Preschool Teacher: Job Duties & Requirements

Mar 29, 2019

Preschool teachers play a vital role in the development of children. Find out the basic education and skills required. Get information on the career and salary potential of preschool teachers, as well as descriptions of two related careers.

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Career Information for Preschool Teachers

Preschool teachers are responsible for introducing children from the ages of three to six into the world of organized schooling. Preschool teachers use a variety of educational methods including storytelling, games, and hands-on activities that will help a child develop vocabulary, learn social skills, and grasp a variety of educational and behavioral concepts.

Education Associate's degree in education or related field
Job Duties Introduce children to organized schooling, develop vocabulary and social skills
Median Salary (2017)* $28,990
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 10%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most employers require that prospective preschool teachers have at least an associate's degree in education or a related field. While in school, students should take classes that focus on child development, classroom management, child behavior, curriculum methods, instructional technology, and parent-child relations. Preschool teachers may also have to undergo background checks and be certified in infant and child CPR. Licensure may be required in certain states.

Job Skills Required

Preschool teachers must be able to communicate with their students and understand their educational and emotional needs. Teachers have to be organized, patient, dependable, creative, and have the ability to reach students and educate them. Teachers need excellent interpersonal skills and must work cooperatively with parents, other teachers, and administrative personnel.

Economic and Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there could be an increase of 10% in job opportunities for preschool teachers between 2016 and 2026. This is mostly due to the increasing demand for preschool programs. The BLS reports that the median salary as of May 2017 for preschool teachers was $28,990 per year.

Alternative Career Options

Similar career options in this field include:

Preschool and Childcare Center Director

This managerial position involves tasks like supervising and training staff, creating budgets, meeting with parents, and resolving any conflicts. Each state has its own education requirements for directors, which range from just a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree. National certification and licensing may also be necessary for childcare facilities. Job growth in this sector was expected to reach 11% from 2016-2026, as reported by the BLS. The reported median income of preschool and childcare center directors was $46,890 per year as of May 2017.

Kindergarten Teacher

Creating lesson plans, grading papers, and supervising children are just some of the duties of a teacher. In terms of education, kindergarten teachers need to have a bachelor's degree in elementary education and be certified if working in a public school. In general, this category was projected to have an 8% growth in employment from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS, which is about average. Kindergarten teachers, except those in special education, made a median salary of $54,230 in 2017.

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