Find The Best Preschool Teacher Jobs For You

Where do you want to work?

0 selections

Preschool Teacher Careers

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.

Duties

Preschool teachers typically do the following:

  • Teach children basic skills such as color, shape, number, and letter recognition
  • Work with children in groups or one on one, depending on the needs of children and the subject matter
  • Plan and carry out a curriculum that targets different areas of child development, such as language, motor, and social skills
  • Organize activities so children can learn about the world, explore interests, and develop skills
  • Develop schedules and routines to ensure children have enough physical activity, rest, and playtime
  • Watch for signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring them to the attention of the parents
  • Keep records of the students’ progress, routines, and interests, and inform parents about their child’s development

Young children learn from playing, problem solving, questioning, and experimenting. Preschool teachers use play and other instructional techniques to teach children about the world. For example, they use storytelling and rhyming games to teach language and vocabulary. They may help improve children’s social skills by having them work together to build a neighborhood in a sandbox or teach math by having children count when building with blocks.

Preschool teachers work with children from different ethnic, racial, and religious backgrounds. Teachers include topics in their lessons to teach children to respect people of different backgrounds and cultures.

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.

Education

In childcare centers, preschool teachers generally are required to have a least a high school diploma and a certification in early childhood education. However, employers may prefer to hire workers with at least some postsecondary education in early childhood education.

Preschool teachers in Head Start programs are required to have at least an associate’s degree. However, at least 50 percent of all preschool teachers in Head Start programs nationwide must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Those with a degree in a related field must have experience teaching preschool-age children.

In public schools, preschool teachers are generally required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field. Bachelor’s degree programs teach students about children’s development, strategies to teach young children, and how to observe and document children’s progress.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Some states require preschool teachers to obtain the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential offered by the Council for Professional Recognition. Obtaining the CDA credential requires coursework, experience in the field, a written exam, and observation of the candidate working with children. The CDA credential is valid for three years and requires renewal.

Some states recognize the Certified Childcare Professional (CCP) designation offered by the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation. Some of the requirements needed to obtain the CCP include that the candidate must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma, have experience in the field, take courses in early childhood education, and pass an exam. The CCP accreditation requires renewal every two years through the CCP maintenance process.

In public schools, preschool teachers must be licensed to teach early childhood education, which covers preschool through third grade. Requirements vary by state, but they generally require a bachelor’s degree and passing an exam to demonstrate competency. Most states require teachers to complete continuing education credits to maintain their license.

Other Experience

A few states require preschool teachers to have some work experience in a childcare setting. The amount of experience necessary varies by state. In these cases, preschool teachers often start out as childcare workers or teacher assistants.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Preschool teachers need good communication skills to talk to parents and colleagues about students’ progress. They need good writing and speaking skills to convey this information effectively. They must also be able to communicate well with small children.

Creativity. Preschool teachers must plan lessons that engage young students. In addition, they need to adapt their lessons to suit different learning styles.

Interpersonal skills. Preschool teachers must understand children’s emotional needs and be able to develop good relationships with parents, children, and colleagues.

Organizational skills. Teachers need to be organized to plan lessons and keep records of their students.

Patience. Working with children can be frustrating, and preschool teachers should be able to respond calmly to overwhelming and difficult situations.

Physical stamina. Working with children can be physically taxing, so preschool teachers should have a lot of energy.

Advancement

Experienced preschool teachers can advance to become the director of a preschool or childcare center or a lead teacher, who may be responsible for the instruction of several classes. Those with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education frequently are qualified to teach kindergarten through grade 3, in addition to preschool. Teaching positions at these higher grades typically pay more. For more information, see the profiles on preschool and childcare center directors and kindergarten and elementary school teachers.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary
$32,609
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
7%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
64,370
Job Openings

Preschool Teacher Career Paths

Top Careers Before Preschool Teacher

Cashier
12.3 %
Teacher
11.5 %

Top Careers After Preschool Teacher

Teacher
13.9 %
Nanny
7.0 %

Preschool Teacher Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Preschool Teacher

Preschool Teachers in America make an average salary of $32,609 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $53,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $19,000 per year.
Average Salary
$32,609
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
New York, NY
Salary Range32k - 51k$41k$40,958
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range29k - 47k$37k$37,192
Washington, DC
Salary Range29k - 46k$37k$36,807
Minneapolis, MN
Salary Range28k - 44k$36k$35,604
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range27k - 43k$34k$34,415
Seattle, WA
Salary Range27k - 41k$34k$33,782
$19k
$51k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Preschool Teacher
Preschool Teacher
Az Quality Services
Az Quality Services
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$31,30506/29/2021
$31,305
Teacher-Preschool
Teacher-Preschool
Clayton Early Learning
Clayton Early Learning
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$32,00006/29/2021
$32,000
Preschool Teacher, Speer Ymca Preschool Academy
Preschool Teacher, Speer Ymca Preschool Academy
YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$33,39206/25/2021
$33,392
Preschool Teacher
Preschool Teacher
Challenger School
Challenger School
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$33,39206/25/2021
$33,392
Preschool Teacher
Preschool Teacher
Challenger School
Challenger School
06/25/2021
06/25/2021
$31,30506/25/2021
$31,305
See More Recent Salaries

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

Preschool Teacher Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Preschool Teacher. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Preschool Teacher Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Preschool Teacher resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Preschool Teacher Demographics

Gender

female

87.8 %

male

8.9 %

unknown

3.3 %

Ethnicity

White

63.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.6 %

Black or African American

10.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.7 %

French

8.1 %

German

2.9 %
See More Demographics

Preschool Teacher Education

Degrees

Bachelors

44.5 %

Associate

19.2 %

Certificate

16.0 %

Top Colleges for Preschool Teachers

1. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

2. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

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

3. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

4. California State University - Fullerton

Fullerton, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,886
Enrollment
34,637

5. Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$48,350
Enrollment
4,103

6. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,726
Enrollment
45,769

7. Minnesota State University - Mankato

Mankato, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,184
Enrollment
11,675

8. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

9. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,620
Enrollment
31,441

10. California State University - Sacramento

Sacramento, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,310
Enrollment
28,439
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Preschool Teacher That You May Like

Teaching Preschool: A Year of Inspiring Lessons
ed2go

In this course on teaching preschoolers, you will learn how to come up with creative and balanced preschool lesson plans for every month of the school year...

Empowering Students With Disabilities
ed2go

Explore common disabilities you'll encounter in the classroom and master techniques for promoting academic, behavioral, and social skills in students with special needs...

The Creative Classroom
ed2go

Enrich your teaching talents and encourage your students' creative thinking as you learn to turn your classroom into a creative classroom...

See more
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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.

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 New York, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Delaware. Preschool teachers make the most in New York with an average salary of $40,833. Whereas in Nevada and Rhode Island, they would average $40,827 and $40,760, respectively. While preschool teachers would only make an average of $40,229 in Delaware, 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. Nevada

Total Preschool Teacher Jobs:
360
Highest 10% Earn:
$63,000
Location Quotient:
1.64
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 Preschool Teacher Jobs:
581
Highest 10% Earn:
$59,000
Location Quotient:
1.67
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 Hampshire

Total Preschool Teacher Jobs:
279
Highest 10% Earn:
$55,000
Location Quotient:
1.52
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
View Full List

How Do Preschool Teacher Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Preschool Teacher? Share your experience anonymously.
Rate
Do you work as a Preschool Teacher?
Rate how you like work as Preschool Teacher. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.
Rate

Top Preschool Teacher Employers

1. KinderCare Learning Centers
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$27,799
Preschool Teachers Hired: 
1,293+
2. Bright Horizons
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$32,766
Preschool Teachers Hired: 
506+
3. YMCA of Greater Indianapolis
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$27,905
Preschool Teachers Hired: 
437+
4. Childtime Childcare
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$27,857
Preschool Teachers Hired: 
153+
5. Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$28,916
Preschool Teachers Hired: 
125+
6. Childcare Network
3.4
Avg. Salary: 
$28,046
Preschool Teachers Hired: 
115+

Preschool Teacher Videos

Updated October 2, 2020