While receiving an education in early childhood may seem like a given now, for most of history, things weren’t that way. The first modern-day kindergarten was not created until 1837 when Freidrich Froebel, a German educator, sought to socialize young children and introduce them to education outside of the home.
In America, things did not kick off until the 1960s with the launch of the Head Start Program for young children from low-income families. Soon, other American parents wanted a head start for their young uns as well, and preschooling quickly became a mainstay across the country.
With new children being born every single day, there has never been a shortage of jobs available to professionals in early childhood education. Furthermore, with rapid developments in cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, and neurology highlighting new, notable effects of preschooling on child development, the field of childhood education has never held more importance.
However, childhood education professionals do not have the pay to show for this significance. Childhood education has always been a notoriously, low-paying profession. Although salaries are on the increase, they have not crept up fast enough to match the vital role of this profession.
Nevertheless, with a strong resume, excellent negotiation skills, and a little search, you can find one of the highest-paid early childhood education jobs.
The 3 Highest Paying Early Childhood Education Jobs
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
The role of childhood education is to give children the headstart they need to help them get on par with or surpass their peers by the start of elementary school, and no job personifies this more than an early childhood special teacher.
These teachers work with students that have learning abilities, developing unique lesson plans and apply particular teaching strategies that improve their learning skills and help them achieve their learning goals
A career in early childhood special teaching is one of the highest paying in the field, and teachers can earn anywhere from $53,000 to $95,000 depending on their qualifications and experience. Typically, teachers with a master’s degree or significant experience make near the top end of that range.
At most schools, the requirements for an early childhood special teacher is a bachelor’s or Master’s degree in special education teaching. However, in some cases, a Master’s degree in Childhood education will pass.
Childcare Center Director
Another high-paying job in this niche is that of a childcare center director. With this job, there is less teaching and a lot more management.
Childcare center directors supervise and oversee all aspects of childhood education and care, from designing curriculum and program plans, overseeing daily activities of the center, to managing staff, budgets, and communication with parents.
Remuneration for childcare center directors is at the higher end of the range field, and it is pretty common to find workers earning salaries near $100,000. However, wages for this job can vary greatly depending on the experience, qualifications, and the type of childhood center in question.
Consequently, salaries for a childcare center director can range anywhere from $42,000 to $190,000. Kindergarten managers tend to earn the lower end of this spectrum, with wages rising as you move up to elementary level centers and higher. Managers of high brow private institutions and schools in prime city locations also feature at the apex of this pay ladder.
The majority of jobs available for this position require at least a bachelor’s degree in childhood education. However, a significant proportion of open jobs require even higher certification like a master’s or doctorate. Furthermore, many employers will only hire candidates with formal training in leadership and management or people with extensive work experience.
Early Childhood Education Instructional Specialists
This high paying childhood education job is perfect for people who want to stay out of actual teaching and help educate children without having to be around them.
The early childhood education instruction specialist develops curricula and educational programs for childcare centers, preschools, and other forms of childhood education platforms. The role of this profession may also extend to training teachers in instructional methodology, and curriculum guidelines, and learning outcomes analysis.
Like other childhood education jobs, the salary of early childhood education instruction specialists varies widely, and it is profoundly affected by qualification, experience, and the type and class of employers available to you.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the median wage for these specialists was $64,450 in 2018. However, early childhood education instruction specialists can easily earn over $100,000 with the right qualifications, experience, and employers.
Typically, the standard requirement for an early childhood education instruction specialist is a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. However, many employers also request some experience in early childhood education. A Ph.D. is also a great way to add some weight to your profile and increase your chance of earning a higher wage.
Other high paying early childhood jobs include:
- Early Childhood Education Professor ($64,000 – $175,000)
- Early Childhood Education Researcher ($70,000 to $90,000)
- Early Childhood Education Consultant ($48,000 – $80,000)
- Elementary School Teacher ($40,000 – $83,000)
- Preschool teacher ($28,000 to $55,000)
- Home-Based Service Provider (Variable)
Job Outlook for Early Childhood Education Jobs
The increasing amount of children that now attend some form of childhood education paired with the rising need for higher levels of expertise in the field has created an increase in demand for skilled childhood education specialists that shows no signs of slowing down.
Consequently, the amount and variety of employment options available to early childhood education professionals have been on a steady rise year on year.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, early childhood education enrollment has seen a 43% increase in the last 20 years, a trend that shows no signs of slowing down. Consequently, the bureau expects the demand for childhood educators to rise by at least 18% by 2024, the most substantial increase projected for any single area of education.
Furthermore, salaries are on the rise as well, as society continues to awaken to the importance of early childhood education, making today an exciting time for the aspiring early childhood educator.