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Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education

Earn your Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education

Most students who choose to study full time can earn a bachelor's degree in early childhood education in four years. Many graduates obtain this degree with the clear goal of working as teachers in early childhood development, but others may wish to use the degree to pursue a career in educational administration. Programs may have distinct concentrations, one for those looking to become licensed as a teacher and one for those who wish to assume administrative roles in early education.

Before they can throw their caps into the air, students seeking their teaching license must complete their student teaching. This in-the-classroom experience usually lasts at least one semester and allows aspiring teachers to instruct classes under the observation and mentoring of an experienced teacher. Students get insight into curriculum development, classroom management, student behavior, etc. Students pursuing non-teaching concentrations may have to complete a capstone project instead, which usually includes in-depth original research.

Career Paths :

Newly minted graduates of an early childhood education program who want to go into teaching have one more hurdle to clear: teacher credentialing. Licensing requirements vary between states, so students should check with the state in which they want to work to see if they meet all of them. More information on state licensing requirements can be found at teach.org.

Graduates who hold a bachelor's degree in early childhood education may have many career options, such as:

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers: These educators make a change in young people's lives by imparting the first formal lessons in a school setting. Teachers must have a lot of patience and the ability to communicate challenging concepts in a way that's simple enough for young children to understand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov/ooh, 2012) expects national employment growth for kindergarten and elementary school teachers to be 17 percent between 2010 and 2020.

Preschool and childcare center directors: These professionals supervise and train preschool teachers and childcare workers, develop educational programs, establish policies, and keep children safe and well-cared for. The BLS expects this profession to experience significant employment growth of 25 percent between 2010 and 2020, due in part to more and more families having two working parents (bls.gov/ooh, 2012).

Career Earnings :

In general, a bachelor's degree can be a solid credential to have, not only in terms of personal advancement, skills and possible career opportunities, but also in terms of potential earnings. There is plenty of data to support this, including research from the BLS, which states that bachelor's degree holders in the U.S. earned a median weekly wage of $1,066 in 2012. This compares favorably against associate degree holders, who earned a median wage of $785 per week (bls.gov/emp, 2013).

In addition, the BLS compiles earnings data for specific professions. The median national annual wage for preschool teachers was $27,130 in May 2012. Kindergarten and elementary school teachers earned median wages of $50,120 and $53,400, respectively. Moving to the administrative side, preschool and childcare center administrators earned a median wage of $43,950 (bls.gov/oes, 2013).

Has the information above sparked your interest in a bachelor's degree in early childhood education? If it has and you would like to obtain more information, simply click on one of the universities below.

Note: BLS salary data on educational attainment covers full-time workers age 25 and older.

Sources:

"Earnings and unemployment projections by educational attainment," Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 22, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

"Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes119031.htm

"Elementary Teachers, Except Special Education," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252021.htm

"Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Education-Training-and-Library/Kindergarten-and-elementary-school-teachers.htm

"Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252012.htm

"Preschool and Childcare Center Directors," Occupational Outlook Handbook (2012-13 Edition), Bureau of Labor Statistics, July 18, 2012, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/preschool-and-childcare-center-directors.htm

"Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education," May 2012 Occupational Employment and Wages, Bureau of Labor Statistics, March 29, 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes252011.htm

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B.S. in Early Childhood
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Bachelor of Science: Elementary Education in Interdisciplinary Studies
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