Elementary School Principal Salary
The majority of Elementary School Principals in the United States — nearly three-fifths — boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $52K to $111K per year, and the median is $80K per year. Geographic location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number enjoy medical while more than half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to roughly one-half. Women account for the majority of Elementary School Principals who responded to the questionnaire — 63 percent to be exact. Most Elementary School Principals report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Elementary School Principal
Elementary school principals must almost always have a master’s degree in education or a related field. Some employers prefer that candidates possess a PhD in Education or Educational Leadership. Some positions require a principal’s certification and/or license.Read More...
They must have leadership and interpersonal skills. They must have work experience in supervising and evaluating staff. They must have experience working in the educational field. They must perform teachers’ evaluations in a timely manner, based on their school district’s policies and guidelines. They must have certain personal characteristics that are required for working effectively with students, their parents, teachers, school district administrators, and the general public. They must encourage and inspire their students to succeed academically. They must lead and guide the teachers to be fair and transparent in working with students. They may have to attend various meetings related to their teachers’ unions. They must have excellent oral and written communication skills. They must be flexible, since they may be required to work longer hours.
In addition to maintaining academic expectations and goals, they must maintain a safe learning environment for all students. They must be able to multitask. They must have strong decision-making skills. They must have excellent presentation skills since they are often required to make presentations to the community, students’ parents, district administrators, and many others. They must be able to manage and develop a school budget.
Elementary School Principal Tasks
- Oversee school administration, curriculum, programs, services, and resources.
- Communicate school goals, vision, and needs to teachers, parents, the community, and school board.
- Establish academic and behavioral standards for students and administer student discipline.
- Ensure compliance with all laws, implement emergency plans, and establish safety regulations.
- Hire, supervise, and evaluate school teaching staff, administrative staff, kitchen staff, and custodians.
Common Career Paths for Elementary School Principal
Many Elementary School Principals move into a School Superintendent role, and folks who currently hold that position report a much higher median income of $106K per year. A lot of Elementary School Principals advance their careers by becoming Elementary and Secondary School Education Administrators and Middle School Principals and Headmasters. However, those positions offer $19K less and $4K less per year on average.
Elementary School Principal Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Elementary School Principal
Elementary School Principals note just a narrow range of job skills. Most notably, skills in Childhood Education, Team Leadership, Leadership, and Curriculum Planning are correlated to pay that is above average. Most people skilled in Curriculum Planning are similarly competent in Team Leadership.
Pay by Experience Level for Elementary School Principal
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Elementary School Principals with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $74K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $79K. Elementary School Principals claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $83K. Elementary School Principals with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $85K.
Pay Difference by Location
Surpassing the national average by 46 percent, Elementary School Principals in New York receive some of the highest pay in the country. Elementary School Principals will also find cushy salaries in Chicago (+44 percent), Washington (+30 percent), Detroit (+26 percent), and Dallas (+10 percent). Elementary School Principals in Orlando earn salaries far below the national average by 27 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Workers in San Antonio and Houston earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (8 percent less and 7 percent less, respectively).