Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education) Salary
Women make up the vast majority of Preschool Teachers in the United States. The average pay in this industry is approximately $12.23 per hour. While the company and tenure impact pay for this group, geography is the most influential factor. Job satisfaction for Preschool Teachers is high. While over one-half report receiving no health benefits, slightly more than half do receive medical coverage, and close to a third have dental, as well. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Job Description for Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education)
A preschool teacher, in a general classroom setting, is expected to work with children younger than school age, usually between the ages of three and five. A preschool teacher must engage these small children in activities that are not too challenging but still have educational merit, including, but not limited to finger painting, putting on short plays, singing songs, and reading to them. The purpose of a preschool teacher is to prepare children for kindergarten and elementary school. A preschool teacher works in a school building and can be expected to interact with other teachers, the administration of the school, and any other school staff including custodians and cafeteria workers. To be a preschool teacher one must have a degree in a relevant field and teaching certification. A day of preschool is usually a half day, because most children at this age cannot attend school for an entire day. However, the teacher is usually there from morning to around 4 or 5 in the afternoon because there may be two shifts of students. A good candidate to be a preschool teacher is obviously someone who loves children, but also has plenty of patience and stamina. A preschool teacher will often have to mediate and settle disputes between children and deal with any problems they may have, be they social, emotional or mental. A preschool teacher must be gentle and careful with students because they are at a tender developmental age, and this job should only be done by someone who definitely knows what they are doing and loves it.
Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education) Tasks
- Lead classroom activities and teaching of curriculum, including maintaining order.
- Plan and implement curriculum of activities and lessons.
- Maintain classroom and play space for safety and cleanliness.
- Conduct student assessments and provide feedback on behavior and performance to parents.
Common Career Paths for Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education)
Preschool Teachers may progress into high-paying roles like or Elementary School Kindergarten Preschool Special Education Teacher, where median compensation is $40K annually. Becoming a Director of Preschool is, more often than not, the most common role that Preschool Teachers move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. The average salary for the position is $35K. Another frequent advance is for Preschool Teachers to assume a Daycare Teacher role; in this role, workers often earn $21K.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education)
Known for taking on a considerable number of Preschool Teachers, KinderCare Learning Centers, Inc., Head Start, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Inc, The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, and YMCA are leading firms in the industry. Although Bright Horizons Child Care leads the field in pay with a median salary of $30K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $19K on the low end all the way up to $35K at the top. Head Start, Knowledge Universe, and The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Preschool Teachers earning around $29K, $27K, or $27K at each firm, respectively.
La Petite Academy, Inc. offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $22K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $18K to $31K. Employees at The Learning Experience, Childtime Learning Center, and Kids R Kids can also expect below-average earnings of $22K, $23K, and $23K.
Popular Skills for Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education)
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Teaching, Spanish Language, Bilingual, and Childhood Education are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like CDA, patience, and Leadership. Most people who know Childhood Education also know Activities for Children.
Pay by Experience Level for Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $25K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $27K. Preschool Teachers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $28K. Preschool Teachers with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $29K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Preschool Teachers, working in the bustling city of New York has its advantages, including an above-average pay rate. Preschool Teachers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+30 percent), Chicago (+24 percent), Seattle (+23 percent), and Los Angeles (+15 percent). Cincinnati is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 12 percent. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Orlando (7 percent lower) and Phoenix (6 percent lower).
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