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Preschool Teachers picture    Preschool Teachers image

Preschool teachers typically work with children who are up to 5 years of age. Since preschool children primarily learn from play and interactive activities preschool teachers utilize a less structured approach to learning when compared to kindergarten and elementary school teachers. They also observe and evaluate the social and physical development and behavior of preschoolers.

They enhance social skills by having the children work on simple projects and tasks as a team. In order to advance children's language and vocabulary proficiency, preschool teachers utilize action and rhyming games and tell stories. They also provide an introduction to mathematical and scientific concepts with activities such as counting and balancing blocks. Preschool teachers offer small group lessons and individual attention in order to help children learn and obtain skills.

Responsibilities

  • Demonstrate activities to preschoolers
  • Organize and lead activities including storytelling, arts and crafts, games, field trips and music
  • Observe and evaluate social development and behavior and physical development
  • Discuss with parents the progress and needs of their children
  • Discuss with parents and supervisors children that display emotional, behavioral or health problems
  • Take care of preschoolers basic needs such as meals
  • Establish and enforce rules of behavior
  • Teach numbers, colors, shapes and letters
  • Provide materials and resources for children
  • Teach social skills
  • Teach personal hygiene and proper eating habits
  • Read books to children
  • Alter teaching strategies and instructional materials when appropriate
  • Maintain records of children
  • Create reports on preschoolers
  • Work with other staff members

Job Characteristics

Helping children develop skills and watching them develop a joy for learning is often very gratifying for those in the occupation. However, sometimes the job can be frustrating due to working with some children who do not have a desire to learn or have behavioral problems.

Preschool teachers should have good communication and motivational skills. Creativity, patience, empathy and a joy for working with children are other important aspects of the job. Recognizing a child's emotional needs is also part of the profession.

Preschool teachers typically work in comfortable classrooms and often spend part of their day outside. Part-time jobs are common at preschools. Preschool teachers that are employed in daycare centers typically work all year long.

Employment Outlook

Typically, preschool teachers begin their careers as teacher assistants and with experience some advance to a lead teacher job. Sometimes lead teachers are responsible for several classes. In addition, preschool teachers that hold a bachelor's degree are often qualified to teach kindergarten through the third grade level.

In 2006 the median earnings for preschool teachers was $22,680. Also, in 2006 there were about 437,000 preschool teachers. About 59 percent were employed in child daycare services. About 16 percent were employed in public and private educational services and 15 percent worked for religious organizations.

The employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for preschool teachers is projected to grow primarily due to an increase in enrollment of preschool children. The demand may also grow due to some states providing programs to improve early childhood education which may include universal preschool. The availability of preschool teaching positions also depends on location.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Typically, employers due not require preschool teachers to have a bachelor's degree. Often experience with working with children is a major priority. However, completing postsecondary courses in related subjects is a plus.

Licensing requirements for preschool teachers vary by state. In most states, the requirements for preschool teachers working in public schools are more rigorous when compared to those working in private preschools. Some states require public school preschool teachers to have a bachelor's degree and some states require an associates's degree.

In a number of states they must have a certificate from a nationally recognized authority. The Child Development Associate credential, which is the most popular version, requires a blend of classroom learning and experience working with children. An assessment of the competence of the candidate is also required. In general, private schools are exempt from having to meet state licensing standards.

Resources

Major Employers

Daycare centers, schools and religious organizations are the major employers of preschool teachers.

Schools for Preschool Teachers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Preschool Teachers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Preschool Teachers jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 290 $23,810
Hoover 290 $23,810
Mobile 170 $29,890
Montgomery 120 $23,950
Tuscaloosa 90 $26,590
Opelika 40 $19,770
Auburn 40 $19,770
Florence 30 $21,950
Muscle Shoals 30 $21,950
Huntsville N/A $22,030
Dothan N/A $22,540
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 260 $30,070
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Mesa 5020 $24,670
Phoenix 5020 $24,670
Scottsdale 5020 $24,670
Tucson 1250 $24,120
Yuma 210 $21,660
Kingman 140 $31,300
Lake Havasu City 140 $31,300
Flagstaff 130 $30,260
Sierra Vista 60 $23,040
Douglas 60 $23,040
Prescott N/A $28,160
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 610 $32,580
North Little Rock 610 $32,580
Little Rock 610 $32,580
Jonesboro 280 $34,850
Hot Springs 80 $22,130
Pine Bluff 60 $28,570
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Los Angeles 15980 $31,410
Anaheim 15980 $31,410
Long Beach 15980 $31,410
Oakland 9020 $37,280
San Francisco 9020 $37,280
Hayward 9020 $37,280
Santa Clara 4530 $35,770
San Jose 4530 $35,770
Sunnyvale 4530 $35,770
Carlsbad 3620 $30,270
San Diego 3620 $30,270
San Bernardino 3350 $29,050
Ontario 3350 $29,050
Riverside 3350 $29,050
Roseville 2830 $28,510
Arden 2830 $28,510
Arcade 2830 $28,510
Sacramento 2830 $28,510
Fresno 920 $26,940
Stockton 850 $29,550
Lodi 850 $29,550
Oxnard 810 $31,840
Ventura 810 $31,840
Thousand Oaks 810 $31,840
Bakersfield 670 $31,890
Santa Rosa 650 $35,810
Salinas 510 $31,180
Chico 470 $24,390
Modesto 470 $26,920
Santa Cruz 390 $29,690
Watsonville 390 $29,690
Santa Maria 390 $35,180
Santa Barbara 390 $35,180
Paso Robles 260 $27,920
Arroyo Grande 260 $27,920
San Luis Obispo 260 $27,920
Porterville 260 $31,980
Visalia 260 $31,980
Yuba City 230 $31,720
Redding 220 $25,460
Napa 190 $33,800
Merced 180 $37,530
El Centro 130 $37,550
Corcoran 120 $24,220
Hanford 120 $24,220
Vallejo N/A $28,530
Fairfield N/A $28,530
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 4510 $27,440
Denver 4510 $27,440
Lakewood 4510 $27,440
Colorado Springs 1020 $26,960
Boulder 990 $29,460
Fort Collins 430 $27,440
Greeley 360 $27,070
Grand Junction 90 $33,380
Pueblo 80 $28,480
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 2040 $28,760
West Hartford 2040 $28,760
Hartford 2040 $28,760
Stamford 1880 $36,480
Norwalk 1880 $36,480
Bridgeport 1880 $36,480
New Haven 950 $29,450
Danbury 450 $32,060
Waterbury 300 $34,070
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 230 $32,300
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Miami 6800 $25,260
West Palm Beach 6800 $25,260
Fort Lauderdale 6800 $25,260
Tampa 4050 $24,270
Clearwater 4050 $24,270
St. Petersburg 4050 $24,270
Orlando 1720 $26,210
Kissimmee 1720 $26,210
Sanford 1720 $26,210
Jacksonville 1580 $25,470
Gainesville 550 $19,880
Panama City 410 $20,340
Ormond Beach 360 $20,510
Deltona 360 $20,510
Daytona Beach 360 $20,510
North Port 340 $24,160
Bradenton 340 $24,160
Sarasota 340 $24,160
Ferry Pass 320 $22,440
Pensacola 320 $22,440
Brent 320 $22,440
Fort Myers 280 $26,770
Cape Coral 280 $26,770
Immokalee 270 $24,850
Naples 270 $24,850
Marco Island 270 $24,850
Crestview 240 $20,300
Fort Walton Beach 240 $20,300
Destin 240 $20,300
Ocala 240 $24,750
Lakeland 230 $24,330
Winter Haven 230 $24,330
Port St. Lucie 190 $24,650
Vero Beach 80 $28,540
Sebastian 80 $28,540
Punta Gorda 60 $22,890
Titusville N/A $22,590
Palm Bay N/A $22,590
Melbourne N/A $22,590
Sebring N/A $27,180
Tallahassee N/A $30,780
Homosassa Springs N/A $36,040
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlanta 8860 $28,220
Roswell 8860 $28,220
Sandy Springs 8860 $28,220
Savannah 580 $24,690
Warner Robins 380 $31,530
Macon 310 $21,740
Gainesville 190 $31,140
Clarke County 130 $33,340
Athens 130 $33,340
Valdosta 120 $24,600
Rome 110 $24,780
Albany 110 $29,510
Hinesville 90 $24,190
Brunswick 90 $39,460
Dalton 70 $30,700
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 1350 $33,880
Lahaina 110 $39,970
Wailuku 110 $39,970
Kahului 110 $39,970
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 650 $21,540
Coeur d'Alene 130 $21,210
Idaho Falls 60 $18,920
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Peoria 560 $34,510
Springfield 550 $24,720
Rockford 480 $30,160
Urbana 320 $28,520
Champaign 320 $28,520
Bloomington 200 $24,300
Kankakee 170 $23,380
Decatur 110 $26,540
Marion 100 $23,950
Carbondale 100 $23,950
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 1750 $23,970
Carmel 1750 $23,970
Indianapolis 1750 $23,970
Fort Wayne 460 N/A
West Lafayette 220 $21,560
Lafayette 220 $21,560
Bloomington 180 $22,140
Elkhart 160 $22,020
Goshen 160 $22,020
Columbus 50 $26,770
Kokomo 40 $18,300
Michigan City 40 $30,960
La Porte 40 $30,960
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 1140 $23,020
Des Moines 1140 $23,020
Iowa City 340 $22,250
Cedar Rapids 340 $25,130
Cedar Falls 190 $22,910
Waterloo 190 $22,910
Dubuque 130 $27,870
Ames 130 $28,710
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 710 $22,830
Topeka 290 $24,560
Lawrence 100 $30,200
Manhattan 70 $23,120
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lexington 490 $37,450
Fayette 490 $37,450
Bowling Green 130 $29,520
Fort Knox 50 $49,770
Elizabethtown 50 $49,770
Owensboro 40 $50,500
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Metairie 950 $42,260
New Orleans 950 $42,260
Baton Rouge 610 $37,680
Shreveport 420 $28,990
Bossier City 420 $28,990
Lafayette 190 $44,960
Monroe 120 $36,830
Houma 50 $19,310
Thibodaux 50 $19,310
Hammond N/A $18,110
Alexandria N/A $19,590
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Portland 380 $28,460
South Portland 380 $28,460
Bangor 160 $30,960
Auburn 40 $36,720
Lewiston 40 $36,720
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baltimore 4620 $28,560
Towson 4620 $28,560
Columbia 4620 $28,560
Lexington Park 110 $27,080
California 110 $27,080
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Bedford 500 $25,110
Barnstable Town 230 $29,110
Pittsfield 170 $24,530
Gardner 140 $33,590
Leominster 140 $33,590
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 3540 $26,770
Detroit 3540 $26,770
Warren 3540 $26,770
Grand Rapids 970 $24,840
Wyoming 970 $24,840
Ann Arbor 550 $23,780
Kalamazoo 420 $27,820
Portage 420 $27,820
East Lansing 300 $37,410
Lansing 300 $37,410
Saginaw 180 $28,520
Flint 180 $32,200
Monroe 140 $31,780
Battle Creek 130 $29,720
Jackson 80 $33,490
Midland 50 $26,180
Muskegon 50 $27,530
Benton Harbor N/A $39,440
Niles N/A $39,440
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 190 $36,060
North Mankato 120 $23,310
Mankato 120 $23,310
St. Cloud N/A $22,980
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 390 $28,460
Pascagoula 200 $38,170
Gulfport 200 $38,170
Biloxi 200 $38,170
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 370 $21,010
Columbia 340 $19,450
Joplin 60 $29,570
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Great Falls 210 $23,900
Billings 120 $26,210
Missoula N/A $25,620
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 140 $42,060
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 1220 $27,440
Henderson 1220 $27,440
Las Vegas 1220 $27,440
Reno 320 $29,920
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 560 $23,780
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 970 $33,340
Bridgeton 310 $58,220
Vineland 310 $58,220
Atlantic City 290 $24,340
Hammonton 290 $24,340
Ocean City 70 $31,460
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 1200 $24,540
Santa Fe 160 $30,140
Farmington 120 $33,130
Las Cruces 80 $33,580
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheektowaga 2220 $23,420
Niagara Falls 2220 $23,420
Buffalo 2220 $23,420
Rochester 1740 $25,430
Albany 1570 $24,580
Schenectady 1570 $24,580
Troy 1570 $24,580
Syracuse 1100 $23,570
Binghamton 270 $21,660
Utica 260 $24,240
Rome 260 $24,240
Kingston 260 $25,120
Glens Falls 250 $22,090
Ithaca 160 $29,450
Watertown 150 $27,230
Fort Drum 150 $27,230
Elmira 90 $24,310
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 2830 $27,830
Durham 850 $30,010
Chapel Hill 850 $30,010
Winston 510 $34,370
Salem 510 $34,370
Asheville 490 $26,050
High Point 480 $26,670
Greensboro 480 $26,670
Fayetteville 440 $22,050
Wilmington 400 $23,690
Morganton 270 $23,470
Lenoir 270 $23,470
Hickory 270 $23,470
Goldsboro 210 $22,580
Greenville 190 $19,320
Burlington 160 $25,500
Rocky Mount 130 $21,920
New Bern N/A $25,340
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 80 $33,920
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 3010 $23,190
Elyria 2200 $26,320
Cleveland 2200 $26,320
Dayton 1130 $24,100
Akron 670 $23,160
Toledo 520 $26,000
Canton 370 $23,170
Massillon 370 $23,170
Mansfield 90 $29,810
Lima 80 N/A
Springfield 70 $27,680
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 1630 $32,630
Oklahoma City 1210 $30,100
Lawton 210 $32,550
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 670 $27,230
Salem 480 $26,660
Medford 270 $26,420
Redmond 250 $31,960
Bend 250 $31,960
Corvallis 130 $24,380
Albany 90 $23,440
Grants Pass 60 $23,900
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 2260 $25,810
Harrisburg 700 $24,290
Carlisle 700 $24,290
Scranton 600 $23,460
Wilkes 600 $23,460
Hazleton 600 $23,460
Barre 600 $23,460
Lancaster 550 $26,960
York 540 $26,140
Hanover 540 $26,140
Reading 490 $28,790
Erie 290 $25,230
East Stroudsburg 260 $25,790
Williamsport 210 $23,640
Waynesboro 170 $18,440
Chambersburg 170 $18,440
Altoona 160 $20,290
Johnstown 150 $20,110
Gettysburg 100 $25,720
Berwick 100 $26,790
Bloomsburg 100 $26,790
Lebanon 80 $18,460
State College N/A $24,740
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Carolina 2110 $21,710
Caguas 2110 $21,710
San Juan 2110 $21,710
Ponce 280 $23,190
Isabela 180 $20,550
Aguadilla 180 $20,550
Guayama 110 $19,730
Mayag�ez 90 $22,390
San German 60 $17,800
Arecibo 50 $21,050
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 1010 $24,580
North Charleston 1010 $24,580
Greenville 960 $20,140
Mauldin 960 $20,140
Anderson 960 $20,140
Columbia 400 $23,630
Beaufort 200 $24,810
Bluffton 200 $24,810
Hilton Head Island 200 $24,810
Florence 180 $26,900
Sumter 120 $21,300
Spartanburg N/A $26,290
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 420 $29,660
Rapid City 180 $26,300
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 2430 $24,650
Franklin 2430 $24,650
Davidson 2430 $24,650
Nashville 2430 $24,650
Knoxville 830 $23,990
Cleveland 150 $23,500
Jackson 110 $31,870
Morristown 80 $22,510
Johnson City 80 $37,440
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dallas 8940 $36,760
Fort Worth 8940 $36,760
Arlington 8940 $36,760
Houston 8410 $22,700
The Woodlands 8410 $22,700
Sugar Land 8410 $22,700
New Braunfels 2440 $42,660
San Antonio 2440 $42,660
Round Rock 1550 $30,650
Austin 1550 $30,650
McAllen 680 $27,660
Edinburg 680 $27,660
Mission 680 $27,660
El Paso 400 $19,020
Brownsville 270 $45,860
Harlingen 270 $45,860
Killeen 230 $27,550
Temple 230 $27,550
Laredo 230 $44,160
Waco 210 $29,920
Lubbock 200 $19,020
College Station 190 $24,470
Bryan 190 $24,470
Longview 180 $37,510
Wichita Falls 130 $27,520
Odessa 110 $30,050
Midland 110 $32,930
Abilene 110 $38,560
Beaumont 110 $39,740
Port Arthur 110 $39,740
Victoria 90 $37,500
Sherman 70 $21,150
Denison 70 $21,150
Amarillo 50 $29,420
Tyler N/A $18,480
Corpus Christi N/A $26,810
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 390 $25,280
Provo 270 $22,730
Orem 270 $22,730
St. George 30 $22,590
Ogden N/A $18,720
Clearfield N/A $18,720
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 380 $29,180
Burlington 380 $29,180
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 1170 $32,180
Roanoke 290 $24,060
Radford 170 $29,920
Christiansburg 170 $29,920
Blacksburg 170 $29,920
Charlottesville 130 $32,430
Lynchburg 100 $38,220
Staunton 60 $24,130
Waynesboro 60 $24,130
Harrisonburg 50 $37,900
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tacoma 5090 $31,290
Seattle 5090 $31,290
Bellevue 5090 $31,290
Spokane 730 $23,030
Spokane Valley 730 $23,030
Yakima 420 $25,520
Tumwater 320 $22,820
Olympia 320 $22,820
Bremerton 270 $31,440
Silverdale 270 $31,440
Wenatchee 230 $29,290
Bellingham 210 $30,350
Longview 120 $28,010
Anacortes 100 $23,820
Mount Vernon 100 $23,820
Walla Walla 40 $30,670
Kennewick N/A $26,640
Richland N/A $26,640
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 180 $29,810
Morgantown 170 $24,290
Beckley 110 $38,940
Vienna 40 $38,300
Parkersburg 40 $38,300
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 3420 $25,080
Waukesha 3420 $25,080
Milwaukee 3420 $25,080
Madison 1640 $26,950
Green Bay 1110 $22,450
Appleton 590 $23,760
Racine 280 $23,190
Janesville 250 $22,900
Beloit 250 $22,900
Oshkosh 170 $22,420
Neenah 170 $22,420
Eau Claire 150 $24,270
Fond du Lac 140 $19,910
Sheboygan 110 $21,480
Wausau N/A $21,540
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 180 $24,130
Casper 40 $34,410

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Preschool Teachers

To find out more about building a career as Preschool Teachers, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Preschool Teachers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Social Service 296,310 75% $22,380
Education 65,920 16% $35,860
Non-profit 19,590 4% $24,520
Government 5,290 1% $29,340
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