How to Begin a Professional Career as an Preschool Teacher

How to Begin a Professional Career as an Preschool Teacher


Preschool Teachers: A Quick Look
Median Salary $27,130 per annum
Entry-level education Associate’s degree
On-the-job training No
Primary employers Daycare services
Number of positions (U.S.) 438,200
Job Growth (2012-2022) 17% (Faster than national average)
New positions (2012-2022) +76,400

How to Begin a Professional Career as an Preschool TeacherWhat Does A Preschool Teacher Do?

A preschool teacher is a trained professional whose main job is to educated young children age three to five years old in order to prepare them to enter formal education.Read more.


The average salary for a preschool teacher is approximately $27,130 per year.Read more.

Becoming A Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers in normal daycare situations may be able to teach without obtaining an advanced degree, relying upon their high school diploma and experience with dealing with young children. In other situations, an employer or state may require a preschool teacher to hold a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and a teaching certificate. If you wish to learn more about How to Begin a Professional Career as an Preschool Teacher, click here. Read more.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for preschool teachers is outstanding. This is a growing field, and the anticipated increases in the population of young children make the outlook for jobs for preschool teachers a very good choice. Read more.

Preschool Teacher Salary

How much do preschool teachers make? The median preschool teacher salary was $27,130 as of 2012. This means that half the preschool teachers in 2012 earned less than that figure and half earned more based upon statistics from the US Department of Labor Statistics. Most preschool teachers work full time, although public school teachers may have two months off in the summertime at times when the public schools close down for the summer holiday.

How To Become A Preschool Teacher

Each state has different requirements for education, training and certification for preschool teachers; an individual interested in working as a preschool teacher must seek out the individual state requirements. Determining how best to proceed with education, training and certification also depends upon the desired employment situation. For example, if one is interested in working in a daycare center, some states require that the person have a high school diploma. In other situations, the state or employer may insist on the individual having an associate’s degree (two year) in early childhood education while others may want some other type of certification in early childhood education. If the individual is interested in teaching in a public school setting, the person generally must have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or related field with experience working with young children. The state will normally also require some sort of certification or license. How long does it take to become a preschool teacher? Someone desiring to be a preschool teacher may find employment after obtaining their high school diploma; others may need to obtain an associate’s degree or even a bachelor’s degree. Someone who would like to be able to work in a public school setting should expect to spend four years earning their bachelor’s degree.

Educational Requirements

To be a preschool teacher, a student may be able to begin right out of high school at a local preschool, or after obtaining required certification. Typically an individual may expect to attend undergraduate school for four years to earn their bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Typical classes may include child psychiatry, developing curriculum, time management and other classes on childhood education. Students in early childhood education may also expect to spend hours in a classroom setting working as a student teacher. This is necessary to gain experience necessary to deal with the situations which may arise while dealing with young children. It is also necessary to be comfortable in the classroom, as certification will require someone to observe and comment on the manner in which the student handles the classroom. Note: The specific educational requirements required to become a preschool teacher may vary state-by-state.


Requirements vary from state to state. In most states, working in a public school setting as a preschool teacher requires the instructor to hold a teaching certificate or license. If one is interested in working in a private institution or other daycare situation, however, a teaching certificate may not be required. In those situations, the individual may need to obtain other certification from organizations such as the National Early Childhood Program Accreditation Commission or the Council for Professional Recognition.


Requirements vary from state to state. In some states, those desiring to be preschool teachers must have a teaching license; in other jurisdictions, it may be called a teaching certificate. Someone interested in working as a preschool teacher should be prepared to submit to background checks and obtain any necessary immunizations required to work with vulnerable children.

Preschool Teacher Job Description

Preschool teachers educate young children that are three to five years old before they begin kindergarten or first grade. Preschool teachers often work at daycare centers, private institutions or in public school. They will sometimes have a teaching assistant helping with the class. A preschool teacher can expect to work mainly in a classroom setting, although occasional field trips with the class may be expected. A preschool teacher may also work outside during recess, physical education periods and when students are entering and exiting buses and vehicles. Preschool teachers exhibit traits such as the ability to communicate with young children, patience, creativity, enthusiasm and flexibility in dealing with issues that typically arise when dealing with children.


  • Prepare young children to enter kindergarten or first grade.
  • Introduce fundamentals for reading, including alphabet letter recognition, introductory phonics and word recognition. Fundamentals for mathematic skills, such as basics of addition and subtraction, as well as recognitions of colors, shapes.
  • Begin to establish following directions, respecting others and working in group settings.
  • Develop teaching plans, record student progress, meet with parents about child’s progress.
  • Recognize potential learning disabilities or other emotional issues which may need to be pursued by a licensed professional.

Job Outlook

The preschool teaching job market outlook is exceptional, expecting to grow by a whopping 17% between 2012 and 2022. That figure sits higher the rate of growth among all occupations in the U.S. (11%). This expected demand in preschool teachers is based upon population figures that indicate an increased population in the children to be educated by preschool teachers, as well as increased desire by governmental agencies to provide more preschool education for children in the hope to prepare them to begin formalized school in kindergarten or first grade.


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