Early Childhood Ed Teacher Salary and Career Outlook

The early childhood education segment of the teaching industry has undergone major shifts over the last decade and in this article, we’ll take a look at the early childhood ed teacher salary and career outlook for the coming years.

The Role of the Early Childhood Educator

In recent years, the concept of “early childhood education” has been extended for programming purposes to refer to the formal care and teaching of young children up to eight years of age. Because children under the age of eight experience rapid brain development as compared to the years after this age, professional educators have placed an emphasis on the role of education during these developmental stages. As such, the field of early childhood education has created numerous openings for individuals interested in working with students in their early formative years and this has created attractive teacher salary and career opportunities.

Technically speaking, early childhood education begins at the age of three and four. Recent research has shown that children who were introduced to a formal early childhood education curriculum at these ages can have many positive developmental and behavioral effects that can extend well into adult life. While the teacher salary levels for those educators working with very young children may not be as attractive as some other positions, the rewards associated with the working with children at these ages can be very fulfilling.

Education for the Early Childhood Educator

The path to an early childhood ed teacher salary may not be as challenging as you think. For many teachers in this discipline, training is gained on the job by entering into the field as an assistant at a pre-kindergarten program. Through time in the classroom and subsequent promotions, many of these assistants go on to assume leadership positions and sometimes become directors at various programs.

There are formal opportunities to gain education and training as well. Many colleges offer both an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, which can lead to increased teacher salary levels upon entry into the classroom environment. For those with a formal education, positions may include placement in kindergarten through third grade.

Early Childhood Ed Teacher Salary and Career Outlook

The career outlook for those in early childhood education is very positive. There are many large employers, such as franchises like the Primrose School and the Goddard School, which are opening new locations at a rapid pace. These types of schools, as well as other private education centers, are catering to parents’ awareness of the importance of structured curriculum in the early years of a child’s life and as a result, many new employment opportunities are springing up throughout the country.

The teacher salary level in early childhood education will vary quite a bit depending on both the age of students with which you are working and location. Generally, the early childhood ed average teacher salary ranges between $22,430 and $38,290. However, in some major U.S. metropolitan areas, the teacher salary for early childhood ed may extend well above $60,000 such as in parts of Rhode Island and New York.

Major Factors Impacting the Average Teacher Salary

When researching average teacher salary levels, you will find that the numbers vary quite broadly from one position to the next and from region to region. There are a number of factors which can have a direct impact on the teacher salary and in this article, we’ll take a brief look at a few of these. Understanding how these elements influence the salary which teachers are paid can be tremendously helpful in helping you to chart your teaching career course.

Variances by State

One of the most significant factors which can influence the teacher salary is the state in which one is employed. Generally, salaries for teachers are set at the state level and then at the local district level. However, in most cases, districts will follow guidelines set out by the state board of education. As such, teacher pay can range greatly from one state to the next. Much of this has to do with the supply and demand for teaching jobs in a particular state since states with a shortage of teachers will generally increase the average teacher salary to attract more qualified candidates. However, states do set their own education budgets and the amount of funding available for teaching salaries can often override the need to pay teachers a higher wage to find suitable employees within districts.

Level of Experience

As with most jobs managed by local and state authorities, the teacher salary will increase throughout the course of one’s career. Typically, a school district will outline the pay scales associated with various teaching positions within the district. However, in most states, as long as an individual teaches within the same state school system continuously, they move up the pay scale as school years go by.

Education Level

There is perhaps no other profession where the level of an employee’s education has such a direct impact on earnings. In most states, each incremental advancement in the education of the teacher merits an increase in salary. Most advanced degree programs for educators are relatively short as compared to other post-bachelor’s programs, and as such, it can be well worthwhile to complete a master’s level program in teaching.

While this is not a comprehensive list of factors which directly influence the average teacher salary, these aspects can be helpful as you plan your own career in education.