How Much do Early Childhood Education Teachers Earn?

As a college student enrolled in a teaching program, you might wonder about an early childhood education salary. High school students thinking about college and adults interested in going back to school might wonder the same thing. You don’t want to spend a lot of time in college and find that you don’t earn enough to pay your bills or cover your other expenses. While salary may be the main thing on your mind, there are some other things you should know about these profession before entering a teaching program or graduating.

Duties of the Job

One of the more important things you should know about this profession is what you would do on the job. Early childhood teachers often work with students who have not yet started school. As a preschool teacher, you’ll work with kids who need help learning how to do simple tasks, including washing their hands and tying their shoes. You may work with them on conversation skills and show them how to form relationships with others. Early childhood teachers also teach students the skills they need in kindergarten and elementary school, including basic reading and the identification of numbers and letters.

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Amount of Education Required

The amount of education you need for the job often depends on your job title. Those working as preschool teachers will usually need an associate’s degree in either teaching or early childhood education. Depending on where you live, you may need a teaching license as well. To obtain a teaching license, you typically need to submit your fingerprints, pass a criminal background check and sign an agreement that you will continue your studies later. Some schools will accept a certificate from a vocational or training school in lieu of a college degree.

Average Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of preschool teachers is $13.52 an hour, which is around $28,100 a year. Most schools put teachers in salaried positions. This means that you’ll earn the same amount every year whether you work 30 hours or 50 hours. Few schools pay teachers overtime, but most schools will pay teachers who work during the summers. The BLS also found that this job field will grow by 7% by 2014, which represents a growth of nearly 30,000 new jobs.

What Determines Salary?

While the BLS found the median wage among teachers, you will probably wonder what determines the early childhood education salary that you make. The biggest factor that impacts your salary is where you live. Those working in larger cities like San Francisco and New York City will earn more because the cost of living is higher. Your experience will also play a factor in how much you earn. You can generally expect to earn around $20,000 to $22,000 a year as a new teacher, but those who have five or more years of experience earn much more. Some preschool and early childhood teachers earn more than $30,000 a year.

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Preschool and early childhood education teachers often work in preschools or in after school programs designed for younger learners. While you may need a college degree or some type of certificate to work in this field, you’ll have the chance to work with younger kids. The median early childhood education salary among those workers is around $28,000 a year.