Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Skip to main content

Educational Leadership Resource Guide: Principal

This guide will provide resources for those interested in educational leadership, and candidates for the Master of Education, Education Leadership Program.

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals Career Information

Occupational Outlook Handbook

Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals

Summary

Elementary, middle, and high school principals provide leadership to teachers and other members of school staff and manage the day-to-day operations of schools.

Quick Facts: Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals
2010 Median Pay $86,970 per year
Entry-Level Education Master’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation 1 to 5 years
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2010 236,100
Job Outlook, 2010-20 10% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change, 2010-20 23,200


What Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals Do

Elementary, middle, and high school principals lead teachers and other members of school staff. They manage the day-to-day operations of elementary, middle, and high schools. They set goals and objectives and evaluate their school’s progress toward meeting them.

Work Environment

Elementary, middle, and high school principals work in public and private schools. Generally, they work full time, and many work summers when school is not in session.

How to Become an Elementary, Middle, or High School Principal

Most schools require elementary, middle, and high school principals to have a master’s degree in education administration or leadership. Most principals also have experience as teachers.

Pay

The median annual wage of elementary, middle, and high school principals was $86,970 in May 2010.

Job Outlook

Employment of elementary, middle, and high school principals is projected to grow by 10 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth is expected due to increases in enrollment. However, employment growth will vary by region.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of elementary, middle, and high school principals with similar occupations.

O*NET

O*NET provides comprehensive information on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

Contacts for More Information

Learn more about elementary, middle, and high school principals by contacting these additional resources.