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Canada’s Best Jobs 2014: School Principal & Administrator

Never a dull moment

school principal

Principal Thando Hyman-Anan of Toronto’s General Brock Public School, seen in a file photo (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star/Getty)

Median Salary: $91,437
Change in salary (2007–2013): +14%
Total employees: 32,300

These are the principals and vice-principals who see your kids at the office when they’re caught texting in class. This group also sometimes includes the deans and senior administrators of the universities Junior will one day make it to (if he could only stop texting).

How to qualify: Once they have spent some time in front of the classroom, teachers aiming for an admin position head back to class themselves—for a master of education degree or additional specialist and principal’s training, which varies depending on the province.

Money: Vice-principals start around $97,000 per year, and principals can go up to $115,000. As management, however, school administrators’ benefits are often worse than those of the unionized teachers they lead.

Opportunity: There will be nearly 7,000 available school administration jobs across the country each year through 2015—thousands more than there are candidates. Recent cuts to education in Ontario have slightly shrunk the prospects for elementary and secondary VPs in that province, however.

What it’s like: “I never know what my day will bring,” says Jennifer Zurba, principal of William Burgess Public School in Toronto. “A kid with a broken arm, an angry parent, a teacher.” The lengthy screening process and high applicant rate means it can take a while to advance, so networking is key: “Try to get out there and sit on different committees. The more superintendents who know your name, the better your chance of them placing you.”

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