How to Become a Preschool Teacher

Projected Job Growth: 25%
Projected Employment Change: 113,600

These types of teachers educate children ages 3 to 5. Generally, this involves preparing them for kindergarten through curriculum that caters to various areas of child development and introduces subjects like reading and writing. Activities, stories, and games are often used to help students work on their language, social, and motor skills. As indicated by the two figures provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of preschool teachers is projected to increase faster than average for all occupations.

Why Preschool Education?

Teaching can be a good career for those who enjoy working with children, want to make a direct impact, and like the idea of only working during the academic year. In general, teachers receive the same holiday breaks as their students: spring, summer, and winter. Preschool education may also be an attractive career choice since jobs are not expected to be scarce. As society becomes more aware of the importance of children’s intellectual and social development, the demand for preschool teachers is expected to increase, according to the BLS. Also, the child population, specifically those ages 3 to 5, is projected to grow and thus create a stronger need for teachers who can educate this impressionable age group. Advancement, or at least better job prospects, may be more likely for those with a postsecondary education level. For example, those who have completed online bachelor degree programs in a related area might be a more attractive job candidate than those who only completed an associate degree program.

Getting Into Preschool Education

To be a preschool teacher, one generally needs to have an associate or bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related area. These types of programs will teach you about child development, teaching strategies, and how to keep track of children’s learning progress. These types of programs are often available through on campus or online degree programs from major universities. Online degree completion programs may be a good option for job candidates who need to obtain a higher level of education.ÿIn some states, those who want to become preschool teachers have to also earn a recognized certification such as the Child Development Associate or Child Care Professional designation. Work experience in child care or assistant teaching may also be preferred.