Principals and Headmasters who are practiced in their profession and carry more than 10 years of experience make up just under two-thirds of Principals and Headmasters. Pay fluctuates from $49K to $148K per year, but expected earnings average $83K per year. Geography and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. A large number enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to over one-half. Work is enjoyable for Principals and Headmasters, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Male Principals and Headmasters who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (64 percent) are men. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$49,495 - $147,415
MEDIAN: $82,683

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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.
$49,495 - $147,415  
$0.00 - $67,916  
Profit Sharing
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).
$49,365 - $148,226  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 192

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Job Description for Principal / Headmaster

School principals and headmasters serve as the head of their school and are ultimately responsible for the performance of teachers, students, and other employees. To perform the job successfully, principals must have teaching, managerial, and planning skills, as well as the ability to communicate the school’s performance and needs to school board members and other leaders within the school district. Additionally, they must communicate the needs, expectations and requirements of the school to its employees and students they also help develop and implement plans to meet these standards. They must monitor the school's budget and make regular financial reports to their supervisor(s). They also supervise disciplinary actions for students, teachers, and other staff as necessary. In the public, they also serve as a representative for the school and its administrators.


Principal / Headmaster Tasks

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

Common Career Paths for Principal / Headmaster

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Principals and Headmasters might see a strong upturn in salary after transitioning into upper-level roles such as School Superintendent, a seemingly popular career choice. People currently working in the latter position report a noticeably higher median income of $106K per year. An Elementary School Principal role is the most common promotion for Principals and Headmasters moving up the ladder. Pay for this role tends to be $74K per year. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Principals and Headmasters is a High School Principal position, where earnings are usually $85K.

Principal / Headmaster Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Principal / Headmaster

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

For Principals and Headmasters, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $66K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $80K. Principals and Headmasters see a median salary of $90K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Principals and Headmasters who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $93K on average.

Principal / Headmaster Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Principal / Headmaster in Louisville:
"All students want to better themselves....just show them how."
Treat your students as adults and they will respond in like fashion. They already know how to be a child.

Related Job Salaries

Years in Fields/Career:
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Experience Affects Principal / Headmaster Salaries

up arrow 13%

up arrow 8%

National Average

up arrow 4%

up arrow 20%

Skills That Affect Principal / Headmaster Salaries

Organizational Development
up arrow 3%

National Average

up arrow 17%

Operations Management
up arrow 24%

Curriculum Planning
up arrow 25%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 18 votes.


36 %
64 %

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: 84%
dental benefits
Dental: 62%
medical benefits
Vision: 54%
dental benefits
None: 13%