How to become a School Principal

School principals provide educational leadership for primary and/or secondary schools and their communities.

Personal requirements of a School Principal

  • Ability to integrate knowledge of teaching into daily work
  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • ability to form positive relationships
  • very good leadership skills
  • able to work as part of a team
  • good analytical skills
  • attention to detail
  • good understanding of politics and awareness of global and national environments
  • good project management skills
  • able to work under pressure and remain calm in stressful situations.

Duties & Tasks of a School Principal

School principals may perform the following tasks:

  • manage and coordinate the educational, administrative and financial affairs of a school
  • develop approaches to management and policy within broad guidelines in conjunction with the school council
  • liaise with other schools, parents and the wider community to build positive relationships
  • identify the current and future needs of students and staff, and develop ways of addressing those needs
  • implement systems and procedures to check school performance and student enrolments, the receipt of fees and the collection and storage of information required for reporting purposes
  • collect, analyse and use data to lead decision-making in the solving of complex problems
  • supervise the maintenance of school facilities to provide a safe working environment for staff and students
  • promote the school through publicity, the development of promotional material and contact with other organisations, including school councils
  • manage arrangements for internal examinations
  • enforce discipline within the school
  • represent the school at community and administrative meetings
  • organise and implement methods of raising additional funds, often in conjunction with parent groups
  • manage human resources, including staff recruitment and training
  • perform teaching tasks.

Working conditions for a School Principal

School principals generally work in an office or classroom in a primary or secondary school. They work long hours that may include evenings and weekends. They are expected to attend school events and functions.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT 1.4%

NSW 34.7%

NT 1.5%

QLD 18.9%

SA 7.3%

TAS 2.3%

VIC 21.3%

WA 12.6%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 40%

Female 60%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 0.6%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 0.2%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 4.4%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 52.1%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 42.7%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0.1%

20-24 - 6.1%

25-34 - 26.8%

35-44 - 22.6%

45-54 - 19.5%

55-59 - 8.2%

60-64 - 7.1%

65 and Over - 9.5%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

Related careers