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An elementary school teacher is tasked with creating a welcoming classroom environment and keeping it under control. The job of the elementary school teacher is to lay the foundation for future learning by teaching the basics of subjects like comprehension, math, science, and social studies. They develop and implement lesson plans in the classroom and establishes and enforces classroom and school rules. Furthermore, they prepare students for standardized tests and observes and reviews their performance. Similarly, they grade student's homework and tests and keep parents updated about their children's welfare.

While each state has its licensure requirements, most require a bachelor's degree in a related field. Applicants must have at least two years of teaching experience and passed a competency test. You must possess organization, listening, and communication skills. You must also be able to control a classroom. Elementary school teachers earn an average salary of $53,172 per annum. It ranges between $36,000 and $79,000.

What Does an Elementary School Teacher Do

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers prepare younger students for future schooling by teaching them basic subjects such as math and reading. 

Learn more about what an Elementary School Teacher does

How To Become an Elementary School Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must have a bachelor’s degree. In addition, public school teachers must have a state-issued certification or license.

Education

All states require public kindergarten and elementary school teachers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Some states also require kindergarten and elementary school teachers to major in a content area, such as math or science. They typically enroll in their college’s teacher preparation program and also take classes in education and child psychology in addition to those required by their major.

In teacher education programs, future teachers learn how to present information to young students and how to work with young students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include fieldwork, such as student teaching. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit teach.org.

Some states require all teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification.

Private schools typically seek kindergarten and elementary school teachers who have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified. Those who teach in private schools are generally not required to be licensed. Most states require teachers to pass a background check.

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers are typically certified to teach early childhood grades, which are usually preschool through third grade, or elementary school grades, which are usually first through sixth grades or first through eighth grades.

Requirements for certification vary by state. In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, they are required to complete a teacher preparation program and supervised experience in teaching, typically gained through student teaching. Some states require a minimum grade point average. States often require candidates to pass a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they will teach. Although kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically do not teach only a single subject, they may be required to pass a content area test to earn their certification. For information on certification requirements in your state, visit teach.org.

Teachers are frequently required to complete annual professional development classes to keep their license. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification.

All states offer an alternative route to certification for people who already have a bachelor’s degree but lack the education courses required for certification. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately after graduation, under the supervision of an experienced teacher. These programs cover teaching methods and child development. After they complete the program, candidates are awarded full certification. Other programs require students to take classes in education before they can teach. Students may be awarded a master’s degree after completing one of these programs.

Training

In order to receive certification, teachers need to undergo a period of fieldwork, commonly referred to as student teaching. During student teaching, they work with a mentor teacher and get experience teaching students in a classroom setting. The amount of time required varies by state.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Teachers must collaborate with teacher assistants and special education teachers. In addition, they need to discuss students’ needs with parents and administrators.

Creativity. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must plan lessons that engage young students, adapting the lessons to different learning styles.

Patience. Working with students of different abilities and backgrounds can be difficult. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers must respond with patience when students struggle with material.

Physical stamina. Working with kindergarten and elementary-aged students can be tiring. Teachers need to be able to physically, mentally, and emotionally keep up with the students.

Resourcefulness. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers need to be able to explain difficult concepts in terms that young students can understand. In addition, they must be able to get students engaged in learning and adapt their lessons to meet students’ needs.

Advancement

Experienced teachers can advance to serve as mentors to newer teachers or to become lead teachers. In these roles, they help less experienced teachers to improve their teaching skills.

With additional education or certification, teachers may become school counselors, school librarians, or instructional coordinators. Some become assistant principals or principals, both of which generally require additional schooling in education administration or leadership.

Elementary School Teacher Career Paths

Average Salary for an Elementary School Teacher

Elementary School Teachers in America make an average salary of $54,561 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $75,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $39,000 per year.
Average Elementary School Teacher Salary
$54,561 Yearly
$26.23 hourly
$39,000
10 %
$54,000
Median
$75,000
90 %

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Elementary School Teacher Education

Elementary School Teacher Majors

15.9 %

Elementary School Teacher Degrees

Bachelors

72.6 %

Masters

18.4 %

Associate

5.3 %

Top Colleges for Elementary School Teachers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

7. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. Brown University

Providence, RI • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,466
Enrollment
6,752

10. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,099
Enrollment
21,404

Top Skills For an Elementary School Teacher

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.4% of elementary school teachers listed classroom management on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and patience are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Elementary School Teacher Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Elementary School Teacher templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Elementary School Teacher resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Elementary School Teacher Resume
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Elementary School Teacher Demographics

Elementary School Teacher Gender Distribution

Female
Female
81%
Male
Male
20%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among elementary school teachers, 80.5% of them are women, while 19.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among elementary school teachers is White, which makes up 73.1% of all elementary school teachers.

  • The most common foreign language among elementary school teachers is Spanish at 60.1%.

Online Courses For Elementary School Teacher That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Music Education for Teachers
coursera

In the Music Education for Teachers specialization, you will explore ways of integrating popular music into your teaching. You'll begin by learning from two highly experienced teachers, Krystal Banfield, the Vice President of Educational Outreach for Berklee College of Music, and David Alexis a Berklee Professor and long-time instructor for the Berklee City Music Program. They will take you through their process of incorporating popular music, improvisation, arranging, and music technology into...

Outcome Based Education (OBE) & Academic Quality Assurance
udemy
4.3
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Master Course for Teachers to improve Quality of Teaching Strategies & Methods to achieve outstanding Learning Outcomes...

Assessment in Higher Education: Professional Development for Teachers
coursera

Are you a teacher in higher education wanting to get the best out of your students and assessments? Then on behalf of Risbo, Erasmus University Rotterdam, we would like to welcome you to this MOOC on Assessment in Higher Education. In this MOOC we will guide you through the different phases of preparing, creating and evaluating the assessments in your course. After participating in this MOOC, you will be able to: 1. Design an assessment that is constructively aligned (content, level, methods) wi...

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Best States For an Elementary School Teacher

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an elementary school teacher. The best states for people in this position are Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut. Elementary school teachers make the most in Maryland with an average salary of $81,902. Whereas in Massachusetts and New York, they would average $81,801 and $81,478, respectively. While elementary school teachers would only make an average of $74,604 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Maryland

Total Elementary School Teacher Jobs:
1,063
Highest 10% Earn:
$116,000
Location Quotient:
1.48 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Elementary School Teacher Jobs:
682
Highest 10% Earn:
$103,000
Location Quotient:
1.82 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New York

Total Elementary School Teacher Jobs:
1,624
Highest 10% Earn:
$113,000
Location Quotient:
1.12 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Elementary School Teachers

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Top Elementary School Teacher Employers

Most Common Employers For Elementary School Teacher

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Prince George's County Memorial Library System$65,957$31.71336
2Baltimore City Public Schools$58,656$28.20171
3Prince George's Community College$57,690$27.7434
4Santa Fe Public Schools$54,567$26.2338
5Savannah-Chatham County Public School System$54,562$26.23190
6Houston ISD Foundation$54,562$26.23136
7Presidio Hill School$54,562$26.2349
8French-American School of New York$54,562$26.2347
9Pasadena Unified School District$54,562$26.2340
10Clark County School District$54,562$26.2337

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