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What Does it Take to Be a Preschool Teacher?

Career Description Instruct preschool-aged children 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.

Preschool Teacher Responsibilities

  • Supervise, evaluate, and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.
  • Observe and evaluate children’s performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Provide a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate, and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play.
  • Demonstrate activities to children.
  • Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.

Preschool Teacher Needed Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Preschool Teachers say are important on the job.

Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Preschool Teacher

  • Early Childhood Teacher
  • Teacher
  • Childhood Development Teacher
  • Home Visitor - Home Base Head Start
  • Nursery School Teacher

Job Outlook for Preschool Teachers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 478,500 jobs in the United States for Preschool Teacher. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 50,100 new jobs for Preschool Teacher by 2026. The BLS estimates 53,600 yearly job openings in this field.


The states with the most job growth for Preschool Teacher are Utah, Colorado, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Maine, Wyoming, or Rhode Island. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Preschool Teacher

The typical yearly salary for Preschool Teachers is somewhere between $20,610 and $55,350.


Preschool Teachers who work in New York, Hawaii, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Preschool Teachers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $24,800
Alaska $36,210
Arizona $31,010
Arkansas $33,150
California $37,850
Colorado $33,140
Connecticut $43,350
Delaware $28,910
District of Columbia $42,060
Florida $27,990
Georgia $30,910
Hawaii $39,560
Idaho $26,000
Illinois $31,500
Indiana $27,250
Iowa $27,030
Kansas $31,560
Kentucky $33,650
Louisiana $32,290
Maine $35,560
Maryland $38,440
Massachusetts $39,180
Michigan $35,010
Minnesota $37,500
Mississippi $27,940
Missouri $30,440
Montana $31,160
Nebraska $37,980
Nevada $32,540
New Hampshire $30,860
New Jersey $40,880
New Mexico $34,100
New York $48,630
North Carolina $28,260
North Dakota $28,220
Ohio $29,020
Oklahoma $29,310
Oregon $30,400
Pennsylvania $29,250
Rhode Island $32,400
South Carolina $28,940
South Dakota $30,860
Tennessee $32,630
Texas $34,960
Utah $29,700
Vermont $34,290
Virginia $37,880
Washington $32,960
West Virginia $32,560
Wisconsin $26,550
Wyoming $32,610

Tools & Technologies Used by Preschool Teachers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Preschool Teachers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Data entry software
  • Email software
  • Children’s educational software

Becoming a Preschool Teacher

Learn what Preschool Teacher education requirements there are.


How many years of work experience do I need?


Who Employs Preschool Teachers?


Preschool Teachers work in the following industries:


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Career changers with experience as a Preschool Teacher sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Vgrigas via Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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