← Back

Early Childhood Education Careers

For those interested in working with young children, a career in early childhood education might be perfect. There are many different early childhood education careers to choose from, and those interested in this type of job should educate themselves on the different options available.

Becoming a certified teacher is a great option for working with young children in a more traditional educational environment. A teacher would work with the early childhood grade levels, such as preschool or kindergarten. To become a certified teacher, in most cases, one needs to complete a bachelor’s degree, and then follow specific state guidelines to obtain teaching licenses. Depending on the state, teaching candidates might need to take examinations or complete background checks, as state requirements vary. The national average annual salary for a preschool teacher is $29,000, and the average for a kindergarten teacher is $51,500. This is a wonderful job for someone who loves children and wants a hands-on role in teaching the youngest students.

Those interested in getting started with less education might choose to work in a child development center as a teacher’s assistant. This type of position can require as little as twelve college credits, and would be a great starting point for those interested in early childhood education jobs. Someone beginning at this level may decide to stay with this type of job, or continue their education in order to become a certified teacher. Salaries vary greatly depending on location, but the national average for a teacher’s assistant is about $24,000. Being a teacher’s assistant is another job in the field that provides hands-on interaction with children.

Not all early childhood education careers involve teaching. Becoming a social worker for an elementary school is another intriguing option. In most cases, a master’s degree is required to become a school social worker. School social workers serve a variety of purposes, from counseling students and families to helping teachers cope with students. Again, the salary varies greatly from state to state and school to school, but a school social worker might expect to make an average of $43,850. This is a challenging career, but for the right candidate, it can be very rewarding. Working with teachers, students and sometimes family members to resolve issues is an important job.

Someone with teaching experience in the early childhood setting might decide to take his or her career further and become a program director or administrator. Typically these types of positions require teacher certification and prior teaching experience. Sometimes an advanced degree is required. Administrators can work in a variety of settings, such as public schools, private schools, childcare settings or home-based programs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the national average salary for instructional coordinators at around $61,000. This type of job might require less hands-on interaction with children, but directors will still work closely with teachers, parents, and sometimes students to provide the best education for the children.

If you are more interested in helping others get into early childhood education jobs, consider becoming a college professor who teaches early childhood education courses. These types of positions usually require advanced degrees, like a Ph.D. or Ed. D. The national salary average for a post-secondary education instructor is $64,000. This might be an excellent choice for someone with teaching experience and a desire to further his or her education to an advanced level. This is a rewarding job for someone who wants to help other qualified candidates get into this field.

Those that love working with children in an educational capacity, a career in early childhood education is the perfect choice. Aside from a passion for educating today’s youth, it does not take much to start out in this field. You might start in an entry-level position as a teacher’s assistant with just a few college credits to experience working in the field, and then potentially pursue further education. There are many different opportunities for advancement with experience and advanced education, thus making this an exciting and rewarding career path.