What’s a Preschool Teacher’s Salary these Days?

A preschool teacher’s salary may vary depending on the employer or the location, but on average, preschool teachers earned about $25,700 per year in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you would like to get started in early childhood education, there are several aspects of the job to consider first.

Education Requirements

Preschool teachers, generally speaking, have to earn an associate degree. Some childcare centers will hire students still in high school or who have their diploma, but these employees usually fulfill support roles rather than doing the teaching itself.

Of course, standards vary state by state. Some states consider a high school diploma sufficient to teach in a preschool setting, while others prefer that preschool teachers possess a full bachelor degree. Whatever the case, more education generally correlates with a higher salary.

Preschool teachers are usually required to get Red Cross certification in standard first aid and infant and child CPR, and undergo a police background check and fingerprinting.

Career Options: What You Can Do with a Preschool Teaching Degree

Preschool teachers usually start out as assistant teachers. From there they can advance to being teachers and then to being lead teachers.

A preschool teaching degree can take several forms. Candidates can earn an associate’s degree in early childhood education (ECE), which usually prepares you to teach anyone from babies to third-graders. Others require a full bachelor’s degree in ECE to earn a preschool teacher salary.

Depending on your degree, you may be eligible to work in a private setting or to teach specific subjects like language or science to preschool kids.

Many preschool teachers work for charitable or religious organizations that have preschool programs or Head Start programs. Head Start programs receive federal funding for disadvantaged children between the ages of 3 and 5.

With a bachelor degree in early childhood education, preschool teachers can also pursue careers in child care management, developmental psychology, human development and family studies, and social work.

Additionally, many family therapists, recreational therapists, school psychologists, and instructional coordinators started out their careers as preschool teachers.

What to Consider if you Pursue a Preschool Teaching Degree

Wages for preschool teachers break down to about $12.35 per hour, though this is an average. Depending on the state where you work, pay may be higher or lower. Fortunately, jobs for preschool teachers are predicted to increase by 25 percent by 2020, faster than the national average, so outlook is good for those who have earned the requirements.

Preschool teachers who have post-secondary education, particularly those with a bachelor’s degree, should have better job prospects than those with less education. In addition, workers with the Child Development Associate (CDA) or Child Care Professional (CCP) credential should have better prospects than those without these certifications.

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