National Avg. Salary$54,510 More Salary Data →
Job Growth Rate6% More Growth Data →
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Kindergarten teachers help students bridge the gap between homecare/daycare and elementary school. They teach student basic reading, writing, and math concepts, help students learn how to work together and how to behave in a classroom environment, and create plans for daily activities and lessons.
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The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in kindergarten teacher roles:
- Create daily schedules and lesson plans for a class of kindergarten students
- Teach students how to work together and how to behave in a classroom
- Educate students on basic skills like counting, writing, reading, and hand coordination skills like coloring within lines and cutting paper with scissors
- Work with parents to develop plans for improving and extending learning at home
- Monitor students for signs of learning disabilities and behavioral disorders
A Day in the Life
Kindergarten teachers work with students who are around five years old and help them bridge the gap between daycare, preschool, or homecare and elementary school. Because the transition from playing all day to being in a classroom can be difficult for young children, kindergarten teachers play an important role in helping students learn how to be good students, good friends, and effective learners. A large part of the role is teaching students how to interact with others and how to behave in school.
Beyond helping students learn how to be effective students, kindergarten teachers also teach students basic concepts. They make sure students can count, can write all letters of the alphabet in print characters, and may teach basic reading, math, and spelling. They also have students engage in more fun activities like cutting out objects on paper and coloring to help students refine their hand-eye coordination—a skill that helps with writing more clearly and neatly.
Another important role of the kindergarten teacher is to observe and analyze student behaviors to determine whether or not students are ready for school and to identify any learning or behavioral disorders. The teacher works closely with parents of kindergarten students to inform the parents of any issues observed and make recommendations for activities or services that may help students improve. In some cases, the teacher may recommend that a student repeats the grade to be better prepared and more mature before moving into elementary school and first grade.
Typical Work Schedule
Most kindergarten teachers work full-time during normal business hours. They are commonly off of work on weekends, holidays, and over spring, summer, and fall breaks.
Kindergarten teachers may be employed by either public or private elementary schools. Additionally, some may work for preschools or learning daycares where kindergarten classes are offered.
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Kindergarten Teacher Salary Data
We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.
National Annual Salary
National Hourly Wage
How do Kindergarten Teacher salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Kindergarten Teacher's can make an average annual salary of $54,510, or --- per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $41,700 or --- per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.
Salary Rankings And Facts
#333 Nationally for All Careers
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How To Become
Kindergarten teachers must earn a bachelor’s degree to qualify for open elementary school teacher positions. Generally, aspiring kindergarten teachers pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, though part of their education may include specializing in a specific subject. To work in a public school, teachers must earn the appropriate certification or license from the state they want to teach in. Private schools may also require state certification, though they are not required to.
For individuals who earned degrees that weren’t education-specific and didn’t lead to licensure/certification, several institutions offer one-year programs that allow individuals to become certified as an elementary school teacher without requiring pursuit of a second, elementary education degree. Additionally, most aspiring kindergarten teachers are required to engage in several hours of student teaching in addition to completing the required coursework and licensure testing.
Generally, kindergarten teachers must engage in ongoing education to keep their licenses. Some teachers who want to move on to higher-level positions use these continuing education requirements to pursue a master’s degree that requires educational leadership or administration coursework. These teachers may then qualify to work as assistant principals, principals, or instructional coordinators, and they may also serve on the school board later in their careers if they want to move out of teaching.
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It’s possible to gain experience prior to earning a bachelor’s degree by working as a preschool teacher or teaching assistant.
Recommended Min. Degree
Highest Education Among Kindergarten Teacher
- 0.7% Doctorate
- 12.4% Masters
- 34.3% Bachelors
- 15.3% Associates
- 22.5% College
- 12.8% High School
- 1.9% Less than High School
Job Growth Projections and Forecast
2014 Total Jobs159,400
2024 Est. Jobs168,900
Job Growth Rate6%
Est. New Jobs9,500
How does Kindergarten Teacher job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 9,500 jobs for a total of 168,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.
Growth Rankings And Facts
#377 Nationally for All Careers