Pre-K teachers are saddled with the responsibility of educating children before they reach kindergarten age. You will work with children from the ages of two to five. Responsibilities vary and are determined based on where you work, but there are many major tasks associated with this job. You are to work one on one with the kids, keeping them engaged and assessing each child's progress. Tending to their personal needs like giving bathroom assistance and helping them remove their coats is also one of your duties. It is also necessary to plan curriculum and schedules. You are to focus on areas like personal hygiene, social skills, child development, and language skills. This curriculum and schedule also include daily routines like physical exercise, playtime, and adequate rest time. It is also expected that you communicate with the parents concerning their child's progress.

Educational requirements for this role vary depending on the employer and location. While some only need a high school diploma, some need a four-year degree in childhood education. Some require a license, while some do not. Apart from educational qualifications, you must have lots of energy and be patient to make a wonderful Pre-K teacher. You must also love working with kids. The average pay per year is $28,990.

What Does a Pre-K Teacher Do

There are certain skills that many pre-k teachers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, patience and physical stamina.

Learn more about what a Pre-K Teacher does

How To Become a Pre-K Teacher

If you're interested in becoming a pre-k teacher, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 57.0% of pre-k teachers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.4% of pre-k teachers have master's degrees. Even though most pre-k teachers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Pre-K Teacher

Pre-K Teacher Career Paths

Average Salary for a Pre-K Teacher

Pre-K Teachers in America make an average salary of $40,301 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $57,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Pre-K Teacher Salary
$40,301 Yearly
$19.38 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Pre-K Teacher

The role of a pre-k teacher includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general pre-k teacher responsibilities:

  • Shalom children's center is seeking highly qualified early childhood educators for a pre k classroom teacher position for the 2016 school year, starting on august 15, 2016. a classroom teacher is chiefly responsible for helping to execute an engaging
  • Leads - responsible for the daily planning, management,
  • Plan and implement one 2 hour preschool class, or one 6 hour class each day coordinate with preschool program manager

There are several types of pre-k teacher, including:



A teacher isn't just someone you realize you look up to later in life. A teacher is someone who teaches important life lessons while making sure to include academic lessons along the way.

Typically, a teacher only works during school hours, which means they get to beat rush hour traffic. Although, it's not uncommon for teachers to spend their nights and weekends preparing lessons and grading papers. An added bonus of being a teacher is getting to enjoy summer vacation.

  • Average Salary: $47,989
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Substitute Teacher


Substitute teachers are there when regular teachers need backup. If the regular teacher can't make it into school on a given day, a substitute teacher is called.

Sometimes you won't know you're going into teach a class until that day, that's why you kind of have to be "on-call" as a substitute teacher. You never know when you're going to be needed. Some substitute teachers get to fill in if a regular teacher has to take an extended absence, which means you'll be there until they get back. Long-term substitute gigs can mean anything from two weeks to five months or more.

It's important as a substitute teacher to establish some ground rules when you first step into the classroom. Since you're not the regular teacher, some students may decide they don't have to follow any rules, which definitely makes "subbing" even harder. But don't worry - you've got this.

  • Average Salary: $32,904
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Teacher Aide


A Teacher Aide assists a classroom teacher in dealing with a large number of children. He/She or she helps engage children's attention through one-on-one activities or group exercises. These are part of the integral lesson plan created by the teacher. They might be involved in helping the teacher design the lessons and activities or provide support for dealing with children with special needs.

Teacher aides help manage outdoor games and physical activities or assist with extra activities such as physiotherapy. Sometimes they are responsible for extra classes, like teaching a foreign language. They administer medication to students who need it and help with requests regarding personal hygiene.

Part of the responsibilities of a teacher's aide is to monitor and discuss the child's progress with the parents and other teachers.

  • Average Salary: $29,480
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Pre-K Teacher Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active pre-k teacher jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where pre-k teachers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Pre-K Teacher Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
5New Jersey1,014$51,897
6New York936$62,828
13North Carolina646$30,541
25South Carolina320$30,494
27New Mexico218$42,633
31New Hampshire201$42,225
42Rhode Island47$50,541
46West Virginia22$34,845
47North Dakota21$37,701
49South Dakota15$31,361

Pre-K Teacher Education

Pre-K Teacher Majors

10.9 %

Pre-K Teacher Degrees


57.0 %


17.9 %


12.4 %

Top Colleges for Pre-K Teachers

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition




5. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition




6. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




8. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition




10. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Pre-K 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, 27.3% of pre-k teachers listed kids on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and patience are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Pre-K Teacher Resume templates

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

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Pre-K Teacher diversity

Pre-K Teacher Gender Distribution


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

  • Among pre-k teachers, 91.5% of them are women, while 8.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among pre-k teachers is White, which makes up 69.6% of all pre-k teachers.

  • The most common foreign language among pre-k teachers is Spanish at 67.0%.

Online Courses For Pre-K Teacher That You May Like

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Best States For a Pre-K Teacher

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a pre-k teacher. The best states for people in this position are New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and California. Pre-k teachers make the most in New York with an average salary of $62,828. Whereas in Massachusetts and Maryland, they would average $60,538 and $59,598, respectively. While pre-k teachers would only make an average of $55,235 in California, 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 Pre-K Teacher Jobs: 737
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New York

Total Pre-K Teacher Jobs: 936
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Massachusetts

Total Pre-K Teacher Jobs: 655
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Pre-K Teachers

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Top Pre-K Teacher Employers

Most Common Employers For Pre-K Teacher

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Prince George's County Memorial Library System$52,967$25.4628
2Legacy Academy$45,504$21.8818
3Kiddie Academy$45,011$21.6428
4Children’s Friend Learning Centers$42,522$20.4435
5Stepping Stone School$35,761$17.1914
6Sheltering Arms$35,137$16.8924
7Discovery Point$31,651$15.2236
8Brightside Academy$31,069$14.9415
9Bright Horizons$31,064$14.9377
10Child Development Center$31,023$14.9114

Pre-K Teacher Videos