How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make In Comparison To Other Teachers?

Kindergarten teacher jobs may be a perfect fit for child-lovers. They teach children the essential social, problem-solving, and study skills for the initial phase of their life.

Early childhood learning lays a vital foundation for children before they enter elementary school. So how much do kindergarten teachers make? Would a job like this pay a bundle? Well, to get a better sense of the kindergarten teachers’ income, read on. Also, our blog post will cover the details of kindergarten teachers’ salary, duties & responsibilities, job outlook, requirements, and many more. 

What Is A Kindergarten Teacher?

Kindergarten is considered a pre-elementary school for 5 to 6 years old. However, not all kids have to enroll in such schools before entering their first grade. 

According to Scholastic Magazine, the following are kindergarten’s primary purposes: 

  • Assist students in the initial steps of math, science, writing, reading, and social subjects.
  • Develop children’s confidence and social skills, notably communication and teamwork.
  • Improve your students’ motor skills (game-playing, art creation, so on).

A Kindergarten teacher, or the Early Childhood Educator, supervises children and develops their social skills to succeed in elementary school.

Most kindergarten teachers need to lead kindergarten classes, including 15 to 20 children in each. Nonetheless, a handful of states limit class size by law. 

How About The Daily Life Of a First-Year Kindergarten Teacher?

Daily duties & responsibilities:

  • Examine and correct the students’ work.
  • Instruct students about academic disciplines.
  • Teach basic social and educational skills via games, music, artwork, films, books, computers, and other methods.
  • Teach letter recognition, numbers, phonics, and knowledge of basic science and nature.
  • Integrate the kid’s competencies, lesson objectives, and targets into lesson plans.
  • Monitor children’s activities and nurture the cooperative spirit.
  • Work closely with students’ parents, administration, other teachers, and staff to smoothly develop children’s capabilities and perceptions.
How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make In Comparison To Other Teachers?

Kindergartens are known as pre-elementary schools. Source: Unsplash

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the kindergarten teachers’ annual midpoint wage was estimated at $55,470 in 2018. And there were over 130,000 kindergarten teachers in the U.S.

Meanwhile, states that kindergarten teachers earn a median salary of $58,455, ranging from $38,000 to $79,000. paints a less rosy picture as it reckoned the kindergarten’s average earnings at $46,000 per year. Historically, public schools paid better than private schools or child daycare centers did. 

Most of these teachers will work for ten months during the school year and two months during the summer vacation. As a result, they could earn more money from their summertime occupations. 

On the other hand, the teachers in schools with a year-round calendar, usually 9 to 19 weeks of schooling followed by a 3-week break, may find it tough to supplement their income with a highly short time to do any temporary job.

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make?

How much do kindergarten teachers make? Source:

According to, the Pre-K teacher assistant’s salary ranges from $22,500 to $32,000, and the midpoint annual salary is $28,704/year. This wage is lower than that of a kindergarten teacher. also states that the kindergarten teacher’s income is higher than the second-grade teachers’ salary. In particular, the 2nd-grade teachers make an average salary of $45,519 per year (ranges from $36,000 to $56,000 per year) – July 28, 2021.

What Impacts A Kindergarten Teacher’s Salary?

Dig deeper into the 5 main factors impacting a kindergarten teacher’s salary: 

  • Experience level
  • Employer
  • Academic credentials
  • Specialization
  • Location

Experience Level

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, salary advancement depends on teachers’ cumulative classroom time. In particular, the average income of public-school teachers in 2012 by experience was:

  • One year or less of experience: $44,610
  • 2-to-4 years of experience: $44,490
  • 5-to-9 years of experience: $50,370
  • 10-to-14 years of experience: $58,040
  • 15-to-19 years of experience: $62,050
  • 20-to-24 years of experience: $64,210
  • 25-to-29 years of experience: $67,440
  • 30 or more years of experience: $69,790


The National Center for Educational Statistics reported that around 89% of full-time teachers work in public schools and 11% in private schools. The explanation for this disparity is the compensation: the kindergarten teachers’ average salaries in private schools are only equivalent to 78% that of the public schools’ teachers (

On top of that, the experience influences actual income greatly. In particular, private schools pay about 83% of what public schools pay for teachers of 2-to-4 years of experience.  

There are only a small number of kindergarten teachers who work in elementary schools. According to BLS, in 2020, up to 120,080 teachers work in these settings:

  • Child daycare centers.
  • Religious organizations.
  • Individual and family services.
  • Other schools and instruction centers.

Academic Credentials

A teacher with a Master’s degree often earns more than one with only a Bachelor’s, up to 26% ( claimed that the academic degree influences teachers’ wages. In particular, the annual base salary of kindergarten teachers with a Bachelor’s ranges from $54,237 to $60,149.

Check out an ultimate guide on How long it takes to become a teacher and the necessary credentials and qualifications.


Most schools are willing to pay extra for teachers with solid specializations. As a result, becoming a special education teacher or a literacy coach is preferable. 

However, most specialists find it tricky to work as full-time kindergarten teachers because specialists usually work with students from various grades and classes instead of working with students at a single level. Plus, they might find adapting to different characteristics and emotions from children’s various ages quite challenging.


The amount of money teachers make is determined by the States. In other words, due to each State’s adjustments, teachers in a State may earn somewhat more or less than ones in others.

The five states with the highest annual base salary for kindergarten teachers, according to the BLS, are:

  • New York – $79,410
  • Connecticut – $77,220
  • Massachusetts – $75,510
  • Oregon – $72,830
  • California – $69,690

Of note, Modesto ($98,930), New Bedford ($90,620), and Bloomington ($81,570) are the highest-paying cities in the U.S. for kindergarten teachers. Nonetheless, presumably, all vacancies are filled rapidly owing to such high wages.

Geographic Profile For Kindergarten Teachers, Except For Special Education

BLS provides data of states and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education, as followed:

Geographic Profile For Kindergarten Teachers, Except For Special Education

Employment of kindergarten teachers by State (2020). Source: BLS

location quotient of kindergarten teachers by State

Kindergarten teachers’ location quotient by state (2020). Source: BLS

Annual mean wage by State

Kindergarten teachers’ annual mean wage by State (2020). Source: BLS

Employment by Area

Kindergarten teachers’ employment by area (2020). Source: BLS

Location quotient by area

Kindergarten teachers’ location quotient by area (2020). Source: BLS

Annual mean wage by area - how much do kindergarten teachers make

Kindergarten teachers’ annual mean wage by area (2020). Source: BLS

What Are The Requirements To Become A Kindergarten Teacher?

A Bachelor’s degree in child development and childhood education is required in a public kindergarten school to ensure two primary purposes:

  • Your major covers the crucial knowledge and skills required to become a good kindergarten teacher.
  • Your curriculum consists of mandatory teacher-preparation coursework.

Especially, if you have a Bachelor’s degree in geography or history, you must complete a teacher preparation program before applying to the kindergarten teacher jobs. Depending on the courses you select, this program can take you from a few months to two years to finish.

A master’s degree in education isn’t required to work as a kindergarten teacher, yet it can help you earn more money and get better opportunities. With a Master’s, for example, you can move from the classroom to administrative roles (curriculum expert, school principal, etc.) with seeming ease.

Some must-have skills and qualities of a kindergarten teacher:

  • Artistic, organizational, and creative teaching abilities.
  • Flexibility and patience.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Ability to keep abreast with the latest and best practices methods.
  • Insightful knowledge of child development.
how much do kindergarten teachers make

Turning into a kindergarten teacher, a deep understanding of children’s development is vital. Source: phillywaldorf

What Is The Job Outlook Of The Kindergarten Teachers? 

The BLS reported that the job growth of kindergarten teachers might increase around 6% from 2018 to 2028 due to a host of job openings. This increase results in growing enrollments of kindergarten-related students. 

In the less desirable school districts and schools for teachers using English as a second language (ELS) or special education teachers (working with cognitive, emotional, or physical disabilities students), the demand for kindergarten teachers is very high.  

How About The Typical Career Path For A Kindergarten Teacher?

Kindergarten teachers with a Bachelor’s degree in child development or early childhood education could get jobs leading a kindergarten class. From there, they could move on to become the library monitors, school front office workers, education publishers, school boards of your local area, and even State if you have a Master’s degree in hand. 

How About Occupations Relevant To Kindergarten Teachers?

From the BLS’s stat in 2020, these 10 professions below require the same skills and duties as kindergarten teachers that you could refer to if you tend to change your job.

OccupationsJob DutiesEntry-level Certifications2020 Median Pay
Childcare WorkersHelp children to foster their early development.High school diploma or equivalent$25,460
Career and Technical Education TeachersInstruct students in various vocational and technical subjects, such as culinary arts, auto repair, and healthcare.Bachelor’s degree$59,140
High School TeachersTeach academic lessons and skills for children who tend to attend college or soon to enter the job market.Bachelor’s degree$62,870
Librarians and Library Media SpecialistsHelp people find information and do research for personal and professional use.Bachelor’s degree$60,820
Middle School TeachersEducate students from 6th to 8th eighth grades.Bachelor’s degree$60,810
School and Career CounselorsDevelop academic and social skills for children and aid in determining their career path.Master’s degree$58,120
Preschool TeachersCare for and educate under 5-year-old children who have not yet entered kindergarten.Associate’s degree$31,930
Special Education TeachersEducate students with a wide range of learning, emotional, mental, and physical disabilities.Bachelor’s degree$61,420
Social WorkersHelp students cope with not only daily but resolve social problems.See How to Become One$51,760
Teacher AssistantsWork with a licensed teacher to give students additional instruction.Some college, no degree$28,900

Kindergarten Teacher Jobs’ Summary

Degree RequiredBachelor’s degree
Education Field of StudyEarly childhood education
Licensing/CertificationState-issued license required for public schools
Key ResponsibilitiesPlan curricula; teach basics in reading, math, and classroom behavior; assess student progress; work with administrators, other teachers, and students’ parents.
Job Growth (2018-2028)6%
Average Salary (2018)$55,470

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Should You Become A Kindergarten Teacher?

As a kindergarten teacher, you will be frequently surrounded by children. You may face many naughty, stubborn, or even poor-mannered ones. As a result, if you pursue this work, you should ask yourself, “How much do I love children?” To be honest, if you don’t love them, you’re in the wrong business.

how much do kindergarten teachers make

If you adore children, you can become a kindergarten teacher with ease. Source: Unsplash

By and large, the majority of kindergarten teachers earn a modest wage. Some people, particularly those who face vehicle loans, college bills, or something like that, may feel cash-strapped. 

In return, if none of that puts you off, this is an ideal job for you. Anyway, you’ll be able to work with adorable children at a vital cornerstone of their lives and assist them in their upcoming school grades. What’s more, as a kindergarten teacher, your income and welfare can be pretty stable. 


Ellie - a go-getter in the content creating industry.  Since 2016, she has been actively engaged in writing and career guidance. Simply put, Ellie realized that what truly drives her is advising and coaching people on the path to self-discovery. She currently works with JobandEdu as a researcher and writer. Ellie's articles serve as advice columns for people at a crossroads in their careers or who can't make up their minds. She guides them through determining a pathway, job hunting, overcoming hurdles at work, and the multiple tip-top tools on the go. She also regularly shares her perspectives on topics piquing her curiosity or providing her with actionable insights.