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Pay & Working Conditions Survey Results

Pay Gap Resources

Is the Principalship in Peril?

If you're on this page, there's a good chance you've already seen our page on principal contracts and the pay gap between principals' and teachers' salaries for the 2018-19 school year. If you haven't, go give it a read. It provides the background and context of this survey. It also lets you know what we're working on to keep supporting principals. 

We know as it is right now, regardless of the pay gap, we're in danger of losing great principals to churn and burnout. If you're a principal, you know what you do, but do you know just how much influence you have? If you haven't seen it yet, watch this short video below and then check out some of our survey results.

Fall 2018 AWSP Survey Data

Are Teachers Really Making More?

Principals and Assistant Principal Responses

Survey chart for principal pay
survey data chart

Just Principal Responses 

principal survey data
survey data pie chart

Just Assistant Principals

assistant principal survey data
assistant principals survey data

If Teachers You Supervise Are Making More Than You, How Does That Affect Your Outlook on the Principalship Moving Forward?

It makes me question the job and whether it's worth the time, energy, stress and workload." 
I was a high school counselor two years ago and I would be making more if i was currently in that position but without the added daily responsibilities and “on call” responsibilities I have now. I would have a 180 contract with supplemental contracts due to added scheduling duties in the summer-compensation for my time." 
Why go into administration? More work, more stress, more headaches for less money than you can make teaching? Outlook isn't good for recruiting new administrators." 
Potential school leaders who teach in my building are said "no thanks" when I've encouraged them to look at becoming a school administrators because they would earn less and work more hours and days." 

What's Life Like for a Typical Principal?

Principal Workload

principal days per week chart
principal hours per week chart

Assistant Principal Workload


Chart of Days per Week
chart of principal hours per week

What Effect Does the Workload Have on Principals or People Considering School Leadership?

I see fewer and fewer folks staying in the role longer than 5 years. 
It's expensive and stressful to get into the administrative side of education. These have generally been worth it to make the jump in income. At this point though, who will want to take on the stress, extra time, and burden of more student loans to make the same money as they could in the classroom? 
We will not have enough qualified people in the leadership position (due to overworking and lack of pay), having to wear too many hats in the district/school to sustain principals and too much expected for our workload. 
Aspring adminstrators are hearing and witnessing the fact that there is not enough support and time for to do the job well - a lack of job satisfaction because of the workload. There are too many staff to evaluate. Crisis-management keeps me from doing the most important work supporting staff in doing their job well. 

Are Principals Ever Done? What's the Cost?

weekly workload chart
Effect on relationships chart

What Are The Costs of Being a Principal?

It's hard to counsel someone into a job that involves working 60+ hours per week. The costs to family and personal relationships are high. I don't think that millenials will be willing to take on the principalship in its current state of working conditions."
The job is stressful, lonely, time consuming and removes us from direct interaction with students on a regular basis. As an administrator, we are never truly off. When we take vacations, we spend at least an hour a day working. When we are sick, we work from our bed via email. When I was a teacher, I never had to check email on vacation or work while I was sick. The pay should reflect the level of responsibility and life impact. People will not choose this work for less pay that they can make teaching. The impact to your personal life and time does not match the wage."
Too much stress. Demands WAY too high. I am expected to work 12-16 hours a day as an assistant principal and athletic director. I have TWO full time jobs. I make the same or less in some cases than people I supervise and I have to work ALL summer, ALL Breaks, Nights, etc. Who and why would anyone choose to do this when we are licensed teachers and could make the same with way less stress and leave school at 2:30 in the afternoon? My family has suffered."
Time demands and the impact on time with family . Our teachers know how many hours our admin works and they know the range of things we must attend to. For most this is enough to stay away."

How Does This Affect the Principal Pipeline?

We know veteran principals are experiencing churn and burnout, but many of them are in for the long haul. The danger of this wage compression with an ever-increasing workload is the pipeline of passionate and purposeful leaders dries up. As you've read the quotes on this page, that's the real danger. 

For example, check out this quote from one of the instructors for a principal prep program in our state. The instructor shared their story, but asked to remain anonymous.

I have 13 students in my principal prep program right now. Not a single one of them is going to apply for an assistant principal or principal position this year. They're all waiting to see what happens with salaries and workload." ~ University Principal Prep Professor

Questions about the survey? Get in touch.

For More Information 

David Morrill | Communications & Technology Director | (800) 562-6100

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