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.

What responsibilities are common for Principal jobs?
  • 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
What are the typical qualifications for Principal jobs?
  • 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
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.9 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Principal make near United States?

$312,351 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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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.

Senior Principal

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Principal Insights

Read what Principal professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Guidepost MontessoriGuidepost Montessori
Head of School
Feb 8, 2023

“Guidepost gets this and I am grateful to have the opportunity to be part of something great.”

Impact Public SchoolsImpact Public Schools
Assistant Principal
Jan 24, 2023

“life balance that I always wished a career in education would allow and continues to offer many opportunities to grow.”

Booz Allen HamiltonBooz Allen Hamilton
Nov 5, 2021

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

GCM GrosvenorGCM Grosvenor
Oct 2, 2021

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

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.”

Wolf & Company, PCWolf & Company, PC
May 8, 2023

“I believe the best part about Wolf is the opportunity it provides everyone to take charge of their career and advance.”

Feb 27, 2023

“Awesome and great employer to work with”

Apr 14, 2022

“Everyone is top notch and highly skilled.”

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Principal Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Principal

The most similar professions to Principal are:
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Substitute Teacher
  • Elementary School Teacher
  • Teacher

The most common qualifications to become a Principal include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Kindergarten Teacher
No skills overlap
Substitute Teacher
No skills overlap
Elementary School Teacher
No skills overlap
No skills overlap

Principal Jobs