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Jobs with an early childhood education degree

An early childhood education professional leads a group of children in a science activity

If you enjoy working with children, helping them learn or giving them a head start on their lives and education, you may want to consider pursuing an early childhood education degree. Early childhood educators, in particular, work with children early on in their education and can help give them the best possible chance to succeed in school and beyond. Looking for another perk? Most teachers and other educators get the summer months off from work and may have the ability to take off mornings and afternoons if they teach very young kids.

Now is also an interesting time to enter this field. The coronavirus pandemic has sparked many changes and opportunities for those considering a career as an educator. There may be opportunities to teach virtually or in person, or a hybrid of both.

Read on to learn what you may potentially achieve with an early childhood education degree or another type of bachelor’s degree in education, as well as the earning potential, on average, for various career paths, according to government surveys.

What can you do with an early childhood education degree?

First and foremost, earning an early childhood education degree may open doors for you in teaching and related fields. A degree may be a prerequisite, depending on the level at which you wish to work. Even teaching at the preschool level generally requires a bachelor’s degree, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests. Leaders supervising children as part of a day care program typically have a degree as well.

What jobs can an early childhood education degree prepare you for?

Careers as an early childhood teacher

Early childhood education is a great way to start your career. You’ll likely teach young children (up to third graders) how to do basic math, read and form friendships. You could play an influential role in child development for a dozen kids at a time or potentially more!

Teaching in early childhood can also be very rewarding beyond the skills you impart, as this child development phase is crucial for early learning and social skills. Early childhood education is a career that needs candidates who want to make a positive impact on children’s lives for years to come.

Whether you’re in special education, a Head Start teacher, an elementary school teacher or a kindergarten educator, there are a number of career options in early childhood education. As BLS indicates, the median salary for kindergarten and elementary school jobs in early childhood teaching, which requires a bachelor’s degree through a completed degree program, was $59,420 in 2019. (Please note the median salary reflects some level of work experience in addition to holding a degree.)

Careers as a Head Start teacher

Head Start teachers do just that — give young children an essential head start on their education and a happy, healthy life. Some kids need an extra boost, because of either their community’s lack of resources or their family’s situation. A Head Start educator can end up making the difference between a child moving forward in school or being held back because they haven’t mastered the alphabet, basic math or other early childhood education concepts. If you enjoy helping children succeed, this career can be rewarding far beyond a paycheck.

Child care workers who would like to break into the field generally are required to have a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. According to ZipRecruiter, Head Start teachers earn between $23,782 and $34,141 a year, depending on experience and location.

Careers as a preschool teacher

As a preschool teacher, you’ll help young children learn about the world around them and teach them some basic concepts that will get them ready for proper schooling, such as understanding colors, shapes and possibly even the alphabet. These learning activities are designed to help preschool-age children develop the necessary skills for growth.

Median pay for this job was $30,520 in 2019 (although salaries vary by experience and location), as BLS points out. Salaries and job opportunities for this career can vary by state and location, and a degree may be required to hold some state certifications.

Careers as an elementary school teacher

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers made a median salary of just under $60,000 in 2019, according to BLS. Best of all, you’ll be with children during some of their most foundational years (kindergarten through fifth grade). And you may teach them everything from storytelling to multiplication tables to basic American history.

This period of a child’s life is typically one of the busiest for learning and development — and you can be right there alongside them with a Bachelor of Science in Education or Early Childhood Education degree.

What you’ll learn in our Bachelor of Science in Education and Early Childhood Education programs at University of Phoenix

Our Bachelor of Science in Education or Early Childhood Education degree program can help set you on a career track in this rewarding field. You will not only learn many of the skills you need to pursue a role at a preschool or kindergarten, but you will touch on the following key aspects of early childhood as well:

  • Early childhood growth and development
  • Instructional strategies
  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Community and family engagement
  • Ethics and social responsibility

Get started with your early childhood education degree

Early childhood education degree program graduates will be prepared to learn the skills to instruct young children up to third grade. Special education professionals earned a median salary of $61,030 in 2019, according to BLS. Elementary school teachers can earn just shy of that, as the BLS indicates.

Look for roles with the keywords "child development," "early childhood," "preschool," "young children," "kindergarten," "childcare," "special education" or "educator" in general.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Can I get my Early Childhood Education degree online?

A: Yes, you can! University of Phoenix offers online courses for its bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. (In-person student-teaching requirements and optional on-campus courses are subject to availability due to coronavirus restrictions.)

Q: Why get a degree from University of Phoenix?

A: In addition to our online courses, University of Phoenix offers a wide variety of student incentives including:

  • Career Services for Life™. Pursuing an Early Childhood Education degree through University of Phoenix enables you to take advantage of our Career Services for Life™ program, which is offered to our graduates for the rest of their lives.
  • Schedules that fit your life. Since the mid-1970s, we’ve helped students earn their degrees by providing extraordinary flexibility. We offer more than half-a-dozen start dates in a typical year, the ability to take one class at a time and a nontraditional classroom experience, all of which help our students learn on their own time. Check out your options.
  • Earn your degree without starting from scratch. Starting over can be daunting, but if you have course credits elsewhere, we may be able to help you. Get in touch with us to see if you have eligible transfer credits or experience, which can save you money up front and help you graduate faster.

Q: How much do education majors make?

A: Salary ranges depend on location, experience and the school system itself. Some areas that prioritize teacher salaries and aim to reduce turnover may offer higher starting salaries. According to BLS, a child care worker, a special education teacher or a kindergarten or elementary school teacher can earn anywhere from $24,230 to $61,030.

A degree from our Education/Early Childhood Education Program can help prepare you for various educational roles, including as a public or private school educator. Get your teaching career on track through University of Phoenix!

Portrait of Michael Feder


Brian Fairbanks is a freelance writer with a background in SEO content creation and blog article development

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