Most Preschool Teachers in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $12.23 per hour. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by location, followed by the company and years of experience. Job satisfaction for Preschool Teachers is high. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, slightly more than half are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by more than two-fifths and dental insurance is reported by close to a third. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$17,063 - $47,021
(Median)
$17K
$29K
$47K
MEDIAN: $29,464
10%
50%
90%

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$9.29 - $17.10
(Median)
$9
$12
$17
MEDIAN: $12.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$16K$32K$48K
Salary
$17,063 - $47,021  
   
Bonus
$98.63 - $1,677  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$19,098 - $38,223  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 879
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$9$18$27
Hourly Rate
$9.29 - $17.10  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.50  
Overtime
$12.57 - $24.62  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$18K$36K$54K
Bonus
$98.63 - $1,677  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$19,098 - $38,223  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 3,151
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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

  • Maintain classroom and play space for safety and cleanliness.
  • Conduct student assessments and provide feedback on behavior and performance to parents.
  • Lead classroom activities and teaching of curriculum, including maintaining order.
  • Plan and implement curriculum of activities and lessons.

Common Career Paths for Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education)


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As Preschool Teachers transition into upper-level roles such as or Elementary School Kindergarten Preschool Special Education Teacher, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Elementary School, Kindergarten, and Preschool Special Education Teachers earn $40K on average per year. A Director of Preschool role is the most common promotion for Preschool Teachers moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $35K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Preschool Teachers is a Daycare Teacher position, where earnings are usually $21K.

Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education)


KinderCare Learning Centers, Inc., Head Start, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Inc, The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, and YMCA are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Preschool Teachers. Although Bright Horizons Child Care leads the field in pay with a median salary of $29K, employees there receive a wide spread of salaries, from $19K on the low end all the way up to $35K at the top. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Head Start, Knowledge Universe, and The Goddard School for Early Childhood Development, top-paying firms where Preschool Teachers rake in a decent $28K, $27K, or $27K, respectively.

Preschool Teachers will find the worst pay at La Petite Academy, Inc., where the median salary crawls in at $21K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $31K, leaving little room for growth. Also approaching the lower end are The Learning Experience at $22K, The Learning Care Group, Inc. at $23K, and Kiddie Academy at $24K.

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, Bilingual, Spanish Language, and Childhood Education are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include CDA, patience, and Team Leadership. The majority of those 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.


For many Preschool Teachers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $25K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $26K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Preschool Teachers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $28K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $29K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $26,100

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Preschool Teachers will find that New York offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 37 percent. Preschool Teachers will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+29 percent), Chicago (+23 percent), Seattle (+22 percent), and Boston (+18 percent). In Columbus, salaries are 6 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Phoenix and Orlando (6 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).

Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education) Reviews

What is it like working as a Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education)?

Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education) in Placerville:
"Fulfilling and high energy."
Pros: I love that I get to work to change the lives of children in an accepting creative way.
Cons: It is not a very clean job.

Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education) in Jonesboro:
"Work flexibility."
Pros: You build good relationship to other people you help them do activities of daily living, you make people happy.
Cons: When the client dies its really hard.

Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education) in Los Angeles:
"It's amazing as long as you get your rest!"
Pros: How the children remind you not to take things so seriously. Watching them grow as if they are your own children. Meeting new parents and being encircled by such diverse cultures.
Cons: When I don't get enough sleep my patience is thin and I don't have as much fun with the children as I could.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education) Salaries




National Average
$26,000


Skills That Affect Preschool Teacher, (but not Special Education) Salaries

Teaching
up arrow 16%

Spanish Language
up arrow 3%

Bilingual
up arrow 3%

Childhood Education
0%

CPR
0%

National Average
$26,000

Curriculum Planning
up arrow 1%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 1%

bachelors degree
up arrow 1%

Activities for Children
up arrow 2%

Child Advocacy
up arrow 4%

French Language
up arrow 4%

Leadership
up arrow 4%

Team Leadership
up arrow 7%

patience
up arrow 8%

CDA
up arrow 19%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 499 votes.

Gender

Female
97 %
Male
3 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 43%
dental benefits
Dental: 33%
medical benefits
Vision: 25%
dental benefits
None: 55%
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