Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for kindergarten teachers in the United States was $56,850. The lowest 10% earned less than $37,420 and the highest 10% earned more than $90,180 per year. Kindergarten teachers at local elementary and secondary schools received the highest median annual salary ($58,380 per year). This was followed by private elementary and secondary schools ($46,470) and then child day care services ($34,190).
Autonomy and flexibility
Like many careers, autonomy is lower among kindergarten teachers at the beginning of their career and higher among those with years of experience. However, one study found that 38% of all teachers (kindergarten, elementary, middle school and high school) felt that they have ‘a little’ or ‘no’ influence over their professional development goals. This means that many teachers will feel they have little control and autonomy over their career. This is likely to be because teachers must to stick to state regulations and teaching requirements in order to give children the best possible education.
Locations and commute
The opportunities for kindergarten teachers will vary by state. This is due to different budgets. However, according to Zippia, the best states to be a kindergarten teacher, based on average annual salary and number of job available, are:
- Connecticut, where the average annual salary is $51,516
- Massachusetts, where the average annual salary is $51,661
- New Hampshire, where the average annual salary is $50,495
- New Jersey, where the average annual salary is $50,207
- Nevada, where the average annual salary is $43,239
The worst states to be a teacher, according to Zippia, are Tennessee, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Hawaii and Missouri.
81% of kindergarten teachers in the United States were employed by local elementary and secondary schools in 2019. 14% were employed by private elementary and secondary schools and 3% of kindergarten teachers were employed by child day care services.
In general, being a kindergarten teacher is highly rewarding. Often, teachers work in supportive and cohesive environments where they get to interact with other like minded people. However, of course, teaching is very stressful at times. Some schools have large classes and lack important teaching tools, such as computers. At other times, children can be very challenging and frustrating.