Career Overview: Preschool Teacher
Preschool teachers oversee a classroom learning environment that uses play and interactive experience to provide educational opportunities. Children learn some of the basics of the alphabet and numbers through simple games and group sessions with flash cards or video prompts. Organized group games teach socialization skills and the concept of sharing.
Training & Qualifications
Preschool teachers must be licensed, but requirements vary by state. Some states require a bachelor's degree in early childhood education; others will allow preschool teachers to work with an associates degree.
The third option in some states is certification by a recognized certifying agency. The organization that is most widely known and accepted is the Child Development Association (CDA). This credential is awarded to preschool teaching candidates who can demonstrate experience in working with children in a classroom environment and exhibit overall competence in a personal interview.
In 2006 there were slightly less than 450,000 preschool teachers. Nearly 60% of these worked in daycare centers, while 16% were employed in public and private educational services, with another 15% employed by religious organizations.
The Department of Labor rates the overall outlook for teaching employment as good to excellent'. They note the accelerated rate of retirement as the baby boomers move into senior status. It is also worth noting that with so many dual career households, preschool has become a necessity for many families.
Earnings for lowest 10%: $7.39/hr; $15,380
Median Earnings: $11.12/hr; $23,130
Earnings for top 10%: $19.39/hr; $40,330
Source: U.S. Department of Labor