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Career Profile: Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

Instruct preschool-aged students, following curricula or lesson plans, in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 469,600 people employed as preschool teachers, except special education in the United States. The median annual salary is $31,900. Entry level employees earn approximately $21,900 per year and senior employees earn approximately $58,230 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Teach basic skills, such as color, shape, number and letter recognition, personal hygiene, and social skills.
  • Establish and enforce rules for behavior and procedures for maintaining order.
  • Adapt teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs and interests.
  • Provide a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate, and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play.
  • Serve meals and snacks in accordance with nutritional guidelines.
  • Attend to children's basic needs by feeding them, dressing them, and changing their diapers.
  • Meet with parents and guardians to discuss their children's progress and needs, determine their priorities for their children, and suggest ways that they can promote learning and development.
  • Organize and lead activities designed to promote physical, mental, and social development, such as games, arts and crafts, music, storytelling, and field trips.
  • Identify children showing signs of emotional, developmental, or health-related problems and discuss them with supervisors, parents or guardians, and child development specialists.
  • Maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws, district policies, and administrative regulations.
  • Assimilate arriving children to the school environment by greeting them, helping them remove outerwear, and selecting activities of interest to them.
  • Observe and evaluate children's performance, behavior, social development, and physical health.
  • Prepare materials and classrooms for class activities.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development, evaluation, and revision of preschool programs.
  • Plan and supervise class projects, field trips, visits by guests, or other experiential activities and guide students in learning from those activities.
  • Meet with other professionals to discuss individual students' needs and progress.
  • Select, store, order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment, materials, and supplies.
  • Supervise, evaluate, and plan assignments for teacher assistants and volunteers.
  • Administer tests to help determine children's developmental levels, needs, and potential.
  • Attend staff meetings and serve on committees as required.
  • Provide disabled students with assistive devices, supportive technology, and assistance accessing facilities, such as restrooms.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as hall and cafeteria monitoring and bus loading and unloading.
  • Read books to entire classes or to small groups.
  • Establish clear objectives for all lessons, units, and projects and communicate those objectives to children.
  • Arrange indoor and outdoor space to facilitate creative play, motor-skill activities, and safety.
  • Teach proper eating habits and personal hygiene.
  • Demonstrate activities to children.
  • Plan and conduct activities for a balanced program of instruction, demonstration, and work time that provides students with opportunities to observe, question, and investigate.
  • Enforce all administration policies and rules governing students.
  • Prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help.
  • Confer with other staff members to plan and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.
  • Attend professional meetings, educational conferences, and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence.
  • Organize and label materials and display students' work in a manner appropriate for their ages and perceptual skills.
  • Prepare reports on students and activities as required by administration.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
469,600
Annual Openings:
59,600
Increase in Openings by 2030:
18%
Annual Salary Range:
$21,900 - $58,230
Education Requirements:
Associate's degree