High School Principal Salary

Approximately three in five of High School Principals in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $53K to $121K per year, and the average comes out to $86K per year. Location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most people who answered the questionnaire are men; 65 percent of High School Principals are male. Most workers in this position report very high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$53,893 - $119,998

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$53,893 - $119,998  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,500  
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).
)
$53,435 - $120,809  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 608
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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.

High School Principal Job Listings

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High School Principals typically list a handful of skills they use on the job. 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. Experience with Leadership is often linked with knowledge of 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, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $77K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $83K. High School Principals bring in $90K after working for 10 to 20 years. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $95K.

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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 1%

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: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 53% employee benefits None: 8%
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