High School Principal Salary

High School Principals who are practiced in their profession and carry more than 10 years of experience make up close to three-fifths of High School Principals. Pay fluctuates from $54K to $121K per year, but expected earnings average $86K per year. Geographic location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Male High School Principals are more prevalent than women among those who took the survey — 65 percent of professionals. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just over a half. This field is filled with high levels of job satisfaction; most High School Principals are happy with their jobs. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$54,177 - $119,808
(Median)
$54K
$86K
$120K
MEDIAN: $85,706
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$54,177 - $119,808  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,274  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$53,735 - $120,607  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 604
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Job Description for High School Principal

High school principals are responsible for all aspects of the administration of a high school. They provide leadership and are the final authority within their institution. They provide educational planning by assessing and updating the curriculum, as well as supervise teachers and give feedback regarding performance. High school principals make priority decisions regarding various departments and funding options, in line with budgetary constraints. At all times, they must seek to improve educational efficiency and quality. High school principals oversee the student body and provide dispute resolution and ultimate disciplinary decisions once issues have surpassed the teacher and counselor level. Additionally, principals are responsible for ensuring their school meets all necessary academic and safety regulations and guidelines. High school principals make hiring and firing decisions regarding teaching and support staff. In the case of private schools, principals also help set admission standards and make admissions decisions as needed.

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High School Principal Tasks

  • 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.
  • Establish academic and behavioral standards for students and administer student discipline.
  • Oversee school administration, curriculum, programs, services, and resources.
  • Communicate school goals, vision, and needs to teachers, parents, the community, and school board.

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High School Principals report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in People Management, Leadership, Curriculum Planning, and Administration are correlated to pay that is above average. Administration, on the other hand, is typically associated with much lower pay. Many workers who know Leadership also know People Management.

Pay by Experience Level for High School Principal

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For High School Principals, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $77K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $83K on average — a distinctly larger sum. High School Principals see a median salary of $89K after reaching one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $95K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

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Experience Affects High School Principal Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 10%

Experienced
up arrow 4%

National Average
$86,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 4%

Entry-Level
up arrow 11%

Skills That Affect High School Principal Salaries

People Management
up arrow 6%

Leadership
up arrow 2%

Curriculum Planning
up arrow 2%

National Average
$86,000

Administration
up arrow 26%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 88 votes.

Gender

Female
35 %
Male
65 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
33%
20 years or more
26%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 71%
vision benefits Vision: 53% employee benefits None: 8%
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