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Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education Career Overview

Instruct children (normally up to 5 years of age) in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility. May be required to hold State certification.

Salary for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

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U.S. $18,840
Annual figures are on top. Hourly figures are below in parentheses.
N/A = Information not available

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Career Outlook for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

Employment of preschool teachers is projected to grow faster than the average through 2018. Job prospects are expected to be excellent due to high turnover.

Employment change. Employment of preschool teachers is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Continued emphasis on early childhood education is increasing the demand for preschool teachers. Some States are instituting programs to improve early childhood education, such as offering full day and universal preschool. These programs, along with projected higher enrollment growth for preschool age children, will create new jobs for preschool teachers.

However, this growth will be moderated by slower growth in the number of children aged 3 to 5, the age group most often enrolled in preschool programs. In addition, these workers are often assisted by child care workers and teachers assistants and higher demand for these workers may temper growth for preschool teachers.

Job prospects. High replacement needs should create good job opportunities for preschool teachers. Qualified persons who are interested in this work should have little trouble finding and keeping a job. Many preschool teachers must be replaced each year as they leave the occupation to fulfill family responsibilities, to study, or for other reasons. Others leave because they are interested in pursuing other occupations or because of low wages.

Employment Overview

Preschool teachers, except special education, held 457,200 jobs in 2008. They are most often employed in child day care services (65 percent), and public and private educational services (15 percent). Employment of teachers is geographically distributed much the same as the population.

Job Zone Description

Job Zone 3 - Medium preparation

Overall Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have gone through an apprenticeship program or several years of vocational training to perform the job.

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related job experience, or an associate's degree. Some may require a bachelor's degree.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training, including both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers.

Dental assistants, electricians, fish and game wardens, legal secretaries, personnel recruiters and recreational workers.

These occupations often involve using communication and organization skills to manage and train others.

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Additional Resources for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education Job Seekers

Information on licensure or certification requirements and approved teacher training institutions is available from local school systems and State departments of education.

For information on careers in educating children and issues affecting preschool teachers, contact either of the following organizations:

  • National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1313 L St. NW., Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Internet:
  • Council for Professional Recognition, 2460 16th St. NW., Washington, DC 20009-3575. Internet:

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