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Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education
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Description: what do they do?
Instruct preschool-aged children in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility. May be required to hold State certification.
Also known as:
Headstart Teacher, Lead Teacher, Preschool Teacher, Head Start Teacher, Toddler Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher (Pre-K Teacher), Group Teacher, Teacher Assistant, Early Childhood Teacher, Teacher

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center.

Career video
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    Transcript: Preschoolers may do a lot of singing and finger painting, but teaching them takes more than fun and games. For most children, preschool is their vital first experience of structured learning and play… preschool teachers plan the lessons and create the environment that makes it all possible. Preschool teachers educate and care for children ages 2-4. They present reading, writing, science, and other subjects in ways their young students can understand. Preschool teachers organize activities and routines to balance playtime, rest, and physical activity throughout the day. They teach the basics of language, numbers, shapes and colors, as well as social skills. They also monitor children’s progress to share with parents, and flag any concerns for early intervention. Preschool teachers work in childcare centers, non-profit centers, and public and private schools. In public schools, preschool teachers generally work during school hours, and may have summers off or teach summer programs. In day care settings, hours may be longer and schedules are typically year-round. Education and training requirements range from a high school diploma and certification to a college degree. Childcare centers generally require a high school diploma and a certification. Head Start and other government programs may require a 2- or 4-year degree. Public school preschool teachers need a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or a related field, and an early childhood education license.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Projected to have a large number of job openings


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Utah
1,410
2014 Employment
1,830
2024 Employment
30%
Percent change
80
Annual projected job openings
United States
441,000
2014 Employment
470,600
2024 Employment
7%
Percent change
15,869
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2014, the number expected to be employed in 2024, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions including a 5.2 percent unemployment rate in 2024 and labor productivity growth of 1.8 percent annually over the 10 years. While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central: Long Term Projections, through 2024.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, Employment Projections: 2014–24.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education in Utah
LocationUtahUnited States
10%$17,830$19,430
25%$20,650$22,750
Median$24,570$28,790
75%$30,640$38,350
90%$38,600$54,310


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2016 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Associate's degree
  • No work experience
  • No on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Establish rules or policies governing student behavior.
  • Plan educational activities.
  • Teach life skills.
  • Evaluate student work.
  • Read to students.
  • Monitor student behavior, social development, or health.
  • Monitor student performance.
  • Provide for basic needs of children.
  • Set up classroom materials or equipment.
  • Assist students with special educational needs.
  • Discuss problems or issues with supervisors.
  • Discuss student progress with parents or guardians.
  • Enforce rules or policies governing student behavior.
  • Develop instructional objectives.
  • Modify teaching methods or materials to accommodate student needs.
  • Arrange childcare or educational settings to ensure physical safety of children.
  • Maintain student records.
  • Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
  • Apply multiple teaching methods.
  • Develop strategies or programs for students with special needs.
  • Collaborate with other teaching professionals to develop educational programs.
  • Supervise school or student activities.
  • Display student work.
  • Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
  • Prepare reports detailing student activities or performance.
  • Evaluate performance of educational staff.
  • Supervise student research or internship work.
  • Plan experiential learning activities.
  • Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
  • Maintain inventories of materials, equipment, or products.
  • Distribute instructional or library materials.
  • Order instructional or library materials or equipment.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Learning Strategies - Using the best training or teaching strategies for learning new things.
  • Instructing - Teaching people how to do something.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Understanding people's reactions.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Coordination - Changing what is done based on other people's actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Service Orientation - Looking for ways to help people.
  • Active Learning - Figuring out how to use new ideas or things.
  • Time Management - Managing your time and the time of other people.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Speech Recognition - Recognizing spoken words.
  • Originality - Creating new and original ideas.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Fluency of Ideas - Coming up with lots of ideas.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Social - Occupations with Social interests frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Most involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Artistic - Occupations with Artistic interests frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and allow for developing unique approaches to conducting the work.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

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

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.