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

  • $2,069 Weekly Pay
  • 22,200 workers Employment Size
  • Strong Future Growth
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 97.3% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 48.1 hours Average full-time
  • 50 years Average age
  • 62.2% female Gender Share

The number of School Principals fell over the past 5 years and is expected to grow strongly over the next 5 years:
from 22,200 in 2017 to 24,500 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 13,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: School Principals work in most regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Education and Training industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (97.3%, much higher than the all jobs average of 68.4%) showing part-time work may be hard to find.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 48.1 hours per week at work (compared to the all jobs average of 40.0 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 50 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (69.1%).
  • Gender: 62.2% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
200720400
200819800
200918800
201021400
201117000
201223100
201319600
201422600
201520100
201623100
201722200
202224500

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Training95.1
Public Administration and Safety3.9
Health Care and Social Assistance0.7
Other Services0.4

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 2017, 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
NSW32.831.6
VIC26.226.2
QLD19.319.7
SA5.96.7
WA10.310.8
TAS2.92.0
NT1.21.1
ACT1.41.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-240.0-9.99.9
25-345.3-23.623.6
35-4425.7-21.721.7
45-5431.6-20.820.8
55-5924.1-8.88.8
60-6411.3-6.06.0
65 and Over2.1-4.04.0

Education Level

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/Diploma0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV0-18.918.9
Year 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 11-9032.00 - Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 11-9032.00 - Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School.

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