High School Principal Salary (United States)

The majority of High School Principals in the United States—just under three-fifths—boast more than 10 years of experience in their profession. Salaries stretch from $54,097 to $119,271 per year and typically amount to $83,941 per year. Medical benefits are awarded to the greater part, and about two-thirds earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this outline were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
High School Principal Salary (?
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.
$54,536 - $118,783
MEDIAN: $83,121
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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.
$54,536 - $118,783  
$0.00 - $8,877  
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).
$54,097 - $119,271  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 553
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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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Pay by Experience Level for High School Principal

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many High School Principals, experience and pay seem to be weakly connected; experience does not necessarily lead to more money. Salaries start at $77K, which grows to $82K after five to 10 years. Salary comes to $89K after 10 to 20 years. Salaries tend to grow less rapidly after achieving 20 years of experience, with more senior High School Principals earning an average of $100K per year. Those with more than 20 years of experience are scarcest in the field. Most typically, High School Principals report having spent one to 10 years on the job followed by those with 10 to 20 years.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects High School Principal Salaries

up arrow 13%
up arrow 6%
National Average
up arrow 2%
up arrow 10%

Skills That Affect High School Principal Salaries

People Management
up arrow 11%
National Average
Curriculum Planning
up arrow 2%
up arrow 24%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 139 votes.


female alumni
male alumni

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: 89% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 52% employee benefits None: 8%
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