. Most principals also have a background in teaching, so seeking out teaching jobs is often the first step on the path to becoming a school principal.
School Principal Job Market
School principal jobs are expected to grow slower than average through 2022, at around 6 percent. Although student enrollment is likely to grow, local and state education budgets often delay new school construction. Budget deficits may also result in district consolidation, which further limits job opportunities. Job openings also vary by geographic location, with more opportunities available in the West and South, so relocation will help broaden the chances of finding employment.
School Principal Job Salary Information
The median wage for all school principals is around $87,700. Top earners bring home about $130,000, but the lowest 10 percent make less than $58,500. It's also important to remember that, in addition to working full-time office hours, school principals often meet with parents in the evenings, attend school functions, and perform year-round work even when students are not in school.