The Average Salary of a Principal in Ohio


With 1,080 public schools and 1.8 million students in them, according to Education Bug, Ohio’s school principals hold a tremendous amount of collective responsibility. Although principals are supervised by school district administrators, they have a large amount of independent responsibility over the successful and efficient operation of the school in which they are in charge, and usually receive compensation that mirrors that responsibility.

Ohio Principal Salary

In Ohio, half of all principals earn between $60,000 and $96,564 as of January 2011, according to PayScale. Elementary school principals earn between $64,410 and $85,696. These salary ranges represent the median half of all incomes reported for principal positions in the state, and individual earnings may vary significantly by position. The median wage for all school administrators, principals and assistant principals alike, in Ohio is $88,590 as of May 2000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Salaries Around the State

Principals in some of the state’s larger cities report median salaries that are above the state average for the position. Principals in Cleveland earn some of the highest median salaries, of $93,020 as of January 2011, according to Those in Cincinnati earn $90,657 a year on average, while those who oversee schools in Columbus earn median annual incomes of $92,216 each year. Half of all principals who work in those three metropolitan areas earn between $80,079 and $104,641 each year.

Comparison to National Salaries

Nationwide, the average school principal earns $93,220 as of January 2011, according to, with half of all principals receiving salaries between $82,343 and $104,867 each year. Administrators who earn this salary have at least seven years of experience in their field. Median incomes for major metropolitan areas in Ohio are essentially on par with the national averages.

State Standards for Principals

In 2007, the Ohio Department of Education’s Education Standards Board set standards for principals to meet. These broad standards require principals to push their schools continuously toward reaching academic goals, support high-quality instruction in their schools, allocate resources effectively within their schools, create collaborative learning environments and be engaged in the community in which their school resides. Principals are rated on their ability to perform to each of these standards on a scale of not proficient to distinguished.

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