Preschool teachers educate very young kids—usually between ages three and five. Preschool education is mandatory in some states, but not in others. It’s a time to develop vital social skills and a love of learning, and many preschool kids are away from home for the first time. A great preschool teacher not only teaches well, he or she is good at getting kids involved in exercise, rest, and play, is compassionate and loves children, and communicates well with parents.
Annual salaries for preschool teachers will vary depending on your experience, education level, and expertise. In 2012, the average annual salary for preschool teachers working in the U.S. was $31,420 per year.
For more information on what parts of the country have the most opportunity for preschool teachers, click through to our Best Places to Work tab for information on the number of people employed and the average salary in each state.
California leads the nation in employment for preschool teachers, with 48,540 earning an average annual salary of $34,240. New York State is second, where 27,930 preschool teachers are making an average of $43,650.
The metro areas employing the most preschool teachers are:
The metro areas employing the highest concentration of preschool teachers are:
The metro areas employing the best-paid preschool teachers are:
Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career as a preschool teacher. The associated information has been gathered from Bureau of Labor statistics, representing data collected in 2012.
Everyone says that few jobs are more rewarding than teaching, but it’s worth spelling out just what the benefits of teaching are—for you and the kids.
Preschool teachers have to work with kids that are very young: they can’t concentrate for long periods, and can’t always regulate their emotions. That makes how preschool teachers teach as important as what they teach. A working knowledge of these skill sets will help to set you apart from other candidates.
Feel like you’ve got a lot to learn? Get more information about preschool teaching careers, degrees, and applicable courses from one of the schools below.
Certification in early childhood education
In many private childcare centers, preschool teachers often need only a certification in early childhood education. Some employers do prefer candidates with some college education in the field.
Since many states require private childcare centers to be licensed, their preschool teaching staff must undergo a background check, show proof of immunizations, and exhibit fundamental skills in working with children. In addition, some states may require staff to be certified in CPR and first aid.
State and federally funded programs generally require preschool teachers to have an Associate’s degree in early childhood education.
Public schools and some Head Start programs will ask preschool teaching candidates to have a Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, as well as some experience instructing preschool-age children.