If you have a passion for education and a love of children, you may be considering a career in early childhood education. Unlike secondary education, this career path is dedicated to working with children from birth to eight years of age. Professionals in this field can work with children and their families in a variety of settings, all based on child development and age-appropriate practice. Early childhood education (ECE) is a labor of love, and many who pursue a career in this field enjoy a long, rewarding career – full of personal and occupational benefits.
Before starting your career in the early childhood education field, it is important to ask questions such as: What can I expect to make with an ECE career? What types of jobs can I pursue within early childhood education, and what kind of pay do they offer?
As a career-focused college in Connecticut offering two childhood education degree paths, Goodwin College has personal and professional connections with early childhood educators across the state. And as a result, we know how much reward and satisfaction pours out of this dedicated career choice. To help you understand the potential of an ECE career today, as well as some of the successful careers that Goodwin grads have pursued, we explore the possibilities for an early childhood education salary below.
Career Options in Early Childhood Education Early childhood educators play a vital role in our education and child welfare systems. They help mold and shape the leaders of our future at a phase when children are most impressionable and influenced. There are many different roles within the early childhood education field. Some of the careers that Goodwin graduates attain, after earning their Associate in Early Childhood Education, include:
- Infant and Toddler Teacher
- Family Resource Worker
- School Readiness Teacher
Upon completion of the associate ECE program at Goodwin College, you will have the skills and knowledge necessary to dive into the field of early childhood education and/or to continue your education towards a bachelor’s degree.
At Goodwin, students interested in an early childhood education career may also pursue their Bachelor’s Degree in Child Study. With this degree in hand, you may move into the following careers:
- Infant, Toddler, and Preschool Teacher
- Early Childhood Director
- Child Specialist with the Department of Children and Families
- Child Advocate
- Curriculum Coordinator
- Entry Level in Social Service Agency
- Licensing Specialist with the Department of Public Health
- School Readiness Teacher
Average Early Childhood Education Salaries in Connecticut
According to the U.S. Departments of Education, the national median annual wage for preschool teachers today is $28,570. The median preschool teacher earnings vary across the various early childhood settings, whether that be the type of public or private school, child care center, or government facility. For example, preschool teachers in elementary school settings may earn above $50,000 each year. Preschool teacher salaries also vary by state. In Connecticut, the average median salary for preschool teachers is $31,620 per year.
Preschool teachers are not the only career option available to students holding a bachelor’s degree in early child study. In Connecticut, there are many other well-paying early childhood career options. For example, the median annual salaries for other ECE careers include:
- Child Care Workers: $22,410
- Head Start Teachers: $34,176
- Preschool Special Education Teachers: $70,190
- Kindergarten Teachers: $71,050
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, preschool and childcare center directors – of whom require a Bachelor’s degree – earn a median annual salary of $45,790 nationwide. The highest 10 percent of these directors earn more than $82,790. These professionals generally work full time, and many work more than 40 hours per week. When childcare centers are open, a director must always be on staff.
In the state of Connecticut, the mean wage for childcare workers – those who care for children at schools, businesses, private households and childcare institutions – is $12.51 per hour. This is higher than the national average of just over $10 an hour.
Teacher assistants (a.k.a. paraprofessionals) earn an average of $25,410 per year. In Connecticut, teacher assistants can expect to earn a mean wage of $31,898 annually; however, upon first starting out, the typical, entry-level early childhood education salary is about $22,440 a year.
A Positive Outlook in Early Childhood Education
Starting a career in the early childhood education field is a smart choice, since the future looks so bright for young professionals! Employment for many of these educators and advocates is projected to grow within the next several years. For example, the demand for preschool and childcare center directors is projected to grow 11 percent in the next eight years!
Employment of teacher assistants is expected to grow 8 percent by 2026, and employment of preschool teachers nationwide will grow 10 percent! As more millennials become parents, the child population will grow, creating more demand for early childhood educators in a variety of roles.
Get Started in the Early Childhood Education Field
If you are ready to jumpstart your career in early childhood education, Goodwin College is the perfect place to start. Not only will you gain in-depth knowledge in subjects like child growth, development, and learning, you will be able to apply this knowledge directly into your practice. You will communicate effectively with children, colleagues, and families, and soon make a difference in each of their lives.
Goodwin College offers a flexible, career-focused early childhood education curriculum that will work with your busy schedule. Here at Goodwin, we’re all about convenience! Most classes are available in the evenings and many are offered online.
To learn more about the Early Childhood Education programs at Goodwin College, call us today at 1-800-889-3292.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.