It is safe to assume that being a preschool teacher is an art. If you love kids, there can be nothing more rewarding than working as a preschool teacher.

This is not to say your responsibility will not be immense. Essentially, your job will be to pass down the love of learning to small children, and that is no tiny matter. To do that well, having acute sensitivity and appropriate education are non-negotiable.

Your influence on the children in your care will be immeasurable, sometimes even more significant than that of the parents. Many things you show them will be their first encounter, so you also have to be able to see the world around you with fresh eyes. You need to be open and able to adapt to the children's learning style.

But challenging as it is, this position will allow you to maintain a thriving relationship with your own inner child as well, which is way more valuable than the average salary level you'll receive.

What Does a Preschool Teacher Do

Preschool teachers educate and care for children younger than age 5 who have not yet entered kindergarten. They teach reading, writing, science, and other subjects in a way that young children can understand.

Learn more about what a Preschool Teacher does

How To Become a Preschool Teacher

Education and training requirements vary based on settings and state regulations. They range from a high school diploma and certification to a college degree.

Learn More About How To Become a Preschool Teacher

Preschool Teacher Career Paths

Average Salary for a Preschool Teacher

Preschool Teachers in America make an average salary of $33,582 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $47,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Preschool Teacher Salary
$33,582 Yearly
$16.15 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Preschool Teacher Education

Preschool Teacher Majors

Preschool Teacher Degrees


52.1 %


22.6 %

High School Diploma

13.0 %

Top Colleges for Preschool Teachers

1. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition

4. California State University - Fullerton

Fullerton, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition

10. California State University - Sacramento

Sacramento, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Preschool 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, 17.8% of preschool teachers listed child care on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and organizational skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Preschool Teacher Resume templates

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

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Preschool Teacher Demographics

Preschool Teacher Gender Distribution


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

  • Among preschool teachers, 93.6% of them are women, while 6.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among preschool teachers is White, which makes up 66.1% of all preschool teachers.

  • The most common foreign language among preschool teachers is Spanish at 64.7%.

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Best States For a Preschool Teacher

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a preschool teacher. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, California, New York, and New Mexico. Preschool teachers make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $43,575. Whereas in California and New York, they would average $40,866 and $40,587, respectively. While preschool teachers would only make an average of $38,878 in New Mexico, 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. New Mexico

Total Preschool Teacher Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Wyoming

Total Preschool Teacher Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. New York

Total Preschool Teacher Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Preschool Teachers

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Top Preschool Teacher Employers

Most Common Employers For Preschool Teacher

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Challenger School$38,513$18.5261
2Bright Beginnings$37,972$18.2654
3Noahs Ark$37,821$18.1864
4Jewish Community Center Inc$36,542$17.5761
5The Learning Center$34,160$16.4259
6Cadence Education$31,445$15.1250
7Kiddie Academy$31,261$15.03127
8Wee Care Preschool$31,108$14.9655
9New Horizon Academy$29,649$14.2559

Preschool Teacher Videos

Becoming a Preschool Teacher FAQs

Can you be a preschool teacher without a degree?

Yes, you can be a preschool teacher without a degree. However, some states and schools may require a degree or certification in early childhood education. It is most common to have an associate's degree to gain an entry-level teaching position in a public preschool.

Do preschool teachers get paid well?

No, preschool teachers do not get paid well, considering the service they provide. Even with a bachelor's degree, the median salary for preschool teachers is $31,930, compared to Kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers who earn an average between $54,478 and $72,039.

How long does it take to become a preschool teacher?

It does not take long to become a preschool teacher. You can find an entry-level assistant teaching position during high school or earn an associate's degree within two years through community college. Requirements for becoming a preschool teacher vary by state and school.

What qualifications do you need to be a preschool teacher?

The qualifications needed to be a preschool teacher vary by state. It is most common to have an associate's degree to gain an entry-level teaching position in a public preschool. With a bachelor's degree, you can expect to earn a higher salary and have more opportunities for advancement.

What skills are needed for a preschool teacher?

The skills needed for a preschool teacher are based on an understanding of early childhood development. Preschool teachers educate, instruct and watch over children between three and five years old. Preschool teachers are also referred to as Pre-Kindergarten or Pre-K.

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