2021 | Schools

MCPS principals’ salaries in 2020

Principals earn about twice as much as teachers

In Montgomery County, public school principals earn, on average, about twice as much as teachers.

The average principal salary in the last fiscal year was about $144,000, while teachers earned an average of about $74,000, according to Montgomery County Public Schools data obtained by Bethesda Beat.

Principal salaries are based on a pay scale developed through negotiations between school system officials and an employee union. Principals with more experience occupy a higher rung on the ladder.

Principals also draw higher wages for securing advanced degrees or by leading high schools, larger schools or high-poverty schools.

The county’s highest-paid principal was Debra Mugge, who leads Wheaton High School and made $174,022.

While county principals are among the highest paid in the state, the 20 highest paid Montgomery County Public Schools employees are in the school system’s Rockville-based central office, employed largely as associate superintendents, legal counsel and department directors.

The system’s highest-paid employee is Superintendent Jack Smith, who is in his fourth year at the helm of the state’s largest school system. He makes $290,000, nearly four times the average teacher salary. Smith recently announced his retirement, which will take effect in June.

The following information is from fiscal 2020, which began July 1, 2019. Since that time, some schools might have changed principals.

Principal salaries, by cluster (some schools will appear in multiple clusters because of split articulations)