What am I worth?
Get a free salary report »
What should I pay?
Pay the right way »

High School Principal Salary

High School Principals in the United States tend to have a good amount of experience under their belt — around three in five have more than 10 years in the field. While pay runs from $53K to $121K per year, median earnings come to $85K annually. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. High School Principals largely appreciate their work and find this position highly satisfactory. Men account for the majority of High School Principals who responded to the questionnaire — 65 percent to be exact. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Read More
$53,629 - $119,711
MEDIAN: $84,805

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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.
$53,629 - $119,711  
$0.00 - $8,726  
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).
$53,189 - $120,529  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 569

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

- OR -

Log in with LinkedIn

Comp Managers Click Here »

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

Search for more jobs:

Popular Skills for High School Principal

Typical High School Principals report a focused set of job skills. Most notably, skills in Curriculum Planning, Leadership, People Management, and Administration are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Administration as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Experience with Curriculum Planning is often linked with knowledge of Leadership.

Pay by Experience Level for High School Principal

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

Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for High School Principals — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Workers with less than five years' experience earn around $76K on average, and those who have five to 10 years under their belts see a higher median salary of $82K. High School Principals bring in $90K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $94K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects High School Principal Salaries

up arrow 10%

up arrow 5%

National Average

up arrow 4%

up arrow 11%

Skills That Affect High School Principal Salaries

Curriculum Planning
up arrow 3%

up arrow 2%

People Management
up arrow 2%

National Average

up arrow 25%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 104 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: 89% dental benefits Dental: 70%
vision benefits Vision: 53% employee benefits None: 7%