Salary for early childhood teacher

The average salary for a teacher in elementary school is about $43K. To become a teacher, start by earning a Bachelor’s Degree in education, preferably at an accredited university. Additionally, many teachers undergo special training and certifications in specific subjects they plan to teach.

The salary for early childhood teachers varies by state. In New York, an early childhood teacher can expect to earn between $37,000 and $50,000 per year.

In California, the average early childhood teacher earns about $50,000 per year.

Salary for early childhood teacher

Preschool and kindergarten teachers use instruction and games to help children under age 6 develop readiness for the higher grades. The minimum educational requirement for preschool teachers ranges from a post-secondary certificate to a bachelor’s degree, depending on the program. However, public school kindergarten teachers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree and a state license. The type of school or program is also a major factor in the salaries of early childhood education teachers.

Preschool Teachers

Teachers in non-special education preschools typically teach children between the ages of 3 and 5. Their average annual wages were $33,590 in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and 80 percent earned between $19,970 and $54,780 per year. The largest number worked for child day-care services, earning an average of $29,080 annually. Preschool teachers at elementary schools, which usually require a four-year degree, averaged a much-higher $50,040 per year. Those working for individual and family services averaged $33,870 annually, and those employed by religious organizations averaged $37,500.

Kindergarten Teachers

The wages of kindergarten teachers reflect the higher minimum educational requirement for the typical public school job. In 2017, the BLS surveyed more than 140,000 kindergarten teachers, excluding special education. They reported an average annual wage of $57,110, and 80 percent earned between $34,840 and $83,920 per year. About 95 percent of kindergarten teachers worked for elementary schools, where they earned an average of $57,990 annually. Those working in child day care averaged $35,610 per year, while those working for individual and family services averaged $48,400 annually.

Special Education Preschool Teachers

Special education teachers usually need at least a bachelor’s degree. The 2017 BLS wage survey for special ed preschool teachers reported $58,390 in average annual pay, with a range from $33,160 for the lowest-paid 10 percent to $92,250 for the top 10 percent. In elementary schools, special ed preschool teachers averaged $57,880 per year, while they averaged $60,570 annually in day-care services.

Special Ed Kindergarten Teachers

The BLS combines the wages of special ed kindergarten teachers with those of teachers in the other elementary grades. As of 2017, these teachers averaged $61,960 in annual pay, and 80 percent earned between $38,250 and $93,580 per year. About 97 percent worked in elementary schools, where they averaged $62,020 per year.

Top-Paying Locations

Pay for early childhood education teachers also depends in part on the location of the school. New York state reported the highest pay for preschool teachers in 2017, an average of $44,310 per year, while the District of Columbia paid the second-highest with an average of $41,630 according to the BLS. New York also had the highest pay for kindergarten teachers in 2017, an annual average of $77,440, followed by Connecticut at $76,110. The top-paying state for special education preschool teachers was Oregon, paying an average of $76,910 per year. Kindergarten and elementary school special ed teachers averaged $83,110 per year in Connecticut in 2017, the top pay of any state.

Job Outlook

The number of jobs for preschool teachers is expected to increase by 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, while jobs for kindergarten, elementary, secondary and special education teachers will increase by 8 percent, according to the BLS. The average rate of increase for all jobs is predicted at 7 percent. Preschool teachers with at least a bachelor’s degree and kindergarten teachers with special education or English as a second language credentials will have the best prospects.

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