What is a Typical Kindergarten Teacher Salary

For those who are considering a career in teaching small children, such as that of a kindergarten teacher, it can be helpful to know what is a typical kindergarten teacher salary. Careers in education can be quite rewarding in and of themselves, but it is also useful to know the average salary of each occupation to facilitate in planning for pursuing higher education.

Kindergarten teachers occupy an incredibly important role in the educational framework of the country. They are often the first educator a child encounters aside from family members, and they can impact the way in which a child learns for the rest of his or her life. Because of this importance, kindergarten teachers are required to meet stringent education requirements. Once these requirements are met, kindergarten teachers have several career options available to them.

It can be helpful when potential teachers are considering the path of their education to know what to expect, both as they are entering school and once they finish their studies.

Education Requirements

The education requirements for becoming a kindergarten teacher are fairly constant from state to state, although there are some minor variations depending on whether a teacher is employed by a public or private institution.

All kindergarten teachers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), some states also demand that kindergarten teachers major in a content area. A content area is a particular focus for educators, such as math or science.

Some states also require kindergarten teachers to earn a master’s degree after they obtain their teacher certification.

Teachers must also obtain teaching licenses. Each state varies in its licensing requirements, but all require a bachelor’s in education to obtain a license. Most require that teachers also meet other criteria, such as completing a teacher preparation program. Many also require that teachers participate in a certain amount of supervised teaching. Content area tests are also administered in certain states, where the teacher must prove his or her ability in a certain content area.

Career Options: What you can do with a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education

Those with a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education have several career options. Though a person wants to be a kindergarten teacher specifically, their degree does allow them multiple career avenues, including:

Special Education Teacher

Students with disabilities, both mental and physical, need more help than students without disabilities. They also often require a special touch, something that one who is interested in kindergarten education just might possess. Special education teachers are always in high demand, as the position is complex and challenging. But, as a consequence, it can also be highly rewarding.

Elementary Educator

Gaining a degree in elementary education will allow a person to pursue teaching in any grade in elementary school. If a degree holder prefers to focus on children who are slightly older, their degree will allow them to do so.

Elementary Education Administrator

Elementary administrators help ensure the smooth functioning of the entire school. If a degree holder feels more at home directing teachers, he or she might choose this path. Many of these positions require a master’s degree in addition to a bachelor’s, but some do not.

What to Consider if You Pursue a Bachelor Degree in Elementary Education

According to the BLS, the job outlook for kindergarten and elementary school teachers is about average, and expected to grow by 17 percent over the 2010-2020 period. Employment varies by region, so degree seekers will need to consider their local area for an accurate picture.

The BLS also indicates that in 2010, the average salary for kindergarten teachers was $48,800 a year, with elementary school teachers making an average of $51,380 per year. A degree holder will earn more or less depending on experience and where they work, but should expect to earn less when beginning their career.

According to the BLS, the lowest 10 percent of early education teachers earned less than $31,720, while the top 10 percent earned more than $76,490. This demonstrates the wide variability of the pay scale. The bottom 10 percent is where a new teacher is likely to fall on the pay spectrum.

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