School Principals plan, organise, direct, control and coordinate the educational and administrative aspects of primary, middle or intermediate, and secondary schools including physical and human resources.

A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually needed to work in this job. Around one in two workers have a Post Graduate degree.

Tasks

  • determining educational programs based on curricula set by educational authorities
  • implementing systems and procedures to monitor school performance and student enrolments
  • directing administrative and clerical activities concerning student admissions and educational services
  • preparing school budgets and maintaining budgetary controls
  • promoting the educational program, and representing schools in the wider community
  • supervising the maintenance of school facilities
  • enforcing a disciplinary code to create a safe and conducive environment for students and teachers
  • organising and implementing methods of raising additional funds in conjunction with parent groups
  • controlling selection, training and supervision of staff
  • may teach students

Job Titles

  • School Principal, or Headmaster/mistress
  • School Principal, or Headmaster/mistress

    Specialisations: Middle or Intermediate School Principal, Primary School Principal, Secondary School Principal

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $2,069 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    moderate
  • Skill Level

    Bachelor Degree or higher
  • Employment Size

    20,000
  • Unemployment

    below average
  • Male Share

    39.1%
  • Female Share

    60.9%
  • Full-Time Share

    96.2%

Find Vacancies

This is a medium sized occupation employing 20,000 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Moderate growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create between 10,001 and 25,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • School Principals work in most parts of Australia.
  • They nearly all work in Education and Training.
  • Almost all work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 49.6 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $2,069 per week (very high compared to the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 54 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 7 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • Around 6 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was below average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
200521400
200615300
200721500
200816700
200923000
201017900
201122000
201220800
201319200
201424700
201520000
202021300

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsSchool PrincipalsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings20691230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySchool PrincipalsAll Jobs Average
Full-time96.268.4
Part-time3.831.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)49.640.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Education and Training92.0
Public Administration and Safety8.0

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSchool PrincipalsAll Jobs Average
NSW37.331.8
VIC21.825.5
QLD16.119.8
SA5.46.8
WA14.011.2
TAS2.72.0
NT1.71.1
ACT1.11.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSchool PrincipalsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.45.4
20-240.0-9.99.9
25-345.4-23.423.4
35-4419.9-21.721.7
45-5426.2-21.121.1
55-5926.0-8.78.7
60-6416.7-5.95.9
65 and Over5.8-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategorySchool PrincipalsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males39.1Males53.6
Females60.9Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationSchool PrincipalsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate59.4-8.68.6
Bachelor degree40.6-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma0.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0.0-18.918.9
Year 120.0-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100.0-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Bachelor Degree or higher, or at least 5 years of relevant experience is usually needed to work in this job.
Around one in two workers have a Post Graduate degree.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

  • myfuture (login required) and the Good Education Group provide information about courses at all levels.
  • My Skills is the national directory of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and provides information about nationally recognised training and training providers that deliver it.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for School Principals who can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people, and provide leadership, direction and planning.

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. English Language

    95% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  2. Education and Training

    94% Important

    Teaching and course design.

  3. Administration and Management

    93% Important

    Planning and coordination of people and resources.

  4. Customer and Personal Service

    89% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  5. Public Safety and Security

    80% Important

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

Occupational Information Network Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Staff

    95% Important

    Giving information to supervisors, co-workers, and staff by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

  2. Building Good Relationships

    94% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

  3. Making Decisions and Solving Problems

    94% Important

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  4. Developing and Building Teams

    94% Important

    Encouraging and building trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

  5. Guiding, Directing and Motivating Staff

    92% Important

    Guiding and directing staff, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Occupational Information Network Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School Opens in a new window
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

go to top