Becoming a Kindergarten Teacher: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a kindergarten teacher. Explore the job description and education and licensing requirements, and start a career in the education field. View article »

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

Select a school or program

View More Schools
Show Me Schools
  • 0:00 Kindergarten Teachers
  • 0:34 Career Skills & Info
  • 1:26 Step 1: Bachelor's Degree
  • 2:19 Step 2: License
  • 2:55 Step 3: Graduate Degree

Find the perfect school

Video Transcript

Kindergarten Teachers

Kindergarten teachers aid the development of children between the ages of approximately four and six as they enter the education system. Through the use of games, educational tools and learning exercises, they help children build core skills to succeed in school. Working with young children can be quite stressful and tiring, requiring a great deal of patience and energy, but seeing students' social and academic progress at the end of the school year can be rewarding, and most teachers get the summers off.

Career Skills & Info

Degree Level Bachelor's degree; some states require a master's degree
Degree Field Education, elementary education, early childhood education; some states mandate a second major in a relevant content area, such as science or math
Experience Must complete the requirements of supervised student teaching and pass proficiency exams for certification.
Licensure/Certification Must pass state certification exams; some states require a kindergarten endorsement
Key Skills Nurturing, patience, creativity, compassion, communication, good classroom management, computer software skills
Salary (2015) $54,510 (Annual average salary for a kindergarten teachers, excluding those who worked in special education)
Career Outlook From 2014-2024, jobs for kindergarten and elementary school teachers are expected to increase by 6%, or a fast-as-average rate.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ONET Online, National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators.

Let's find out more about these requirements.

Step 1: Bachelor's Degree

Kindergarten teachers must graduate from a 4-year teacher education program, such as a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. Alternative programs may award degrees in kindergarten and elementary education, early childhood and elementary education, or elementary education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some states require public school teachers to earn a second degree in a relevant subject area to qualify for a license.

Education majors take courses in curriculum planning, child learning methods, and child development theory. Because textbooks and lectures can't fully prepare individuals for leading a class of kindergartners, education programs also include hands-on training. Aspiring teachers usually spend one of their later semesters in an internship or student teaching experience.

Success Tip

  • Become a tutor. Tutoring can help prospective teachers gain knowledge and techniques needed for effective instruction and communication.

Step 2: License

In the United States, all public school teachers are required to obtain a state license after graduating from an approved teacher education program. Licensing requirements vary by state, but typically include a bachelor's degree in education and a passing score on a basic skills proficiency exam. Some states require kindergarten teachers to earn an additional endorsement in early childhood education.

Individuals who have earned a bachelor's degree in a field other than education may consider alternative certification routes. Private school teachers usually don't have to meet the state licensure requirement; however, many private schools prefer to hire teachers who have at least a bachelor's degree.

Step 3: Graduate Degree

Some states require teachers to earn a master's degree within a certain amount of time after receiving their certification. A Master of Education program, for example, offers teachers the opportunity to specialize in a grade level, subject, or specific aspect of teaching, while at the same time providing them with a valuable career tool for advancement. Graduate programs also prepare teachers to become experts in pedagogy or education.

Success Tip

  • Take professional development courses. In order to remain licensed, states require teachers to participate in ongoing professional development or take continuing education courses.

We've discussed a lot of information in this lesson, so let's review. To become a kindergarten teacher in a public school, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in an education-related major and a state license. As of May 2015, kindergarten teachers earned an average yearly salary of $54,510.

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership - Behavioral Health
    • Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning
    • M.Ed. in Early Childhood
    • M.Ed. in Elementary Education
    • M.Ed. in Secondary Education
    • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
    • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    • BS in Early Childhood
    • B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education
    • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
    • B.S. in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Christian Education

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • BS in Early Childhood Administration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - Early Childhood Education
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Leadership
    • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Methods & Curriculum
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - ESOL (K-Adult)
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Adolescent Literacy

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Early Childhood Education, B.A. without Licensure
    • Elementary Education, B.A. without Licensure

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Education - Character Education
    • Doctor of Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    • Ph.D. in Education - Character Education
    • Ph.D. in Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    • Ed.S. in Educational Leadership - Character Education
    • M.Ed. - Individualized Degree Program
    • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction
    • M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction - Christian School
    • Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MEd: Exceptional Student Education

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • PhD in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Evaluation
    • PhD in Education - Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Evaluation (Family Friendly)
    • PhD in Education - Learning, Instruction & Innovation
    • PhD in Education - Learning, Instruction & Innovation (Family Friendly)
    • MS in Education - Adolescent Literacy & Learning
    • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Accelerated)
    • MS in Education - Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (Grades K-12)
    • MS in Education - Self-Designed

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?