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President vs. Principal: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

The president and principal of an organization are both high-ranking positions with a lot of responsibility. Though they have some similarities, these roles have different duties and expectations. In this article, we compare and contrast the job titles president and principal, and we provide information on what you can do to pursue each position.

What is a President?

The President is the head of state and the head of government for the United States of America. As the chief executive officer of the federal government, the President is responsible for carrying out the laws of the nation. The President also serves as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and can call on them to protect the nation from domestic and foreign threats. The President can also enter into treaties with other nations, though the Senate must ratify them before they can go into effect. The President’s duties also include giving annual State of the Union addresses to Congress, hosting foreign dignitaries and appointing Supreme Court justices.

What is a Principal?

A Principal is the head administrator of a school or educational institution. They are responsible for the overall operation of the school, including hiring and supervising staff, developing curriculum, managing budgets and maintaining facilities. Principals also work with students, parents and the community to ensure that the school is meeting its educational goals. They typically have a background in education and experience working in a school setting. Some Principals may also have a master’s degree in education administration or a related field.

President vs. Principal

Here are the main differences between a president and a principal.

Job Duties

Presidents have a wide variety of job duties, as they oversee the entire company. In comparison, principals only manage the daily operations at their school. As leaders, presidents need to make important decisions that affect the company’s direction. For example, they may decide on new policies or hire and fire employees. Similarly, principals must ensure that each student in their school is following the rules and learning the material. They do this by conducting regular classroom observations and meeting with teachers.

Job Requirements

The job requirements for a president and principal are very similar. Both positions require at least a bachelor’s degree, though many presidents and principals have a master’s degree or higher. Additionally, both positions typically require several years of experience in leadership roles. Some presidents and principals also have certifications in their field, such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license or a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.

Work Environment

Presidents typically work in an office environment, but they may also travel to visit different locations and meet with clients. They often have a lot of responsibilities that require them to be available at all times for their employees or clients. Principals usually work in school settings, where they spend most of their time interacting with students and teachers. They may also travel to attend professional development courses or conferences related to education.


Both presidents and principals need to have excellent communication skills. They use these skills when they are giving speeches, writing reports and interacting with employees, parents and other members of the community. Presidents and principals also need to be able to effectively manage people and resources. This includes being able to delegate tasks, set goals and motivate others to achieve results.

The main difference between the two roles is that a president typically has more responsibilities than a principal. A president is responsible for the overall operation of an organization, while a principal is responsible for managing a specific school or division within an organization. As a result, presidents tend to have more experience in leadership and management, while principals may have more experience in education and teaching.


The average salary for a president is $133,848 per year, while the average salary for a principal is $106,467 per year. The salary for both positions may vary depending on the size of the company or school, the location of the job and the level of experience the person has prior to taking the position.


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