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How Much Do Principals Make In Texas?

Scott Fikes
Scott Fikes on May 2, 2023

The median salary for a principal in Texas is $113,029, according to the latest data published in March 2023. 


The highest 10% salary earners make $140,016 per year, while the lowest 10% earn $87,821.


Several factors, such as experience to geography, can impact your salary if you’re considering becoming a principal in Texas. Let’s look at some of those factors and your next steps if you’re considering choosing a career in education. 



Factors That Impact A Principal’s Salary



While the median salary for principals in Texas is just over $113,000, the average salary for the 2022-2023 school year ishow much do principals make in texas lower, illustrating how there are several factors that impact why your school district may offer a slightly lower or higher salary. 


Let’s take a closer look at statewide totals that show average principal and assistant principal salaries, according to the Texas Education Agency (TEA): 


FTE Count

Total Base Pay

Average Base Pay





Assistant Principal




Geographical location is one of the most significant factors that can impact your salary as a principal. For example, the median salary for principals in Houston is $117,119, while the median salary for principals in Lubbock, Texas, is $103,674. Lubbock is located toward the western edge of Texas and has a population of about 261,000. In contrast, Houston has a population of nearly 2.29 million.


Other factors that can impact your salary as a principal include:


  • Years of experience: Generally, the more years of experience a principal has, the higher their salary will be.
  • Level of education: A principal with a higher degree or additional certifications may earn a higher salary.
  • Size of the school: Even with a highly-populated school district, the size of the school can impact a principal’s salary, with larger schools or districts generally offering higher salaries.
  • Grade level of the school: A high school principal may be more likely to earn a higher salary than an elementary school principal. 
  • Performance: A principal’s performance when evaluated by the district can impact salary.
  • Budget: The overall budget of the district can also influence a principal’s salary since it determines the amount of funding available for personnel expenses.

It is important to note that each district has its own policies and salary schedule, so the specific factors that impact a principal’s salary can vary between even similarly-sized districts or districts located in the same geographical region.


The Role Of A Principal



A principal is the top administrator and instructional leader in a school, responsible for overseeing all aspects of school operations and ensuring that students receive a high-quality education. The specific roles and responsibilities of a principal can vary, but generally include:


  • Creating a school vision: A principal sets a vision for the school that aligns with the district’s goals and values.
  • Hiring and managing staff: A principal is also responsible for hiring and managing teachers, support staff and other personnel, and ensuring that they are effective in their roles.
  • Managing the budget: Every school has a budget and a principal is in charge of maintaining that budget, as well as allocating resources to support instructional programs and other school needs.
  • Establishing and enforcing policies: A principal establishes and enforces policies related to student behavior, school safety and other issues.
  • Supporting student learning: Ensuring that all students have access to a high-quality education and that they are making progress toward meeting academic standards is a critical role in today’s principal position.
  • Building partnerships with families and the community: A principal builds partnerships with families, community organizations and other stakeholders to support student learning and school improvement.


Overall, the principal is the leader of the school community and plays a crucial role in ensuring students receive a high-quality education.


How To Become A Principal



Suppose you’re thinking about pursuing a career in education as a principal. In that case, you must first meet a list ofhow much do principals make in texas requirements set forth by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), the organization that oversees education in the state:


  • Hold a master’s degree from a university that is accredited by an agency recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 
  • Earn your Texas teacher certification
  • Have two years of creditable teaching experience as a classroom teacher
  • Successfully complete an approved principal educator preparation program
  • Successfully complete a required exam


If you’re currently working in another field and have your master’s degree, and are considering switching careers to education, an educator preparation program (EPP) can help you achieve your goals. 


Educator preparation programs provide a pathway to certification for individuals who have already earned their degree, but in a different field. These programs, also called alternative teacher certification programs, offer the training necessary to help you acquire the skills that you need to become a teacher (and eventually a principal) in Texas. 


Once you are accepted into an educator preparation program, you will begin your training. In Texas, you must complete the following:


  • A minimum of 300 hours of training to receive a standard teaching certificate
  • Of these 300 hours of training, 30 must be dedicated to observation by a teacher advisor or in a classroom environment


It’s important to note that the 30 hours of observation by a teacher advisor is a very important part of your certification process. These certified teachers send a recommendation to your credential program that you are ready or not ready to teach in the classroom.


Here is where the program you choose makes a difference. ECAP has former principals, vice principals and teachers who have extensive experience to help you through this process. Not all programs do this. Some simply send past teachers who are ex-students of their program to evaluate you, so it is important to contact the program you are considering to ensure that you are going to get the best advisor to help you.


You will also have to pass any required exams, including your content exam. Which content exam you take will depend on the subject area or grade level you wish to teach. You may also need to take the Science of Teaching Reading. This teaching reading exam is required if you plan to get certified in one of the following areas:


  • Early Childhood: EC - Grade 3
  • Core Subjects with Science of Teaching Reading: Early Childhood - Grade 6 or Grades 4-8
  • English Language Arts and Reading with Science of Teaching Reading - Grades 4-8
  • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies with Science of Teaching Reading - Grades 4-8


Finally, you must take the PPR as well. The PPR, or Texas Examinations of Educator Standards Pedagogy and Professional Responsibilities, “is designed to assess whether a test taker has the requisite knowledge and skills that an entry-level educator in this field in Texas public schools must possess,” according to the TEA.


Once you finish the required training and pass your exams, you can apply for your teaching license and begin teaching in the classroom. This will put you one step closer to meeting the criteria of having two years of teaching under your belt before becoming a principal, as well as one step closer to meeting your goals.


Apply to ECAP

Written by Scott Fikes

Scott is the Deputy Executive Director and Program Consultant. Scott earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology from Texas Woman's University and a Master of Education from Texas Woman's University. Scott has extensive experience in both the classroom and as an administrator in districts in North Texas.

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