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High School Principal Salary

High School Principals in the United States with more than 10 years of experience in their profession represent about three in five of High School Principals. Salaries average out to around $85K per year and spread from $53K to $120K 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. It's worth noting that most people in this role find their work both fulfilling and enjoyable. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
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$53,658 - $119,314
MEDIAN: $84,849

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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.
$53,658 - $119,314  
$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).
$53,236 - $120,128  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 577

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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.


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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Popular Skills for High School Principal

High School Principals note just a narrow range of job skills. Most notably, skills in Leadership, Curriculum Planning, People Management, and Administration are correlated to pay that is above average. Administration, on the other hand, is typically associated with much lower pay. Employees educated in Curriculum Planning are typically practiced in Leadership, too.

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, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $83K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $76K. After working for 10 to 20 years, High School Principals make a median salary of $90K. 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 $94K.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects High School Principal Salaries

up arrow 9%

up arrow 5%

National Average

up arrow 3%

up arrow 11%

Skills That Affect High School Principal Salaries

up arrow 3%

Curriculum Planning
up arrow 3%

People Management
up arrow 2%

National Average

up arrow 25%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 95 votes.


35 %
65 %

Years of Experience

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

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 53% employee benefits None: 8%