Preschool Teacher Jobs Outlook, Career, Salary, and Education Information is what you would learn about after reading this article.
Playing and being creative is more important than worksheets and homework only in preschool. Teachers in preschool use play time and story time to help kids learn how to get along with others and solve problems. A preschool teacher needs a lot of different things than other teachers do.
Instead of dry-erase pens and overhead projectors, they use crayons and puzzles. They read stories and watch kids play in the sandbox, but they don’t give homework or watch kids in detention. If you go into this field, you’ll probably hear a lot about Dora the Explorer and Doc McStuffins. You’ll be covered in glue and paper mache when you get home, but you won’t have any papers to grade. Even if your days seem silly, the time you spend in this job will be just as important as the time elementary, middle, and high school teachers spend with their students.
Find out what it takes to become a preschool teacher. Find out what the job entails, what kind of education is needed, and what the job market is like to decide if this is the right career for you.
What Is A Preschool Teacher?
Preschool teachers make lessons for kids under five that are right for their age and lead the classes. They plan activities for the kids based on their ages and a theme. These activities may include music, art, and physical activity. A preschool teacher’s main job is to make sure that their students are ready for kindergarten and have the skills and knowledge they need to do well in school. Teachers in preschool may also keep track of their student’s progress and meet with parents to talk about any problems or worries.
|Varies by the employer; a bachelor’s or associate’s often required
|Education Field of Study
|Early childhood education
|Some states require national certification
|Job Growth (2020-2030)
|18% (for all preschool teachers, except special education)*
|Median Salary (May 2020)
|$31,930 (for all preschool teachers, except special education)*
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Preschool Teacher Career Profile
Most preschool teachers work for private daycare centers, daycare centers that are paid for by the government, or religious organizations. You could work for yourself as a preschool teacher and run your own center. You’ll be in charge of doing fun things with young kids that help them learn basic social skills and encourage their intellectual and emotional growth. There may be group games, singing, arts and crafts, sharing, lessons about nature, word games, learning numbers, dancing, and telling stories. You can work full-time or part-time hours, and unlike kindergarten through high school teachers, you’ll probably work the whole year through.
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Job Outlook for Preschool Teachers
Based on the U.S. From 2018 to 2028, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the number of preschool teachers will grow by 7%, which is about as fast as the average growth for all jobs in that same time frame (www.bls.gov). This rise in jobs will be fueled by more kids going to preschool and more public money going to preschool programs in many states.
The BLS says that as of May 2020, the average salary for a preschool teacher in the United States was $31,930 per year. The top 10% of preschool teachers made more than $58,230, while the bottom 10% made less than $21,900. What you can expect to make depends on a lot of things, like how long you’ve been working in the field, how much schooling you’ve had, and where you work. In 2020, the average salary for a preschool teacher in Delaware was $29,370, while in New Jersey it was $47,190.
Educational Requirements for Preschool Teachers
Different employers and states have different rules about what it takes to become a preschool teacher. You might need an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education to teach in a public preschool. Some states may require you to have a national certification. The Child Development Associate certification is given out by the Council for Professional Recognition (www.cdacouncil.org). To get this certification, you need to have worked with children for 480 hours in the last five years and taken 120 hours of classes on child development and child care.
But if you want to teach in a private preschool, you might not need a degree or certification at all. It depends entirely on what the employer you want to work for wants. Most of the time, though, you’ll need to have worked with young kids before you can become a preschool teacher.
How to Become a Preschool Teacher
Education for Preschool Teachers
Usually, a person who wants to teach preschool needs at least an associate’s degree. Head Start programs require preschool teachers to have at least an associate’s degree. But at least half of all Head Start preschool teachers across the country must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Those who have a degree in a related field must have taught young children before.
Most public schools require preschool teachers to have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Bachelor’s degree programs teach students about how children grow and change, how to teach young children, and how to keep track of their progress.
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Preschool Teachers
Some states require preschool teachers to get a credential from the Council for Professional Recognition called Child Development Associate (CDA). To get the CDA credential, you have to take classes, work in the field, take a written test, and have someone watch you work with children. Every 3 years, you have to renew your CDA.
In public schools, teachers of preschool through third grade must have a license to teach early childhood education. Different states have different requirements, but in most cases, you need a bachelor’s degree and to pass an exam to show that you are qualified. In most states, teachers need to get credits for continuing education in order to keep their licenses.
Other Experiences for Preschool Teachers
Some states require preschool teachers to have worked in a childcare setting before they can teach. How much experience you need varies from state to state. In these situations, preschool teachers often start out as people who take care of children or help teachers.
Important Qualities for Preschool Teachers
- How to talk to people. Preschool teachers need to be able to talk to parents and other teachers about how their students are doing. To get this information across well, they need to be able to write and speak well. They must also be able to talk to young children well.
- Creativity. Teachers of preschoolers need to plan lessons that will keep the kids’ attention. Also, they need to change their lessons to fit different ways that people learn.
- Interpersonal skills. Preschool teachers need to understand the emotional needs of children and be able to get along with parents, kids, and other teachers.
- Organizational skills. To plan lessons and keep track of their students, teachers need to be organized.
- Patience. Working with kids can be stressful, and preschool teachers should be able to handle overwhelming or hard situations in a calm way.
- Stamina in the body. Preschool teachers should have a lot of energy because working with kids can be hard on the body.
What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?
Childcare workers also care for kids who are too young for kindergarten. They may plan lessons and activities for these kids that are right for their age. Teacher assistants can work as preschool teacher assistants and help set up materials, watch the kids, and help the preschool teacher out when they need to. Special education teachers may work with kids as young as preschool and as old as high school. They help students with diagnosed needs by giving them a modified curriculum or other resources they need to make academic progress.
Careers Related to Preschool Teachers
Childcare workers take care of children’s basic needs, like getting them dressed, bathed, fed, and watching them play. They might help little kids get ready for kindergarten or help older kids with their homework.
High School Teachers
Teachers in high school help students get ready for life after high school. They teach students academic lessons and different skills they will need to go to college and get a job.
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
Teachers in kindergarten and elementary school teach basic subjects like math and reading to young kids to get them ready for high school.
Teachers in the middle school
Most middle school teachers teach students in the sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. They help students build on the basics they learned in elementary school and get ready for the harder work they will have to do in high school.
Directors of preschools and daycares
Directors of preschools and daycares are in charge of their staff and lead them. They also come up with program plans, oversee daily activities, and make budgets. They are in charge of the whole program at their center.
Teachers of special education
Special education teachers help students with a wide range of learning, mental, emotional, and physical disabilities. They change general education lessons and teach students with mild and moderate disabilities things like reading, writing, and math. They also teach students with severe disabilities basic skills, like how to read and write and talk to people.
Teacher assistants work under the supervision of a teacher to pay more attention to and teach students.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the job of a preschool teacher?
Preschool teachers work for places like public or private schools, where they teach and get kids ready for kindergarten. They will teach kids basic social skills and learning concepts by telling stories, playing games, making music, and making art.
Is early childhood education in demand?
The good news is that the need for people who work with young children is likely to grow in the next few years. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that jobs for preschool teachers will grow by 18% over the next ten years, which is a lot more than jobs for teachers in elementary and high schools.
What degree do you need to be a preschool teacher?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says that to teach in a public preschool, most teachers need a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. There may be different requirements for preschool teachers who work in private schools.
Why do teachers get paid so little?
There are a lot of things that affect how far a teacher’s salary goes, such as their family situation, health problems, and student loans. Even though many U.S. teachers need to work second jobs to make ends meet, a lot of them don’t. Some of them live in states that pay more than others.
How long does it take to become a preschool teacher?
The most popular way to become a preschool teacher is to take a one-year course in Nursery Teacher Training (NTT). In fact, a number of preschools also make NTT Certification a requirement. Also helpful is a Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.) degree.
How many years of college do you need to become a kindergarten teacher?
If you go to college right after high school, it usually takes four years to become a kindergarten teacher. This is because to become a teacher, you need a bachelor’s degree, and most bachelor’s programs take four years to finish.
What makes a good teacher for young children?
Passion. Passionate teachers are the key to making classrooms work well. Teachers who love what they do and show it are great role models for young children. Passion leads to innovation and creativity, which are two things that make kids want to learn and do well.
How do teachers make a living?
Work in a school district where you can make more money. If you live in a big city or a place with more than a few school districts, try to get a job in one with a better pay scale. Also, think about getting involved in things outside of school, like leading sports that pay teachers extra money.
Is it worth it to get a degree in early childhood education?
If you work in early childhood education, you could help kids in the long run, from doing well in elementary school to making money for the rest of their lives. You might even be able to help make it less likely that those kids will get in trouble with the law as adults.