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.


  • 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.


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 the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Preschool Teachers jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 15,980 $36,030
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 9,020 $39,730
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 8,940 $39,650
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 8,860 $30,000
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 8,410 $31,210
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 6,800 $29,370
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 5,090 $32,450
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale 5,020 $27,980
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 4,620 $31,350
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara 4,530 $39,630

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Preschool Teachers

Use our handy tool to see what employment and salary numbers look like for two different metro areas

Select State
Select Metro Area 1
Select Metro Area 2

Total employment and salary for professions similar to preschool teachers

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

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Preschool Teachers

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment 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
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
  • M.Ed. in Early Childhood (Leads to initial teacher licensure)
  • B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education
  • M.Ed. in Early Childhood (Does not lead to initial teacher licensure)
  • Want to be a Teacher or Educational Administrator? Learn why GCU could be the best place to start! Here's why:
  • Options: Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate education programs, including TESOL, early childhood ed, elementary ed, secondary ed & more.
  • Convenience: Complete courses online, on campus, or a combination of both. We also offer evening classes!
  • Earlier Graduation: Our 4-credit courses allow you to complete your degree program in less time.
  • Transfer Friendly: We will request your transcripts, evaluate your graduate coursework, and determine your anticipated graduation date within 24 hours.
  • Financial Options: Numerous financing options available, including scholarships for academic achievement.
  • Early Childhood Education - Bachelors
  • Early Childhood Education - Masters
  • Education, Technology & Online Learning - Bachelors
  • 100% Online Education Degrees - Ashford University
  • Break new ground in your education career with your BA or MA in Education.
  • Bachelor’s, Master’s & Associate's programs to prepare you for the invaluable role of guiding learners or shaping educational initiatives.
  • Help Build the World's Future. Apply today!
  • Early Childhood Education - EdS
  • Early Childhood Education - Doctor of Education
  • Early Childhood Education - PhD in Education
  • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
  • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
  • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
  • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
  • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
  • B.A. Early Childhood Education
  • B.A. Early Childhood Education with Dual Credential
  • M.A. Early Childhood Education
  • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
  • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
  • Equipped with over 17,000 titles in their library.
  • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
  • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
  • M.Ed. - Program Specialist in Early Childhood Specialist
  • M.Ed. Teaching and Learning - Elementary Education
  • MA in Teaching - Elementary Education
  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Curriculum & Instruction: Early Childhood Education
  • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Social Studies
  • M.Ed. in Career and Technical Education
  • Concordia pursues online learning with the same passion and commitment to excellence that has marked our 110-year history. Our online degrees provides the same high academic standards as our on-campus.
  • #1 in M.Ed Degrees awarded by a Non-Profit University with over 8,000 M.Ed degrees that have been awarded to Concordia Online Students (Based on 2013-2014 IPEDS data); #3 MBA Program in Oregon (2015).
  • Your diploma and transcript is exactly the same as what students receive from Concordia’s on-campus program and carries the same value as a traditional degree
  • Concordia offers a variety of scholarships, grants, and awards designed to make the cost of a quality liberal arts education more affordable. Military benefits are available to candidates who qualify.
  • Concordia offers outstanding student-focused support including technical support and student service teams to assist you from initial contact through graduation. 
  • Concordia University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Online Accelerated Teaching Certification
  • SJU provides a rigorous, student-centered education rooted in the liberal arts
  • A Jesuit school with 8,415 students in all programs for 2016 grads &undergrads
  • Institutionally Accredited by the MSCHE and the AACSB (Haub School of Business)
  • 96% of 2016 graduates employed, pursuing graduate study or volunteering full time
  • Qualifying students can receive financial assistance with tuition costs
  • MS - Teaching and Learning
  • The first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States
  • No set class times or locations
  • Affordable tuition, guaranteed not to increase as long as you are enrolled
  • Accelerated eight-week terms
  • Classes start every month
  • Master of Education in Special Education, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis

Mason is committed to creating a more just, free and prosperous world. Located in one of the most important political, economic and intellectual hubs in the world, we accept our responsibility to serve others: to help our students succeed, enrich the life of our community, and contribute to solving some of the most complex global problems of our time.

  • Master of Education in Learning Design and Technology
  • Awakens, nurtures, & empowers learners to ethical lives of service & leadership
  • An accredited university by the HLC with multiple specialty accreditations
  • 16:1 student/faculty ratio with professors who are dedicated to student success
  • 120+ programs to choose from for graduates and undergraduate degree options
  • 2017 "Best Regional Universities, Midwest" & "Best Value" by US News & World Report

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Preschool Teachers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

Back to Top