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.

Also known as: Headmaster or Headmistress.

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

You usually need formal qualifications and teaching experience to work as a School Principal. School Principals often have university qualifications.

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

All School Principals

  • Unavailable Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 20,600 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 96% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 53 hours Average full-time
  • 50 years Average age
  • 60% female Gender Share

The number of people working as School Principals (in their main job) grew moderately the past 5 years and is expected to grow over the next 5 years:
from 20,600 in 2018 to 22,100 by 2023.
Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
There are likely to be around 12,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 2,400 a year).

  • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
  • Location: School Principals work in many regions of Australia.
  • Industries: Most work in the Education and Training industry.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (96%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 53 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 50 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (68%).
  • Gender: 60% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
YearNumber of Workers
200819600
200918700
201021300
201116900
201222900
201319400
201422300
201520000
201623700
201723100
201820600
202322100

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Education and Training98.3
Public Administration and Safety1.3
Other Services0.2
Health Care and Social Assistance0.1
Other Industries0.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateSchool PrincipalsAll Jobs Average
NSW34.731.6
VIC21.325.6
QLD18.920.0
SA7.37.0
WA12.610.8
TAS2.32.0
NT1.51.0
ACT1.41.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketSchool PrincipalsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.05.0
20-240.1-9.39.3
25-347.2-22.922.9
35-4424.8-22.022.0
45-5433.4-21.621.6
55-5920.5-9.09.0
60-6410.9-6.06.0
65 and Over3.1-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate42.7-10.110.1
Bachelor degree52.1-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.4-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV0.2-21.121.1
Year 120.6-18.118.1
Year 110.0-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.1-12.512.5

You usually need formal qualifications and teaching experience to work as a School Principal. School Principals often have university qualifications.

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Education and training

    91% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  2. Customer and personal service

    82% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  3. English language

    81% Skill level

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

  4. Administration and management

    69% Skill level

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  5. Personnel and human resources

    67% Skill level

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Face-to-face discussions

    100% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  2. Telephone

    100% Important

    Talk on the telephone.

  3. Contact with people

    98% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  4. Teamwork

    97% Important

    Work with people in a group or team.

  5. Electronic mail

    97% Important

    Use electronic mail.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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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