Everything you need to know about a preschool teacher salary (2023)

Everything you need to know about a preschool teacher salary (1)

Being an educator is one of the most important and rewarding careers. It offers the opportunity to make a difference in a child's life and participate in shaping the next generation. If you're considering a job in education, one of the first things you need to figure out is which age range you prefer. If you prefer working with very young children, being a preschool teacher could be a good option.

What is the average salary for a preschool teacher?

Preschool teacher salaries can range from $22,000 to $58,000 per year. From May 2021,estimate of the national average annual salaryit was $36,460, or $17.53 an hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest-earning preschool teachers earn about $23,000 a year, while the highest earners earn about $58,000.

Employment ratings and median salary for preschool teachers

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average hourly wage

average annual salary




Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

Percentile salary estimates for preschool teachers


10 %

25 %

50 % (median)

75 %

90 %

Hourly rate






Annual salary






Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

What is the average salary for a preschool teacher based on geographic location?

Preschool teacher salaries vary by geographic location, from $25,180 in a low-paying state like Alabama to $55,960 in the high-paying District of Columbia.

states that pay the most

Median annual salary for preschool teachers



New Jersey








Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

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Average salaries in the highest paying metropolitan areas exceed the national average.

metropolitan area

Median annual salary for preschool teachers

Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA


Ocean City, NJ


Vineland-Bridgeton, Nueva Jersey


Rome, Georgia


Laredo, Texas


Atlantic City-Hammonton, Nueva Jersey


Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI


New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA


Modesto, California


Pittsfield, MA


Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

How Much Does a Preschool Teacher Make Based on Experience Level?

The entry-level annual salary for a preschool teacher is around $38,000, while an experienced teacher at the highest seniority level (15+ years of experience) can earn $50,000 or more.

Years of experience

Average salary for a preschool teacher

0-1 years


1-3 years


4-6 years


7-9 years


10-14 years


15+ years



How a preschool teacher differs

Preschool usually starts for children between the ages of two and five. It is a very tender time for children, especially in terms of their overall development and growth. Preschool teachers have the enormous responsibility of preparing these young children for the rest of their education. They do this by focusing on the fourdevelopment domains: cognitive, physical, socio-emotional and linguistic. Progress in these areas serves as the foundation for the academic skills children will learn in elementary school and beyond.

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What are preschool teacher jobs really like?

Since preschool teachers work with young children, they may be in a public or private elementary school, an independent preschool, or an early education program. The size of their classrooms can vary with a range of 10 to 24 children.

A preschool teacher's role is to teach basic skills that contribute to their learning and growth. Preschool is where children learnessential social and emotional skillsthat helps them with conflict resolution, communication and problem solving.

Preschool teachers are also more involved with their children's families since this is such a critical stage of development. This communication between the teacher and the parents is essential because it helps ensure consistency between what they learn at school and what they practice at home.

The educational foundation provided by preschool teachers allows children to handle more complex concepts. In addition to the professional side, there is also the development side. Preschool teachers also help children with their behavioral and social development. In general, a preschool teacher's main responsibilities include:

  • Lesson plan developmentbased on learning objectives and outcomes set by the school
  • Teach basic educational concepts such as the alphabet, numbers, colors, writing and reading.
  • Assess each child's academic, social and behavioral progress throughout the year and continually adjust their educational plan as needed.
  • Communicate with families about their child's learning plan, overall development, and what they can do at home to supplement what they learn at school.
  • Manage a classroom, including helping children resolve conflicts and increase their attention span.
  • Understand how to identify and accommodate children who experience behavioral problems, have a learning disability or are neurodiverse

Requirements for preschool teacher training

The beginning of your journey to becoming an educator is of course a good education. The minimum education required to become a preschool teacher will depend onFrom the stateand whether he wants to teach in public schools. In addition to a degree, a state or your specific school may also require a teacher preparation program, variouscertificationsand a teaching license. Certain states may also require your degree to be specifically in early childhood education, or will require additional qualifications. You may also need to renew your license or certification every few years.

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Understand the various benefits of preschool teaching jobs

As with any job, you will be offered certain benefits in addition to your annual salary. This may include health care, childcare services, paid time off, retirement benefits, or opportunities for career advancement or development. Separately, there will also be the conditions for your employment as a teacher. This may include the maximum size of your classroom, whether you get an aide, or whether the school year is 10 months or a full year. The best preschool teacher job offer for you depends on what suits your lifestyle and needs, and you can often negotiate what is most important to you.

Preschool differs from daycare, but there may be some overlap in the age groups served andpay. Daycares are typically full-time childcare programs that are suitable for working families that typically care for infants and toddlers. The nursery focuses less on structure and professional growth and more on childcare and competence development. Most daycare centers only require a GED or high school diploma to be onedaycare, but more training and experience is generally recommended to move up to onenursery director. If flexible hours and more freedom in your daily life are particularly important benefits to you, then being a daycare provider is another good career option to consider.

Job Outlook for preschool teachers.

The demand for preschool teachers is growing. HeUS Bureau of Labor Statisticsreports that employment of early childhood educators is expected to grow by 15% between 2021 and 2031, a faster rate than the average for all occupations. They project about 63,000 openings for early childhood teachers each year for the next decade. This means that there are many opportunities for preschool teachers to find work after they finish school. If you want a rewarding career with the opportunity to positively impact children's development, this is definitely a good option to consider. But keep in mind that there can be great variation in pay, benefits and job satisfaction in the education sector.

In general, as you gain more experience in any career path, your salary should also increase. For pre-school teachers, continuing education generally offers a better opportunity to raise their salary or secure a position with more responsibility. A study ofNational Center for Education Statisticsreveals that educators with a master's degree generally earn more than those with only a bachelor's degree, even if they have the same experience.

So are you ready to become a preschool teacher?

Preschool education can vary greatly from state to state and from program to program. If you decide to pursue it as a career, keep an open mind throughout the process. You may find that you are better suited to a different age group or a different part of the education sector, such as administration. If your motivation is to influence the next generation and make a positive impact, becoming a preschool teacher may be right for you.

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Everything you need to know about a preschool teacher salary? ›

Preschool teacher salaries can range from around $22,000 to $58,000 annually. As of May 2021, the national average annual pay estimate was $36,460 or $17.53 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Preschool teachers earning the least earn roughly $23,000 yearly, while top earners earn about $58,000.

What is the top end salary for a preschool teacher? ›

Preschool Teacher Salary in Los Angeles, CA
PercentileSalaryLast Updated
25th Percentile Preschool Teacher Salary$38,320March 28, 2023
50th Percentile Preschool Teacher Salary$42,450March 28, 2023
75th Percentile Preschool Teacher Salary$48,510March 28, 2023
90th Percentile Preschool Teacher Salary$54,027March 28, 2023
1 more row

Will I make enough money as a teacher? ›

Yes, in general, K-12 teachers in the U.S. make enough money to live comfortably depending on how they are accustomed to living.

What makes you a good preschool teacher? ›

Passion. Passionate teachers are the cornerstone of successful classrooms. Educators who demonstrate their love for what they do make wonderful role models for little kids. Passion breeds innovation and creativity — two qualities that inspire children to love learning and excel.

What is the hardest part about being a preschool teacher? ›

1. Children (so many children!) Managing a room full of young children can be delightful, but it can also be hard and can drain a lot of your energy. The day-to-day challenges you will face can range from dealing with difficult behaviors to crying and cranky children.

Where do pre K teachers get paid the most? ›

Preschool Teacher Salary By State: Highest-Paid Preschool Teachers by State [2023] Research Summary. After extensive research by the Zippia data science team, we identified these details of preschool teacher salary by state for the United States: Hawaii has the highest preschool teacher salary of $43,575.

Which grade do teachers make the most money? ›

The highest earners are typically high school level teachers, and the lowest paid are preschool teachers. Different factors also affect the salary of most teachers, like location, cost of living, level of education and the type of learning institution they teach in.

How to make 6 figures as a teacher? ›

How to make more money as a teacher
  1. Find opportunities to earn supplemental money at your school. ...
  2. Do research on your location's pay rates. ...
  3. Earn an advanced degree. ...
  4. Take advantage of professional development opportunities. ...
  5. Transition to an administrative career. ...
  6. Offer tutoring options.
Jan 19, 2023

Can you make $100 K as a teacher? ›

Can teachers make 100K? Yes, and they can do it while teaching full-time!

What are the pros and cons of being a preschool teacher? ›

The pros of being a preschool teacher include working with children and helping to shape the future leaders of the world, while the cons include not making very much money and dealing with a lot of day-to-day stress. Becoming a preschool teacher can be extremely rewarding.

What are three skills needed for a preschool teacher? ›

Skills Every Preschool Teacher Should Have
  • Patience. Skilled early childhood educators often possess the “patience of a saint” as the saying goes. ...
  • Communication Skills. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Organization.
Feb 4, 2021

What makes you the best candidate for this position preschool teacher? ›

Good Pre-K teacher candidates will be highly enthusiastic about working with young children. Be wary of candidates with low energy levels, as this role requires someone who can effectively handle a classroom of demanding, exuberant personalities.

What grade is harder to teach? ›

Standardized Testing May Cause Grades 3 and Up to Be the Hardest Elementary Grades to Teach. Many educators argue that the hardest elementary grade to teach is one with standardized testing pressures.

What do preschool teachers struggle with? ›

As a preschool teacher, you face several new and unique challenges on an everyday basis. You often find yourself struggling with establishing the right curriculum, dealing with the different needs of toddlers at the same time, and communicating minor details about the kids with the parents.

What is the lowest salary for a preschool teacher? ›

Preschool teachers earn an average yearly salary of $37,080. Wages typically start from $29,630 and go up to $58,900.

What is the highest paying job in early childhood? ›

High Paying Preschool Jobs
  • Lead Teacher. ...
  • Preschool Assistant Teacher. ...
  • Toddler Teacher. ...
  • Preschool Assistant. ...
  • Preschool Aide. ...
  • School Age Teacher. Salary range: $22,500-$31,000 per year. ...
  • VPK Teacher. Salary range: $23,000-$30,500 per year. ...
  • Child Care Teacher. Salary range: $21,000-$28,500 per year.

Is it hard being a pre K teacher? ›

The hardest part of being a preschool teacher is often working with the children, even though being able to help kids learn is why you're interested in starting this career. While it is absolutely rewarding, and kids can be funny, smart, and sweet, they have their bad days just like anyone else.

What is the best grade to teach as a teacher? ›

If your really love helping young learners grow and play, preschool, kindergarten, or grades 1 through 3 are great. If you're more interested in helping children develop good thinking skills as they mature, grade 4 is a good place to start.

What is the highest paying position in a school? ›

Popular Online Education Master's Programs
JobMedian Annual Salary (May 2021)Job Growth Rate (2021-2031)
1. School Superintendents$127,310*N/A
2. Elementary, Middle, and High School Principals$98,4205%
3. Postsecondary Education Administrators$96,9107%
4. Postsecondary Teachers$79,64012%
2 more rows

What areas pay teachers the most? ›

In 2021, the average K-12 public school teacher nationwide was paid $65,090. Average teacher pay was the highest in New York at $87,738, followed by Massachusetts and California. In three states — Mississippi, Florida, and South Dakota — teachers made less than $50,000 on average.

Can you make a living off teachers pay teachers? ›

The first question everyone asks is: “can I really make money selling on Teachers Pay Teachers?” The answer is YES. It is a great way to start up a small business and earn extra income for teachers. I won't sugarcoat it though, you will have to put a lot of hard work into it.

How do you know if I should be a teacher? ›

Signs You Should Become a Teacher
  • You care about our future. ...
  • You want to make a difference. ...
  • You're a great organizer. ...
  • You are good at giving directions and getting others to follow. ...
  • You are patient. ...
  • You have a good sense of humor. ...
  • You're optimistic. ...
  • You're a good storyteller.
Jun 10, 2021

Are teachers happy with their salary? ›

Overall, 45 percent of teachers agreed that they were satisfied with their salary, and 55 percent disagreed (FIGURE 1).

How can I increase my income as a teacher? ›

For teachers who do have additional hours to give outside of school, coaching sports, leading after school activities, chaperoning school dances or teaching remedial classes can increase their paychecks. No matter how many new skills you acquire or extra jobs you take, experience is the greatest salary booster of all.

What teacher makes $1 million in 3 years? ›

Teacher Turned OnlyFans Model Says She Made $1 Million in 3 Years. Phoenix-based Courtney Tillia is going viral after she quit her job as an educator to pursue content creation on the platform.

How do teachers make money in the summer? ›

If you're considering something seasonal this summer vacation, check out these 10 ways to make money in your teaching off-season.
  • Start a blog. ...
  • Sell lesson plans. ...
  • Seek out seasonal work. ...
  • Try direct selling. ...
  • Work at a summer camp. ...
  • Tutor. ...
  • Contract as a freelance writer/designer/editor. ...
  • Work in a child care center.

Do teachers get a lot of money? ›

In 2020, with 250,000 records available, we see the median total pay of full-time teachers was $91,067. Median total compensation – including benefits – was $119,422. These are facts, from actual data.

What is the most a kindergarten teacher can make? ›

How much do kindergarten teachers earn? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, kindergarten teachers earned a median annual income of $60,900 in 2021. The job website Salary.com reports a median income of just over $60,000 for kindergarten teachers, with salaries ranging from below $41,000 to above $83,000.

What state needs the most teachers? ›

Hawaii. Hawaii has a teacher shortage crisis, according to the Hawaii State Teachers Association. The organization says more than 60,000 children are not taught by a Hawaii-qualified teacher each year, and that the number of educators leaving Hawaii has increased by more than 70% since 2012.

What are some negatives of preschool? ›

  • Higher child-to-adult ratio than one-on-one childcare.
  • Less individualized learning and one-on-one time.
  • Focusing on academics too early can lead to frustration.
  • Unlike some daycares, closed on statutory holidays and during summer. ...
  • Unlike parental one-on-one care, can lead to separation anxiety.

Is being a preschool teacher important? ›

Early childhood educators are one of the most important people in your child's life. They are responsible for helping to build a meaningful foundation for your child's academic career during one of the most crucial times of their lives.

What are the 5 teaching strategies for preschoolers? ›

Teaching strategies for preschoolers
  • Logo/symbol labeling. ...
  • Sound recognition & matching. ...
  • Switch out activities. ...
  • Start a garden. ...
  • Get the senses involved in science. ...
  • Establish rules. ...
  • Tailor activities to your students.
Dec 13, 2017

What are 5 skills needed to be a preschool teacher? ›

Important Qualities
  • Communication skills. Preschool teachers need good communication skills to tell parents and colleagues about students' progress. ...
  • Creativity. Preschool teachers must plan lessons that engage young students. ...
  • Interpersonal skills. ...
  • Organizational skills. ...
  • Patience. ...
  • Physical stamina.

What should a preschool teach? ›

Apart from reading and writing, preschools should also teach core concepts. Your children should have an intuitive grasp of calendars, drawing, cutting, hygiene, nature, numbers, listening, weather, and other vital concepts. They should also have a multifunctional understanding of different types of concepts.

Why should we hire you? ›

“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I've researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”

How do you ace a preschool teacher interview? ›

Focus on what makes teaching preschool children unique, and what makes you awesome at it. You could share some insights about the importance of early literacy development, or how you enjoy working with children that are always curious and eager to learn more about their surroundings.

What do you say in a preschool teacher interview? ›

General preschool teacher interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Describe your work ethic.
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What motivates you?
  • What's your biggest passion?
  • What's your greatest accomplishment?
  • How do you handle conflict at work?
  • How do you define and measure success?
Mar 10, 2023

What is most important for a teacher answer? ›

A good teacher is one who can make the maximum use of the minimal resources available to teach the students to provide a joyful learning experience. So, a teacher has to be most importantly an expert in teaching skills which will help them to present the content knowledge they had of their concerned subject.

What is the first rule of being a teacher? ›

The first rule to follow when evaluating teachers should be the same one we use in medicine. Teachers, like doctors, should first, do no harm.

What is the first thing a teacher should do? ›

Introduce yourself and offer a few appropriate personal details so your students feel connected with you. And don't forget to give your students the opportunity to get to know one another, as well.

What is the easiest class to teach? ›

10 Easiest Subjects to Teach
  • Math. Math is a subject that is mainly conceptual. ...
  • Physical Education. If you're like most people, you probably dreaded having to go to gym class when you were in school. ...
  • Art. ...
  • Music. ...
  • Science. ...
  • Health. ...
  • Spelling. ...
  • History.

What is the most failed grade? ›

F - this is a failing grade.

What is the hardest age to teach? ›

While middle school is undoubtedly one of the hardest age groups to teach, it can also be the most rewarding for teachers and students alike, but there are a few things we'd like you to know to understand it truly.

Why do preschool teachers quit? ›

Low wages were driving away early childhood educators, who are overwhelmingly women of color, long before the pandemic began. But the physical, mental and financial stress they endured during the public health crisis, and the recession, accelerated their Great Resignation.

How do you handle unruly students? ›

What to do
  1. Be steady, consistent and firm.
  2. Acknowledge the feelings of the individual.
  3. Remember that disruptive behavior is often caused by stress or frustration.
  4. Address the disruption individually, directly and immediately.
  5. Be specific about the behavior that is disruptive and set limits.

What is the highest paid pre K teacher? ›

High Paying Preschool Jobs
  • Director of Teaching and Learning. Salary range: $50,500-$137,500 per year. ...
  • Preschool Principal. Salary range: $34,000-$82,500 per year. ...
  • Head Start Director. ...
  • Head Start Coordinator. ...
  • Early Intervention Specialist. ...
  • Preschool Director. ...
  • Child Development Instructor. ...
  • Montessori Preschool Teacher.

What is the highest paid early childhood educator? ›

Salary Potential: $102,200

Top-earning instructional specialists in early childhood education can make over $100,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Actual salaries will depend on a variety of different factors, though, including years of experience, employers, and geography.

What is the average salary for a pre K teacher in Texas? ›

How much does a Preschool Teacher make in Texas? The average Preschool Teacher salary in Texas is $37,280 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $33,650 and $42,610.

How much does a preschool lead teacher earn in California? ›

How much does a Preschool Teacher make in California? The average Preschool Teacher salary in California is $41,830 as of May 01, 2023, but the range typically falls between $37,760 and $47,810.

What is the lowest salary for a Preschool Teacher? ›

Preschool teachers earn an average yearly salary of $37,080. Wages typically start from $29,630 and go up to $58,900.

Who pays teachers the most? ›

New York leads the nation in teacher pay with an average salary of $80,286, according to WalletHub.
Here's how much teachers earn in the five highest-paying states.
  • New York. Average salary: $80,286.
  • Illinois. Average salary: $70,696.
  • Michigan. Average salary: $70,137.
  • Pennsylvania. Average salary: $69,949.
  • Washington.
Mar 16, 2023

What is the highest paying childcare job? ›

High Paying Daycare Jobs
  • Early Childhood Director. Salary range: $40,500-$66,000 per year. ...
  • Child Life Specialist. Salary range: $40,500-$54,000 per year. ...
  • Nursery School Teacher. Salary range: $36,500-$54,000 per year. ...
  • Early Childhood Specialist. ...
  • Nursery Manager. ...
  • Child Development Specialist. ...
  • Child Care Director. ...
  • Day Care Director.

What is the top pay for a kindergarten teacher? ›


What is the starting salary for early childhood teachers in USA? ›

Salaries by years of experience in the United States
Years of experiencePer hour
1 to 2 years$15.29
3 to 5 years-
6 to 9 years$16.35
More than 10 years$18.20
1 more row

How much do preschool teachers make near me? ›

Preschool Teacher salaries in Los Angeles typically range between $27,000 and $61,000 a year. This compares to a national average preschool teacher salary of $41,002. The average hourly rate for preschool teachers in Los Angeles is $19.71 per hour.

Do you need a degree to be a Preschool Teacher in Texas? ›

a) A graduate or undergraduate degree in early childhood education or early childhood special education or a non- early childhood education undergraduate degree with a documented minimum of 15 hours of coursework in early childhood education; or b) Documented completion of the Texas School Ready Training Program (TSR ...

What is the lowest teacher salary in Texas? ›

Public School Teacher Salary in Texas
10th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary$38,031TX
25th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary$46,367TX
50th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary$55,523TX
75th Percentile Public School Teacher Salary$67,713TX
1 more row

What is the best state to be a preschool teacher? ›

Best States For a Preschool Teacher

Our research found that New Mexico is the best state for preschool teachers, while Hawaii and California are ranked highest in terms of median salary. New Mexico has a median salary of $38,878 and Hawaii has the highest median salary among all 50 states for preschool teachers.

Where do preschool directors make the most money? ›

Highest paying cities for Preschool Directors near California
  • Milpitas, CA. $77,002 per year. 12 salaries reported.
  • San Francisco, CA. $71,914 per year. 16 salaries reported.
  • Anaheim, CA. $65,134 per year. 8 salaries reported.
  • Yorba Linda, CA. $64,970 per year. ...
  • San Jose, CA. $64,300 per year. ...
  • Show more nearby cities.

Can you be a preschool teacher without a degree in California? ›

California preschool teachers need to obtain specific certification credentials as educators. You don't have to earn a bachelor's degree, but you'll need to complete either educational or experience minimum hours before you can begin teaching preschool students in a classroom.


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