Lead Preschool Teacher Salary With Bachelor’s Degree

If you’re looking for a new job and have a degree, you may be interested in becoming a lead preschool teacher. Lead preschool teachers are in charge of the classroom and must manage many tasks at once, from making sure children are behaving themselves to keeping up with lesson plans.

To become a lead preschool teacher, you’ll need to earn your bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. You’ll also need to complete several years of experience working with young children.

Most states require lead preschool teachers to have an associate’s degree or higher in early childhood education. The average pay for this position is $55,000 per year; however, this figure can vary depending on where you live and what type of school you work for (public vs private).

Lead Preschool Teacher Salary With Bachelor’s Degree

Lead pre-K teachers – also known as preschool teachers – work with children aged 3 to 5, and may work with teacher’s assistants or other classroom helpers. They use play, storytelling and games to teach children words, language, math and problem-solving skills. Fun activities are included to build self-confidence and social skills.

Being a Lead Pre-K teachers offers a steady income and the personal reward of seeing children grow and develop as they reach new milestones. Teachers with certifications, postsecondary education and some experience have the best luck finding jobs.


Average pre-k teacher salary is $34,650 per year, or $16.66 per hour, as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2019.

Pre-K Teacher Salary

Pre-K teachers made a national median salary of $30,520 in May 2019, or an hourly wage of $14.67, according to information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The middle 50 percent of pre-K teachers made between $24,830 and $39,720. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $21,140, while the highest paid 10 percent earned more than $55,050.

The top-paying industry sector for pre-K teachers was the state government with an average annual salary of $58,240, but this accounted for only a small number of jobs in this occupation. Pre-K teachers were most frequently employed by child day-care services, they made $30,940 on average.

Lead Preschool Teacher by State

The state that paid the highest lead preschool teacher salary in this same time period was New Jersey, with an average annual wage of $43,360, or $20.85 per hour. New York also had one of the nation’s highest levels of employment for the profession, with 23,890 preschool teachers employed there. The next highest-paying state was Connecticut followed by New York, Hawaii and the District of Columbia. Average salaries ranged from $42,160 to $43,080 in these states.

Lead Preschool Teacher Pay by Area

Pre-K teachers earned the most in the Vineland-Bridgeron, NJ metro area, taking in $55,430 on average, or $26.65 per hour. Other metro areas where pre-K teachers earned the most included Laredo, TX; Waterbury, CT; Grand Island, NE; Longview, CA; and Modesto, CA. The best rural area for high pre-K teacher salary was nonmetropolitan Nevada, where teachers made $54,060, or $25.99 per hour. Other high paying nonmetropolitan areas included Connecticut, Hill Country region of Texas, Hawaii/Kauai.

Head Start Teachers

The National Head Start Association funds the Head Start early education program, which specifically serves at-risk children and communities. PayScale reports that Head Start teacher make an average hourly salary of $15.96 per year based on 351 salaries surveyed.

Pre-K teachers working through Head Start make a little less than the national average hourly rate of $16.66 an hour, even though they are required to have an associate degree to be employed at childcare centers. Moreover, an estimated 50 percent of Head Start teachers have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a closely related field, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Outlook

The BLS projects that demand for pre-k teachers will grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is faster than the national average for all occupations. Interest in early childhood education will remain strong. Job prospects will be best for those who have prior experience working with children.

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