Preschool Teacher: Average Salary of a Preschool Teacher

Published Sep 12, 2009

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You can help kids begin their education on the right foot with a job as a preschool teacher. Teachers study child psychology and development in college to learn how to encourage growth and learning in young children. Most preschool teachers work in day care facilities.

Preschool Teacher Career Summary

Preschool teachers work with children who are usually ages 3-5. These teachers are employed by day care centers, elementary schools and other organizations with on-site child care such as churches. The teaching curriculum for preschool children tends to be less structured and academic than curricula for later grades. Preschool teachers focus on helping children learn through experience and play.

The education requirements for preschool teachers vary by state and employer, reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov. Some need only an associate's degree in early childhood education, while other positions require a bachelor's degree. According to the National Education Writers Association, www.ewa.org, bachelor's degrees are more often required in states that have begun publicly-funded preschool programs, including Oklahoma and New Jersey. All states require preschool teachers in public schools to be licensed to teach early childhood.

Preschool Teacher Career Outlook and Salary Information

A May 2008 BLS survey found that the national average salary for preschool teachers was $26,610. The average salary was slightly lower at $23,880 in day care centers, which are the largest sector employing preschool teachers. Those working at elementary schools earn a higher average salary of $37,800. According to the National Institute for Early Education Research, low pay for preschool teachers leads to a high turnover rate, ranging from 25% to 50% annually.

The BLS predicts much faster than average growth for preschool teacher positions from 2006-2016. This will come as more states seek to improve the quality of education for young children through more funding and universal preschool programs. With experience, a preschool teacher can be promoted to lead teacher and take charge of several classes. An experienced teacher can also become the director of the school or center.

Featured School Choices:

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • BS in Early Childhood Administration
    • Undergraduate in Early Childhood
    • M.S. in Education (for Practicing Teachers Grades K-12)
    • M.A. in Teaching (Grades 5-12)
    • M.S. in Higher Education - College Teaching & Learning
    More information about Kaplan University
  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Doctor of Education - Early Childhood Education
    • PhD in Education - Early Childhood Education
    • Master of Education - Early Childhood Education
    • Education Specialist - Early Childhood Education
    • PhD in Education - Curriculum and Teaching
    More information about Northcentral University
  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • M.Ed. in Early Childhood
    • BS in Early Childhood
    • B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education
    • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
    • M.Ed. in Elementary Education
    More information about Grand Canyon University
  • Saint Joseph's University

    Saint Joseph's University responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • MS - Secondary Education with Autism Specialization
    • MS in Education - Special Education and Wilson Reading System Certification
  • Concordia University Portland

    Concordia University Portland responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - Early Childhood Education
    • Master of Education - Curriculum & Instruction: Leadership
    • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
    • Master of Science - Curriculum & Instruction: Methods & Curriculum
    • Master of Science - Curriculum & Instruction: ESOL (K-Adult)
    More information about Concordia University Portland
  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this site.

    Suggested programs:
    • Penn Foster High School with Early College Courses
    • High School Diploma
    More information about Penn Foster High School