Principal Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Principal, or Public School Principal, oversees the daily activities and operations within a school. Their main duties include disciplining or advising students, approving Teachers’ curriculums and ensuring the school environment is safe for all students and staff members.

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Principal duties and responsibilities

It’s critical that job functions are conveyed accurately to ensure the most qualified applicants apply. The responsibilities and duties of the principal include:

  • Ensuring that academic policies and curriculum are followed 
  • Developing and tracking benchmarks for measuring institutional success
  • Helping teachers maximize their teaching potential
  • Meeting and listening to concerns of students on a regular basis
  • Encouraging, guiding and assisting student leaders and teachers 
  • Meeting with parents and administrators on a regular basis for problem resolution
  • Enforcing discipline when necessary
  • Providing an atmosphere free of any bias in which students can achieve their maximum potential

Principal Job Description Examples:



NEW York City Department OF Education - Bronx

Principal - Elementary (PK - 5)

Principal - Middle School (6th - 8th)

Highly qualified, certified, and interested candidates are encouraged to apply.

  • Serve as as an Instructional leader with knowledge of Common Core Learning Standards, Instructional Shifts, and Citywide Instructional Leadership Framework, providing professional development - through classroom observations, team meetings, and inquiry to monitor implementation.

  • Develop and evaluate educational program to ensure implementation and understanding of the Common Core Standards.

  • Utilize Danielson's Teacher Effectiveness Framework to evaluate teacher effectiveness, provide actionable feedback, and professional development.

  • Collect and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data, facilitating discussions amongst teachers and staff and working with schools leaders provide professional development and teacher accountability.

  • Select, supervise, motivate, and evaluate teachers to ensure the students can achieve their academic goals.

  • Establish relationships and partnerships with community organizations and other schools to coordinate educational services and effectively communicate school vision.

  • Confer with teachers, students and parents concerning educational and behavioral problems in school.

  • Encourage active parent participation and encouragement through workshops and family activities.

  • Address building management concerns by working with the custodial staff, office staff, teachers and Network staff including implementing school-wide safety and emergency protocols.

  • Secure and allocate supplies, equipment, instructional materials, as well as Title I funds to support students' social, emotional, and academic development.

    Job Type: Full-time


  • Leadership: 3 years (Required)


  • Master's (Required)


  • NY - New York (Required)


  • Health insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Vision insurance

  • Retirement plan

  • Paid time off

  • Other


  • Monday to Friday

    Benefit Conditions:

  • Waiting period may Temporarily due to Covid-19
  • ×


    Successful candidate will perform day to day secretarial duties. Duties include, but are not limited to: invoice payment preparation, agenda, payroll, purchase orders, filing, and maintaining financial spreadsheets. Candidate will also perform other duties as assigned. Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Publisher as well as knowledge of Csiu preferred. Candidate must have strong multitasking skills, strong written and verbal communication skills. Must be organized, a team player and a confidential problem solver. Must work collaboratively with office staff and administrators. Must be punctual and have a strong work ethic.

    Qualifications: High School Diploma required. Must be able to type 40WPM unless otherwise noted. Skills Assessment will be given.

    External Candidates will be required to provide mandatory clearances. This includes the Act 34 (State Criminal Clearance), Act 151 (Child Abuse) and Act 114 (FBI Clearance). All Clearances must be within 1 year of application date. Candidates not providing updated clearances will not be considered for employment.

    Location Rainbow Elementary School and Reeceville Elementary School.

    Please apply for this position on our website here: [website]?JobID=626

    or here can only accept applications that are submitted through our online Type: Full-time

    What does a Principal do? 

    Principals make sure that an elementary, middle or high school is operating efficiently by overseeing Teachers and students every day. They’ll hire and train Teachers and other team members who work at the institution. Principals will also develop codes and policies for their Teachers to follow and will consistently enforce these guidelines. 

    They’ll build and maintain budgets for the school and make sure it remains in stable financial standing. Principals also work closely with board members and parents to communicate any important announcements or information regarding the school and its students. They’re also responsible for creating building and guest policies to keep everyone safe at all times.

    Principal skills and qualifications

    It’s equally important to outline required and preferred skills. To attract more suitable candidates, include soft skills and personality traits. Long lists are not recommended.  Instead, include qualifications and skills essential to this role.

    To qualify for the position of a principal, an applicant should have the following:

    • A Master’s degree in education is considered the minimum qualifying credential.  However, in some cases, a Bachelor’s degree in education with at least 5 years in a leadership role may also be acceptable
    • Minimum of two years of working experience as a school leader or principal
    • Communication skills to develop a productive educational experience for both teachers and students
    • Problem solving skills to enhance teacher performance and improve student grades
    • Valid teaching license

    Principal Salary Expectations 

    A Principal makes an average of $115,337 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

    Principal education and training requirements

    Candidates applying for this position should have a Master’s degree in education. There are some cases where a Bachelor’s degree in education may be acceptable if the candidate has at least five years of experience in a leadership role in a similar setting. 

    Principal experience requirements

    A principal should have at least two years of working experience. During this time, a Principal should gain critical knowledge about how to run a school effectively and provide its students with high-quality education and resources.

    Job description samples for similar positions

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    Frequently asked questions about Principals


    Who reports to a Principal?

    The people who report to a Principal can typically vary depending on the type of school they work in. Principals who work for smaller institutions usually handle both day-to-day and big-picture operations, so Teachers will regularly report directly to them. They’ll conduct ongoing evaluations of teachers to ensure they’re performing effectively and are teaching the proper curriculums. 

    Those who work in larger institutions will typically have a Vice Principal report directly to them. The Vice Principal will collaborate more closely with Teachers and students on a daily basis while the Principal handles more big-picture items. If the Vice Principal comes across any complex problems while on the job, the Principal will address and resolve the issue.


    What's the difference between a Principal and a Superintendent?

    While they both work in the education industry and oversee the operations of school systems, there are some main differences between Principals and Superintendents when it comes to their job responsibilities and seniority levels. A Superintendent typically oversees the entire school system, including the elementary, middle and high schools. They’re also usually elected and hired by the school board. 

    The Principal is usually in charge of one school or building and reports directly to the Superintendent. The Superintendent will also hire and oversee the job performance of the Principal. 


    What are the different types of Principals?

    Principals can work in different schools completing various job duties. An Elementary School Principal usually oversees children in Kindergarten to 5th grade, though the grades may vary among schools. They’ll work with younger children and will establish policies to make sure all students are receiving proper curriculums and engaging in activities that support their brain developments. 

    Middle and High School Principals oversee students from ages 12 to 18. They’ll collaborate more closely with the Athletic Director to ensure students can handle sports and extracurricular activities, while still maintaining passing grades.


    What makes a good Principal?

    A great Principal should have impressive leadership skills to guide and motivate Teachers, students and other staff members. Ideal candidates typically have advanced experience in education, usually previously serving as a Teacher to help provide valuable expertise and advice to Teachers. 

    They should also have effective problem solving and conflict management skills to provide quick and logical solutions to high-level issues that the school may undergo. Since every day is often different and problems regularly arise that they may constantly resolve, Principals must be good at multitasking and adapting to changing environments. 

    Job Description Examples

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      Last updated: Apr 28, 2021