Top 20 Pros and Cons of Being a Principal


Being a principal is no easy feat. When you consider the pressure, the responsibilities, and the daily challenges, it takes a very special individual to take on this role effectively. You’ll get here on the top 20 Pros and Cons of Being a Principal with details. This post will give you a balanced view of the role by looking at both the positives and negatives.

We will explain the advantages, disadvantages, the weaknesses, and provide a list of 7 signs of a bad principal. We will also explore why some people love being a principal and what motivates them every day to wake up and face the job.

If education is your passion, and you are considering taking on the role of a school administrator, this post is for you. Read on to find out the pros and cons of this crucial position.


Advantages or Pros of Being a Principal

Being a principal comes with a lot of decision-making power, and as a principal, you have the opportunity to learn and practice various management skills that are essential to running a successful school.

  1. Salary
  2. Variety
  3. Leadership Role
  4. Influence and take the challenge
  5. Rewarding
  6. Career Progression
  7. Respect
  8. Autonomy
  9. Personal Satisfaction
  10. Success

One of the biggest advantages of being a principal is the greater share of profits that you stand to gain, which can be motivating. As a principal, you are also presented with ample opportunities for growth with your business.


1. Salary

A principal’s average yearly wage is over $100,000, whereas a teacher’s average yearly wage is under $60,000. That can have a huge effect on your family’s financial situation, as well as your retirement if you get a significant raise in pay. As we’ll see when we examine the cons, that pay increase is fully deserved.


2. Variety

As a school principal, redundancy is not an issue. Every day is unique in its way. New challenges, difficulties, and adventures are presented each day. It’s possible to be enthralled by this, and it keeps things interesting. You may have a well-defined agenda for the day, but you may fail to accomplish anything that you set out to do.

On any given day, you may or may not know what will happen to you. It’s never boring to be a principal. You establish a schedule as a teacher and teach the same things every year.


3. Leadership Role

As the principal, you are the leader of the school. You get to make important decisions that impact the school and the lives of the students.


4. Influence and take the challenge

Principals have a significant impact on the lives of students, teachers, and staff. As a principal, you can influence the education system and help shape the future of your students.

Being a principal is a challenging job that requires you to be flexible, adaptable, and constantly learning. This can be a great opportunity for personal and professional growth.


5. Rewarding

Principals get to witness the growth and development of their students, which can be incredibly rewarding. You get to see the impact that you are making on the lives of your students and the community.


6. Career Progression

Being a principal can be a stepping stone for career progression. Many principals go on to become district-level administrators, educational consultants, or even run for public office.


7. Respect

As the principal, you are held in high regard by the school community. Students, teachers, and staff look up to you and respect your authority.


8. Autonomy

Principals have a lot of autonomy in their job. They get to make decisions about school policies, curriculum, and budget.


9. Personal Satisfaction

As a principal, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of your students and the community. This can be incredibly satisfying and fulfilling.


10. Success

You will also receive credit when credit is due as the building principal. You succeed as well when one of your students, instructors, coaches, or teams succeeds. Because a choice you made somewhere along the way is likely to have aided in the achievement, you get to enjoy it. It usually indicates that the proper choices have been made when someone connected to the institution is recognized for exceptional accomplishment in a certain area.

You can become a principal by starting your school when someone else starts one. The perks that come with being a principal can make the job worthwhile. It should be noted that the role also comes with a lot of responsibility and pressure when it comes to the safety, education, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff members.


Disadvantages or Cons of Being a Principal

Being a principal is a challenging job that can take a toll on personal life, leading to time and energy losses in other areas. Principals bear significant responsibility and are personally liable if the business fails, leading to financial hardship.

  1. Increased Responsibility
  2. Deal with the Negative
  3. High Stress
  4. To work Long Hours
  5. Limited Flexibility
  6. Constant Criticism
  7. High Expectations and Legal Issues
  8. Budget Constraints
  9. Burnout and Limited Support
  10. High Turnover

The job involves navigating multiple audiences, which can create unique communication dynamics and leadership challenges. Firing or laying off workers adds tension and stress to the workplace, leading to a more challenging office environment.


1. Increased Responsibility

Principals have a greater responsibility than teachers. With a few students, they aren’t merely responsible for a few subjects. Instead, every kid, teacher/coach, support member, and program in their building is managed by a principal.

The responsibilities of a principal are broad. Being involved in everything can be overwhelming, even if you have your hand in it. In a public school, many types of responsibilities are increasing when you’re a principal. In private schools, the situation may be different but the principals have to deal with parents, trustees, and the superintendent.

This type of increased responsibility can be a good thing. A principal has to be able to think on their feet and handle a lot of different tasks at once. They have to have excellent public speaking and communication skills. When everything is put into perspective, it’s easy to see that having more responsibilities is a good thing.


2. Deal with the Negative

You have far more negatives than positives as a principal. Because of a discipline issue, you generally deal with students in person for the first time. Each instance is unique, although all of them are bad. Teachers may also badmouth students, parents, and other instructors,

Parents almost always want to complain about a teacher or another student when they request a meeting.


3. High Stress

Principals face a significant amount of stress daily. They must manage budgets, personnel, and student behavior, which can be overwhelming.


4. To work Long Hours

Being a principal is a demanding job that often requires long hours. This can take a toll on personal and family life.


5. Limited Flexibility

Principals often have limited flexibility in their jobs, as they must be available for meetings, emergencies, and other school-related events.


6. Constant Criticism

Principals are often subject to criticism from parents, teachers, and students. This can be challenging to manage, especially when dealing with difficult situations.


7. High Expectations and Legal Issues

As the leader of the school, principals are expected to deliver results and maintain high levels of academic performance. This can be stressful and challenging.

Principals must navigate legal issues such as student privacy, discipline, and discrimination. This requires a high level of knowledge and expertise.


8. Budget Constraints

Principals often have to make tough decisions with limited resources. This can be challenging when trying to provide the best possible education for students.


9. Burnout and Limited Support

Due to the demanding nature of the job, many principals experience burnout and may leave the profession early.

Principals may feel isolated and lack support from their superiors and peers. This can make it difficult to manage the stress and demands of the job.


10. High Turnover

Principals may face a high turnover rate among teachers and staff, which can make it challenging to maintain consistency and stability in the school environment.

Apart from this, being a principal also involves coping with unexpected risks, making it necessary to have a contingency plan in place. There are many ways of Effective Communication for School Administrators. However, it’s important to note that the advantages might outweigh these disadvantages and that every principal’s experience is different.


Why do I love being a principal?

Being a principal has its own set of perks that make the job extremely rewarding. Principals manage a variety of tasks, such as supervising teachers, students, and administrative staff, thus requiring strong interpersonal skills and an increased workload.

In times of crisis, principals have the opportunity to provide leadership, which can help boost morale and improve overall performance. Being the public face of the school, they communicate efficiently with parents, employees, the community, and local and state governments, thus creating a great brand image for the school.

In addition to the satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment, becoming a principal is a well-compensated and prestigious position.

Moreover, it allows you to create a vision for the future of the educational institution and execute it within your capabilities.

Overall, being a principal demands dedication, commitment, and hard work, but it can be a rewarding career that results in a lasting impact on the lives of students and the community.


7 signs of a bad principal

Being a principal is a challenging role, and it requires a strong and capable leader to drive success for the school and its students. However, if a principal exhibits any of the following signs, they may be considered a bad principal.

  1. Firstly, unprofessional behavior, can damage relationships with staff and students.
  2. Secondly, an inability to lead or take charge when necessary.
  3. Thirdly, destructive behavior, can disrupt school operations.
  4. Fourthly, an inability to delegate tasks, can lead to micromanaging and inefficiency.
  5. Next, poor communication skills, hinder collaboration with others in the school district.
  6. Lastly, poor decision-making skills, can have long-term consequences for the school and its students.
  7. A bad principal cannot exhibit leadership, deal with difficult situations, and communicate effectively, resulting in poor decision-making and harming the school district and its students.

Read also related topics: List Of Negative Behaviors In The Classroom

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Pros and Cons of being an administrator

Being a principal comes with several pros and cons. As a principal, you can have a direct impact on shaping the overall direction and operations of your school and setting policies. In terms of compensation, you can earn a good salary and benefits package.

You can wield a lot of influence over your students and contribute to shaping their lives positively.

However, being a principal also has its cons. You may have less freedom to make decisions than administrators who are not principals.

In staff matters, you may have less control, resulting in a lack of influence over uncooperative teachers. You may also be more likely to be blamed for school failings.


Pros and cons of being an assistant principal

The role of a principal is a fulfilling one, but it involves hard work, dedication, and a clear vision of what one’s goals are.

Pros of Being an Assistant Principal

  1. Professional Growth: Being an assistant principal can be an opportunity for professional growth and development. It can provide experience in leadership and decision-making, which can be valuable for future career opportunities.
  2. Broad Perspective: Assistant principals get to see the school from a different perspective, working closely with the principal and the staff. This can provide a broader understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the education system.
  3. Increased Responsibility: Assistant principals have increased responsibility in the school, which can provide a sense of ownership and pride in their work. They get to work closely with teachers, students, and parents, making a meaningful impact in their lives.
  4. Collaborative Environment: Assistant principals work in a collaborative environment, where they get to work with teachers, counselors, and other support staff to provide the best possible education for students.
  5. Competitive Salary: Assistant principals typically earn a competitive salary that is commensurate with their level of responsibility and experience.


Cons of Being an Assistant Principal

  1. High Stress in the school year: Like principals, assistant principals face a significant amount of stress daily. They must manage budgets, personnel, and student behavior, which can be overwhelming.
  2. Limited Autonomy: Assistant principals may have limited autonomy in their job, as they must follow the policies and procedures set by the principal and the school district.
  3. Limited Flexibility: Assistant principals may have limited flexibility in their jobs, as they must be available for meetings, emergencies, and other school-related events.
  4. Constant Criticism: Assistant principals may also be subject to criticism from parents, teachers, and students. This can be challenging to manage, especially when dealing with difficult situations.
  5. Limited Decision-making Power: Assistant principals may have limited decision-making power, as the final decision rests with the principal. This can be frustrating, especially when they strongly disagree with the principal’s decision.


Weaknesses of a school principal

While being a school principal has many rewarding aspects, it also has several weaknesses that can be stressful to deal with. One common issue that school principals face is political pressure when making decisions. They often face the challenge of balancing the needs of the school with outside pressures from parents, district officials, and politicians.

When the school experiences failures, the principal is often held accountable for the outcome, even if they are not directly responsible. A school principal may be unable to follow a consistent daily routine, as unexpected challenges arise throughout the day. Communication can also be a challenge, as the principal may be limited in their ability to communicate openly.

One major responsibility of school principals is to make hiring decisions, which can have long-term impacts on the school. Making a wrong hiring decision can disturb the culture of the school and even harm the performance of the students.


What are the effective Pros and Cons of being a Teacher?

There are many Pros and cons of Being a Teacher. Now, you may get here the top 5 pros and 5 cons of being a teacher.

Pros of being a teacher

  1. Making a Difference: Teachers can make a positive impact on the lives of their students. They get to inspire and shape the minds of the next generation.
  2. Job Security: Teaching is a secure profession, with a high demand for qualified teachers in many parts of the world.
  3. Schedule: Teachers typically have a predictable schedule with set working hours, weekends and holidays off, and summers off.
  4. Continuous Learning: Teaching requires continuous learning, which can be intellectually stimulating and rewarding. Teachers have access to professional development opportunities that can enhance their skills and knowledge.
  5. Positive Work Environment: Teaching can be a positive work environment, with supportive colleagues and a sense of community within the school.


Cons of Being a Teacher

  1. Low Pay: Teachers are often underpaid, especially considering the level of education and training required for the job.
  2. High Stress: Teaching can be a high-stress job, with long hours, challenging students, and pressure to meet academic standards.
  3. Limited Autonomy: Teachers may have limited autonomy in their job, as they must follow the policies and procedures set by the school district.
  4. Limited Resources: Teachers often have limited resources to work with, such as outdated textbooks or insufficient technology, which can make their job more challenging.
  5. Classroom Management: Teachers must manage student behavior, which can be challenging and time-consuming, taking away instructional time.

In high school, some of the pros and cons are different but, in maximum time these are helpful for middle, high school, and college.

Read also: 20 Reasons Why Students Should Wear Uniforms to School

People also ask to know

What are some typical responsibilities of a principal?

As the leader of a school, a principal’s typical responsibilities include overseeing the academic progress of students, managing the school budget, hiring and training staff, establishing school policies and procedures, communicating with parents and community members, and ensuring a safe and supportive learning environment.

They are also responsible for maintaining compliance with education laws and maintaining positive relationships with the school board and other stakeholders.


What are some potential advantages of being a principal?

As a principal, some potential advantages include the ability to make positive changes within the school and community, the opportunity to mentor and shape the next generation of leaders, the potential for career advancement, and the satisfaction of seeing students grow and succeed academically.

Being a principal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment in making a difference in the lives of others.


What is the hardest part of being a principal?

I cannot determine the definite or accurate answer to this question as it depends on the individual experience and perspective of being a principal. Some of the commonly reported challenges of being a principal include managing difficult parents and staff, enforcing discipline policies, balancing academic and budgetary demands, and dealing with stressful situations or emergencies.

Ultimately, the hardest part of being a principal may vary depending on the specific school environment and responsibilities.


What makes a perfect principal?

As a perfect principle, one should be an effective communicator, a strong leader, and an empathetic problem-solver. They should be able to inspire and motivate their staff and students, creating a positive and inclusive school culture that promotes learning and growth.

They should also be able to make tough decisions with grace and integrity, and actively seek out feedback from stakeholders to continually improve their leadership. A perfect principal is someone deeply committed to the success and well-being of their school community.


Last Word

Being a principal can be both rewarding and challenging. The benefits include the opportunity to make a positive impact on students, staff, and the community while having the autonomy to make important decisions.

However, the downsides include a high-pressure work environment with long hours, difficult working conditions, and stress. Many principals find their work extremely fulfilling and the fact that they can make a positive difference in the lives of their students.

It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making your decision. Check out our comprehensive blog on the topic to learn more about the different aspects the pros and cons of being a principal and the responsibilities that come with it.

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