Pros And Cons Of Becoming A School Principal

It’s probably quite accurate to say that not everyone is cut out to be a principal. The job comes with a raft of responsibilities and also plenty of pros and cons. However, we can say that good principals tend to have certain characteristics.

Like any line of work, it’s a case of measuring up the pros and cons and then deciding whether or not you wish to go for it. Of course, if the pros outweigh the cons then, great.

Pros And Cons Of Becoming A School Principal

Alternatively, if you can’t see all the positives it might not be the job for you.

Pros of Being a Principal


Principals tend to get paid quite well and in a lot of cases a substantial amount more than teachers. Of course, this impact can have be very positive for your family’s financial status and make a big difference to your take home pay as well as your retirement. For a lot of people this makes a job as a principal worth it – however money isn’t everything.

Change of Pace

Being a principal will mean that there are more responsibilities, but with these also arrive plenty of new challenges and lots of excitement. It also means that you will have an increased amount of control in the running of the school and a say in matters. It also allows you to implement any ideas you have a lot easier.


It’s nice to receive a pat on the back now and again and as you are central to the success of a school, you will also receive some of the credit when people in your school succeed – whether they are teachers, students or projects. This allows you to relish the successes of the school. A good decision and a successful school is often traced back to the principal’s leadership.

Impact on People’s Lives

Being a principal allows you the chance to impact on other peoplersquo;s lives, whether theyrsquo;re teacher, student or otherwise. These decisions impact on everyone and can make a big difference to peoplersquo;s lives. Whether itrsquo;s a young teacher looking for advice or a student coming to your for guidance, as a teacher you have a lot of say – something a lot of teachers cite to us at as a reason for teaching.



This is greatly increased and principals tend to have very high workloads. You will be responsible for everyone from the caretaker to the support members, to the vice principal and all the students too. So, you will need to be focused, organised and aware of the responsibilities to ensure things run well and this can take time and effort.


Being a principal also means a lot of time at school, more than when you were a teacher. This often means working over holidays and also attending conferences when you could be off. It means more extracurricular events and more time spent at school.


Just as success falls at your door, so do failures and you will be partially responsible for any failure that occurs in the school. When your school has issues it falls on your shoulders.


Being a principal can be quite political and you need to be wily and diplomatic in your approach to teachers, staff, children and parents. Sometimes you have to make tough decisions and it’s often not straightforward.

However cons aside, being a principal is a fantastic job that offers people a lot and plenty of variation, positives and reward

Cormac Reynolds has written a number of blogs and articles on education for a range of clients. He is a lover of good teachers and has had some himself.

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Author: SmartStudent

SmartStudent is an educational portal that provides information & advice to aspiring students. regarding applying to university, choosing a course, what to take to university, finding student accommodation and much more.

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