Principal Salary 2023| How much does a Principal make?

Principals are the senior administrators of schools. They are responsible for training and managing staff, selecting curricula, overseeing school budgets, and handling parent concerns. The principal salary is quite attractive depending on location and experience.

A person working as a school principal in the United States typically makes around $120,000 per year. Salaries range from $62,400 to $184,000.

This is the average annual salary, including accommodation, transport, and other benefits. Top salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location.

What do Principals do?

Principals serve as the leaders and managers of an elementary, middle, or high school. They support and manage teachers, counselors, and all other staff. They coordinate curricula and create a school environment conducive to learning.

Principals oversee the academic activities of the school. They set academic goals and ensure their staff and teachers have the resources and support to achieve those goals.

They may also set up and oversee additional activities such as counseling, after-school care, and other extracurricular activities.

School Principals are also often consulted to address student behavior and to work with parents and teachers to find solutions for children and young people with behavior problems.

In public schools, principals are also responsible for implementing the programs and regulations at the state, federal, and school district levels. They prepare reports and evaluate their school’s performance based on the guidelines set by these different levels of government.

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What are the Roles and responsibilities of a School Principal?

  • provide strategic direction for the school.
  • supervising school activities and staff, including teachers and educational support staff.
  • Create timetables.
  • design and implementation of curriculum standards and evaluation procedures.
  • Meet with students, either for counseling or disciplinary purposes.
  • Attend a class to observe teachers and evaluate their work performance.
  • Meet with parents and teachers to discuss student progress and behavior.
  • prepare reports on student and teacher performance based on school district, state, and federal government requirements.
  • Coordinate professional development programs and workshops for employees to deepen expertise or learn new pedagogical techniques.
  • Oversee the school’s budget, order school supplies, and plan for building maintenance.
  • Establish and coordinate safety procedures for students, staff, and visitors.
  • Encourage parent involvement and meet with parent associations to discuss concerns and school events.
  • Participate in school events such as sports games, plays, and concerts to build strong bonds with students, parents, and staff.

What do High school principals do?

The school management is responsible for all aspects of school administration. They take the lead and are the ultimate authority within their institution.

They ensure educational planning by assessing and updating the curriculum, supervising teachers, and providing feedback on performance.

High school principals make priority decisions regarding various departments and funding opportunities consistent with budget constraints.

They must strive at all times to improve the efficiency and quality of education. High school principals oversee student bodies and provide dispute resolution and final disciplinary decisions once issues have crossed the teacher and counselor level.

In addition, School Principals are responsible for ensuring that their school complies with all required academic and safety regulations and policies.

High school principals make hiring and firing decisions related to teaching and support staff. In private schools, principals also help set admissions standards and make admissions decisions when necessary.

High school principals work full-time in an educational setting, although overtime may be required to attend school events and administrative and district meetings.

They work closely with students, parents and teachers, receiving and providing feedback to ensure educational quality and standards of behavior are being met.

Principals must have at least a bachelor’s degree; In many cases, a master’s degree in education or a related field is required. They must be a certified administrator in their state.

As a rule, they must have several years of teaching experience and some experience in school administration. In the case of private religious schools, a proven commitment to the relevant faith is usually required.

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How Much Does a Principal make?

According to Glassdoor, the national median salary for a principal in the United States is $56,996.

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in the United States is $58. This means that the average school principal in the United States makes about $58 for every hour worked.

The hourly wage is the wage paid in one hour worked. Typically, jobs fall into two categories: paid jobs and hourly jobs. In employment relationships, a fixed amount is paid regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs are paid per hour worked.

The hourly wage calculation may vary slightly depending on the number of hours worked per week and annual holiday pay.

A key difference between salaried employees and hourly wage earners is the crediting of overtime. Employees are usually exempt from overtime, unlike hourly workers.

What is a Principal’s Salary by Experience?

An entry-level principal with less than 1 year of experience can expect an average total compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $67,249 based on 12 salaries.

An early-career high school principal with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $85,622 based on 48 salaries.

A mid-career principal with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $87,624 based on 78 salaries.

An experienced principal with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $93,226 based on 103 salaries. Late in their careers (age 20 and up), employees earn an average total compensation of $98,292.

How do experience and age affect your pay?

Experience level is the most important factor in determining salary. Of course, the more years of experience you have, the higher your salary. A director with less than two years of experience makes about $70,900 per year.

While someone with between two and five years of experience is expected to make $95,200 per year, 34% more than someone with less than two years of experience.

Going forward, an experience level between five and 10 years will yield a salary of $124,000 per year, 30% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

Additionally, directors whose experience is between 10 and 15 years earn a salary of $150,000 per year, 21% more than someone with five to 10 years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, the expected salary is $164,000 per year, 9% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Finally, employees with more than twenty years of experience earn a salary of $172,000 per year, 5% more than those with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

What is a Principal’s Salary by qualifications?

We all know that higher education equals a higher salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? If the education level is a master’s degree, the average salary of a principal is $78,200 per year.

While someone with a Ph.D. earns a salary of $139,000 a year, 78% more than someone with a master’s degree.

Principal Salary Comparison by Gender

Although gender shouldn’t affect pay, it actually does. So who gets paid better: men or women? Male key employees in the United States earn an average of 5% more than their female counterparts.

What are a Principal’s Salary bonus and benefit rates in the United States?

A principal is considered a high bonus job due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course.

The people who receive the highest bonuses are usually involved in the revenue generation cycle in some way.

20% of employees surveyed said they had not received any bonuses or incentives in the past year, while 80% said they had received at least some form of a cash bonus.

Those who received bonuses reported rates of between 6% and 8% of their annual salary.

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The national average salary for a School Principal is $56,996 in the United States

Kelly Young, Principal of NorthStar High School in Orlando, Florida.

The median expected annual salary of a principal is over $100,000

Becoming a school principal requires a lot of time. This is due to the required education and experience that principals need to have before they can work.


Being a principal can be very rewarding but is notoriously a bit stressful. It’s important to do your research and know what’s involved before you start the job.

Principal salaries are significantly higher than those of a teacher and the job is very varied. As a School Principal, you also have more control over what happens in your school.

The challenges of being a director, on the other hand, include long hours, great responsibility, and the expectation of being visible in the community.



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