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Principal vs. Founder: What Are the Differences?

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

A principal is a person who has ownership in a business, while a founder is the person who started the business. Both of these roles are important in the success of a company, but they have different responsibilities. In this article, we compare the job titles of principal and founder, and we discuss the different duties each position entails.

What is a Principal?

A Principal is a high-level executive or manager at a company. They are responsible for the overall operation and performance of a specific division or business unit. Principals typically have several years of experience in their field and hold a senior position within their company. They report directly to the CEO or president and work with other executives to develop and implement company strategy. Principals are responsible for setting goals and objectives for their division, as well as ensuring that these goals are met. They also play a key role in developing and managing budgets, and they are responsible for ensuring that their division is profitable.

What is a Founder?

A Founder is the initial creator of a company or organization. They typically have an entrepreneurial mindset and are passionate about their company’s mission. Founders are typically responsible for generating initial funding for their company, recruiting the first employees and getting the company off the ground. In the early stages of a company, Founders typically wear many hats and are involved in all aspects of the business. As the company grows, Founders typically transition into a more strategic role, focusing on the company’s long-term vision and goals.

Principal vs. Founder

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

Job Duties

Principals carry out the day-to-day operations of a school, including overseeing teachers and ensuring students have access to resources they need. Founders create companies from scratch, deciding what products or services to offer and how best to market them. While both roles involve creating new environments for people to enjoy, founders often focus more on the business side of things, while principals tend to concentrate on the educational elements.

Job Requirements

There is no one specific educational path to becoming a principal or founder. However, most principals and founders have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as business administration, marketing, or economics. Additionally, many principals and founders have several years of experience working in their respective fields before starting their own businesses. Some also pursue advanced degrees, such as a Master of Business Administration, to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in business.

Work Environment

Principals typically work in an office setting, but they may also travel to visit schools and meet with teachers. They spend most of their time working on administrative tasks like creating lesson plans and evaluating student performance. Founders often work from home or a shared workspace where they can collaborate with other team members. They may also travel to attend conferences or pitch investors for funding.


Both principals and founders need to have excellent leadership skills to be successful in their roles. They also both need to be able to think strategically, be organized and have a strong understanding of the business they are in.

The main difference between the two roles is that a founder typically starts a company from scratch, while a principal may come into an existing company and help lead it in a new direction. Because of this, founders need to be especially good at taking risks and being innovative in their thinking. They also need to be very passionate about their work and be able to inspire others to believe in their vision. Principals, on the other hand, may need to be more adept at working within existing systems and structures and be less risk-averse than founders.


The average salary for a principal is $106,467 per year, while the average salary for a founder is $71,333 per year. The average salary for a principal may vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which the company operates and the level of experience the principal has. The average salary for a founder may vary depending on the size of the company, the industry in which the company operates and the level of experience the founder has.


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