Become a Preschool Teacher

Become a Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers are often the first educational professionals that children encounter. They set the groundwork for a person's entire learning career. Preschool teachers work with children before they reach kindergarten. Typically classes contain students between 3 and 5 years old. It is up to them to teach these children mathematics, reading, writing, science and other skills and subjects in a way the students can understand.

Requirements for employment vary from state to state depending on regulations and on place of employment, as these professionals may work for public or private schools. However, many institutions require at least a bachelor's or associate's degree. With online courses, you may learn what state regulations you must follow and what educational goals you have to achieve to become a preschool teacher. Moreover, classes may help you attain these goals and help prepare you to pursue an occupation in teaching young children.

 
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Are Preschool Teacher Degree Programs for You?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online preschool teacher program:

  • Preschool teachers work in both public and private institutions and the necessary experience for employment varies, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[i]. Consider checking with an institution you have an interest in to see if they value online training.
  • Educational requirements also vary. Workers in childcare centers must have a high school diploma and certificate in early childhood education. Preschool teachers in Head Start programs must have an associate's degree, and those that work in public schools usually must have a bachelor's degree.
  • Requirements also vary by state, and many places require licensure, a particular amount of training and sometimes other requirements - such as CPR and first aid certification.
  • Before signing up for online preschool teacher degree courses, ask if classes help you meet other qualifications and offer options for classroom training.

Preschool Teacher Career Paths and Potential Salaries

While many online preschool teacher degree courses specifically educate individuals for occupations as an instructor, there may be other career paths for you to choose from depending on your education. Research what routes you may be interested in using these salary and growth figures:

Preschool Teachers[i]

These professionals typically work with children ages 3 to 5, organizing appropriate study lessons, periods of physical activity, play and rest. They are expected to track students' progress and interest, playing close attention to their development and signs of emotional or learning problems.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 17% (faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: Associate's degree

Preschool and Childcare Center Directors[ii]

Stepping into more managerial roles, preschool and childcare center directors are charged with overseeing all aspects of their facilities. From managing budgets to working directly with the teachers and staff, these professionals make sure the childcare center runs smoothly, parents are satisfied with the program and all state requirements for operation are met.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 17 percent (faster than average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers[iii]

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers work with children that are older and more capable of learning and understanding more complex subjects. It is up to these professionals to put together lesson plans that are more in-depth, yet simple enough for learners that are still very young. Becoming a kindergarten or elementary school teacher may be more rigorous, as all states require certifications or licenses to teach and at least a bachelor's degree.

  • See the BLS for median annual salary information
  • Job growth through 2022: 12 percent (as fast as average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

[i] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/preschool-teachers.htm#tab-1

[ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/preschool-and-childcare-center-directors.htm

[iii] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm