Principal  What They Do

Just the Facts


Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary School Career Video



Plans, directs, or coordinates the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of public or private elementary or secondary level schools.

This career is part of the Education and Training cluster Administration and Administrative Support pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Evaluates curricula, teaching methods, and programs to determine their effectiveness, efficiency, and use, and to ensure that school activities comply with federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Observes teaching methods and examines learning materials to evaluate and standardize curricula and teaching techniques, and to determine areas where improvement is needed.
  • Counsels and provides guidance to students regarding personal, academic, vocational, or behavioral issues.
  • Collaborates with teachers to develop and maintain curriculum standards, develop mission statements, and set performance goals and objectives.
  • Directs and coordinates activities of teachers, administrators, and support staff at schools, public agencies, and institutions.
  • Recruits, hires, trains, and evaluates primary and supplemental staff.
  • Confers with parents and staff to discuss educational activities, policies, and student behavioral or learning problems.
  • Enforces discipline and attendance rules.
  • Creates school improvement plans by using student performance data.
  • Sets educational standards and goals, and helps establish policies and procedures to carry them out.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Assistant Principal -- Administers school student personnel program in primary or secondary school, and counsels and disciplines students, performing any combination of following tasks.
  • Athletic Director -- Manages and oversees a school's athletic program.
  • Elementary Principal --
  • High School Principal --
  • Middle School Principal --
  • School Administrator --
  • School Superintendent --
  • Special Education Director --
  • Superintendent --