Kindergarten Teacher Career Facts
A kindergarten teacher career is a rewarding one with a number of opportunities for extra income and advancement. Kindergarten teachers should have experience working with children, but a variety of different educational backgrounds can lead to a career as a kindergarten teacher. For those pursuing a kindergarten teacher career who do not have a background in education, it may be helpful to consider volunteer experiences or mentor positions, which can be offered part-time. This might be a good way to gain an initial experience teaching or working with children, without having to sacrifice a full-time job on the way to the career goal of kindergarten teacher.
Kindergarten Teacher Education
The usual career path of a kindergarten teacher begins by attending a four-year college or university to obtain a degree in education. Subsequently, after the attainment of a bachelor's degree in the field of education, graduates complete the licensing requirements in their States. Most States offer alternative paths to becoming a licensed teacher, so becoming a kindergarten teacher is possible without a degree specifically in education.
Kindergarten Teacher Jobs
Kindergarten teachers find employment in different settings, like public and private schools. Kindergarten teachers who work in private schools may not be required to obtain licensing or have a degree in education. Private school teachers, in some cases, can find kindergarten teacher jobs with a four-year degree in any discipline. Kindergarten teachers may also specialize in certain areas of early childhood education, such as special education, which involves working with special needs children who extra classroom attention.
Kindergarten teachers should have experience working with children, since understanding the educational and developmental needs of kindergarten learners is an important part of the job. Kindergarten teachers design lesson plans, implement activities and special programs that are directed toward the educational needs of kindergarten students. Kindergartners not only have to learn basic math and reading skills, but also learn things like courtesy and information about other cultures.
Kindergarten Teacher Salary
In general, kindergarten teachers may earn around $40,000-50,000 per year. Some kindergarten teacher salaries can range, on the high end, between $60,000-70,000 per year. Kindergarten teachers may find higher salaries by getting more experience, advanced training like a master's degree in education or by participating in continuing education programs. Some teachers augment their salaries by taking on extra responsibilities at school, like coaching or managing other extracurricular programs. Other teachers take on summer jobs at the school other than teaching and/or teach summer courses for extra income during the year. Private school kindergarten teachers may earn less than public school teachers, as a general rule, but may be afforded other benefits, such as housing.
Since kindergarten teachers need to have study in the field of education or at least a certification, graduate study in the discipline of education is an option that could lead to advancement opportunities. After the obtainment of a master's degree in education or another field of study, a Ph.D. offers teaching opportunities in colleges and universities. Some career colleges and community colleges allow teachers to hold a master's degree alone.