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Career Overview

Principals of elementary, middle and scondary schools are responsible for overall administration of the education organization.�� They hire and evaluate teachers, sign off on educational programs, changes to those programs, the introduction of technology to teaching, and other details that shape the educational experience at the school.�� They visit classrooms and pay close attention to the quality of the education in those classrooms as reflected in test scores.

Principals also oversee the budget process every year, which includes capital allocations for new teaching aids, recreational gear and technology as well as custodial and maintenance costs.�� They are visible figures in the community and must work in concert with the school parents organization.


Some principals gain their position after an understudy role as assistant principal.�� These sorts of experiece oriented promotions may require only a master's degree.�� But many principals in large schools and established private academies hold doctorates in educational administration or leadership.�� Generally licensing is required by the state.


There were 226,000 elementary, middle and secondary school administrators employed in 2006, according to the Department of Labor.�� This category includes principals, assistant principals, curriculum professionals and in some schools, positions such as librarian.��

Job Outlook

The job category is expected to grow about as fast as the projected average growth of jobs overall.�� However large numbers of principals and other administrators are going to be retiring as the children of the baby boomers move out of the school system.�� Job prospects should be good.


Lowest 10%��$71,713

Median Salary��$92,540

Highest 10%��$114,320

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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