High-paying Jobs for Early Childhood Teachers

• Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
• Early Childhood Special Education Teacher with Master’s
• Preschool and Nursery Center Director
• Childcare Center Director in Elementary School
• Preschool Teacher

Early childhood teachers work with children from infancy through kindergarten. These teachers set the foundation for lifelong learning and play an important role in the social and cognitive development of preschoolers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that early childhood teachers should see a job growth of ten percent between 2016 and 2026. The salaries early childhood teachers make can vary depending on if the teacher has a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree. Here are five high-paying careers early childhood instructors may find.

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1. Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

An individual with a bachelor’s degree in education with an early childhood focus can often find work as a teacher in a preschool setting. This teacher working with a wide variety of students all with different learning abilities. The individual develops lesson plans that meet the needs of all the students in the classroom. The BLS reports that early childhood special education teachers earned a median annual wage of $53,640 as of May 2017.

2. Early Childhood Special Education Teacher with Master’s Degree

The early childhood special education teacher who holds a master’s degree has more responsibilities as well as higher wages than the teacher with the bachelor’s degree. This professional will utilize a teaching plan that includes both general and specialized curricula as well as music and art-related instructions for special education children. An applicant must have both the education and work experience in these areas to apply for this teaching position. Depending on the years of experience in this position, these teachers earn annual wages that range from $77,000 to $95,000.

3. Preschool and Nursery Center Director

Preschool and nursery center directors are responsible for all areas of the childcare center. They oversee and supervise staff, oversee daily activities, design program plans, prepare budgets and communicate with parents. A bachelor’s degree and work experience early childhood teaching is the minimum requirement for preschool and nursery center directors. They may also be required to have the Child Development Associate certification. Requirements may vary by state. These professionals earned an average annual wage of $46,890 according to a May 2017 BLS report.

4. Childcare Center Director in Elementary School

This trained professional often requires a Ph.D. in education with a major in early childhood. The childcare center director spends very little time actually teaching the young students but is generally in charge of how it’s done. Every aspect of the classroom is the responsibility of the childcare center director, including developing and implementing education curricula, communicating with parents and overseeing staff. They must also follow guidelines set by the elementary school in which they work. Childcare center directors earn wages that range from $90,000 to $190,000.

5. Preschool Teacher

Although not the highest-paying career of this group, it’s a career that most find extremely rewarding as well as challenging. These are the trained professionals in charge of shaping young minds and helping them realize that learning can be fun. They are often the first teacher a child sees in his or her life. As of a May 2017 BLS report, preschool teachers earned a median annual wage of $28,990.

The amount and type of education that children get at a young age can affect them not only as preschoolers but also as older students. It can also affect how they perceive education and learning. Educators working with early childhood students are a special group of individuals, which is why it’s so fitting that they find high-paying careers in early childhood education.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics