Kindergarten Teachers
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Speciality
Overview
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Teach academic and social skills to kindergarten students.
Titles for this career often contain these words
TeacherKindergartenClassroomPhysicalArtBilingualEarlyChildhoodEducatorInstructorKinderLeadMontessoriEducationPEFitnessTitleOneTransitional
Education
Only 44% of preschool and kindergarten teachers have a bachelor's degree or higher.
Education attained by preschool and kindergarten teachers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More preschool and kindergarten teachers have bachelor's degrees than 63% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Kindergarten teachers, with 134,500 workers, form a larger workforce than 70% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for kindergarten teachers are expected to grow by 4%, and should have about 14,300 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Kindergarten teachers are less likely to be automated than 73% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for kindergarten teachers compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most kindergarten teachers earn.
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Gender
Women account for 98% of preschool and kindergarten teachers -- that's a larger percentage than 100% of other jobs.
Gender of preschool and kindergarten teachers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For preschool and kindergarten teachers, the median men's salary was 13% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 26% of preschool and kindergarten teachers are minority, and 12% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of preschool and kindergarten teachers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (12%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Kindergarten Teachers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Context: workers are union members
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of kindergarten teachers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (59%)
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections (56%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (45%)
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (37%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do preschool and kindergarten teachers earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries at the specialty level (kindergarten teachers). This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for kindergarten teachers (BLS Salary Data)
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers. This view of salaries is only available for all preschool and kindergarten teachers.
Distribution: Salaries for preschool and kindergarten teachers (ACS Salary Data)
$25K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$25K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $26KAll jobs' median $45K$28K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$20K$40K$60K$80K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire kindergarten teachers.
Employers of Preschool and Kindergarten Teachers (ACS)
Private for-profit (57.0%)
Private not-for-profit (20.3%)
Local government (12.6%)
State government (5.7%)
Federal government (2.1%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.7%)
Self-employed not incorporated (1.6%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of preschool and kindergarten teachers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of preschool and kindergarten teachers, which combines the 2 specialties for this career.
$25K$43K$26K$22K$26K$38K$30K$32K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of kindergarten teachers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty kindergarten teachers, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$57K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for preschool and kindergarten teachers

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$26K$27K$24K$29K$27K$28K$19K$27K$27K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
020K40K60K80K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Preschool and kindergarten teachers and gender

With 98% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 100% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
98%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Preschool and kindergarten teachers
Men (2%)
Women (98%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for preschool and kindergarten teachers, with the median salary for men 13% higher than the median salary for women.

$25K$28K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men.

13%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of preschool and kindergarten teachers

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. There is a higher percentage of minority preschool and kindergarten teachers than for 74% of other careers. While this career employs many minorities, it employs a relatively small number of foreign-born people.

Race/origin of preschool and kindergarten teachers
White (70% )
Black (19% )
Other (4% )
Asian (3% )
Multiracial (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (1% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
26%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
12%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for preschool and kindergarten teachers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$23K$23K$25K$25K$25K$25K$28K$0$20K$40K$60KHispanicBlackMultiracialAmerican IndianWhiteOtherAsian
Distribution: Salaries for preschool and kindergarten teachers by nativity
$25K$26K$0$20K$40K$60KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Preschool and kindergarten teachers and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 28% part-time workers, this occupation has a higher percentage of part-time workers than 81% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
28%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time preschool and kindergarten teachers is shown following.

$11K$25K$0$20K$40K$60KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by kindergarten teachers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), kindergarten teachers typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as preschool and kindergarten teachers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for kindergarten teachers

Public kindergarten and elementary school teachers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. Private schools typically have the same requirement. Some states also require public kindergarten and elementary school teachers to major in a content area, such as math or science.

Those with a bachelor’s degree in another subject can still become elementary education teachers. They must complete a teacher education program to obtain certification to teach. Requirements vary by state.

In teacher education programs, future teachers learn how to present information to young students and how to work with young students of varying abilities and backgrounds. Programs typically include a student-teaching program, in which they work with a mentor teacher and get experience teaching students in a classroom setting. For information about teacher preparation programs in your state, visit Teach.org.

Some states require teachers to earn a master’s degree after receiving their teaching certification and obtaining a job.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for kindergarten teachers

All states require teachers in public schools to be licensed or certified in the specific grade level that they will teach. Those who teach in private schools typically do not need a license. Requirements for certification or licensure vary by state but generally involve the following:

  • A bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average
  • Completion of a student teaching program
  • Passing a background check
  • Passing a general teaching certification test, as well as a test that demonstrates their knowledge of the subject they will teach.

For information on certification requirements in your state, visit Teach.org.

Teachers are frequently required to complete professional development classes to keep their license or certification. Some states require teachers to complete a master’s degree after receiving their certification and obtaining a job.

All states offer an alternative route to certification or licensure for people who already have a bachelor’s degree but lack the education courses required for certification. Some alternative certification programs allow candidates to begin teaching immediately after graduation, under the supervision of an experienced teacher. These programs cover teaching methods and child development. After they complete the program, candidates are awarded full certification. Other programs require students to take classes in education before they can teach.

Education attained by preschool and kindergarten teachers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for preschool and kindergarten teachers? Below we see the distribution of preschool and kindergarten teachers salaries based on the education attained.

$21K$19K$21K$23K$31K$46K$43K$32K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KNone (2%)High School (14%)Some College (25%)Associate's/Cert. (16%)Bachelor's Degree (32%)Master's Degree (11%)Professional Degree (1%)Doctorate (0%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

The Department of Education recommends the following college degree programs as preparation for this career. You can click a program row to learn more about the program and explore a list of schools that offer the program.

Number of degrees awarded in 2017
Education
Education level of awarded degrees
Associate's degree or certificate
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Gender of graduates
Men
Women
Race/Origin
Race/origin of graduates
White
Minority
International
College majors held by preschool and kindergarten teachers

This table shows the college majors held by people working as preschool and kindergarten teachers.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Percentage of Preschool and kindergarten teachers with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as preschool and kindergarten teachers, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

Elementary and Middle Sch...Secondary School TeachersEducation and childcare a...Special Education Teacher...Preschool and Kindergarte...Postsecondary TeachersSpecialized ManagersTeaching AssistantsFirst-Line Supervisors of...Secretaries and Administr...Childcare WorkersSpecialized Teachers and ...Specialized Social Worker...Registered NursesEducational, Guidance, an...Specialized PsychologistsLawyers, and judges, magi...Labor Relations Specialis...Wholesale and Manufacturi...Accountants and AuditorsChief executives and legi...Retail SalespersonsEditorsWriters and AuthorsPolice OfficersSocial and Community Serv...Financial ManagersFirst-Line Supervisors of...Customer Service Represen...General EducationElementary EducationEarly Childhood EducationFamily and ConsumerSciencesPsychologyLiberal ArtsEnglish Language andLiteratureSociologyTeacher Education: MultipleLevelsBusiness Management andAdministrationAll other degreesThis jobTop 10 majorsEach major's top ten jobs
What college major is your best entry?

About 44% of people working as preschool and kindergarten teachers have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%2.0%4.0%6.0%8.0%10.0%12.0%14.0%16.0%18.0%Percentage with this major$15,000$20,000$25,000$30,000$35,000$40,000$45,000$50,000$55,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for preschool and kindergarten teachers

What jobs will most preschool and kindergarten teachers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of preschool and kindergarten teachers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Preschool and Kindergarten TeachersElementary and Middle School School TeachersChildcare WorkersPostsecondary teachers and assistantsSpecialized Teachers and InstructorsEducation and childcare administratorsSpecial Education Teachers
Lateral job transitions for preschool and kindergarten teachers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 5 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as preschool and kindergarten teachers as well as 1% of respondents after working as preschool and kindergarten teachers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Prior and next careers for preschool and kindergarten teachers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as preschool and kindergarten teachers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of preschool and kindergarten teachers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Employed
How many people have this job?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
No degree
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most kindergarten teachers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as kindergarten teachers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all preschool and kindergarten teachers, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Kindergarten Teachers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where kindergarten teachers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for preschool and kindergarten teachers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for preschool and kindergarten teachers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all preschool and kindergarten teachers, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Location-adjusted median salary for Kindergarten Teachers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which kindergarten teachers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEWIVTNHWAIDMTNDMNILMINYMAORUTWYSDIAINOHPANJCTRICANVCONEMOKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?