Many preschool teachers work part time, while others work full time for 10 months and take a two-month break in the summer, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Preschool teachers in daycare settings, however, often work year-round, and the largest number of preschool teachers work in that employment setting. The Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates annual salary data for preschool teachers by taking the average hourly rate and extending it to 2,080 hours per year.
Preschool teachers were earning an average of $13.20 per hour as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That translates to about $2,290 per month and to $27,450 per year for those who work full time. The bureau does not include special education teachers in its classification of preschool teachers.
The middle 50 percent of preschool teachers earned $9.27 to $15.50 per hour in 2009, equaling $19,280 to $32,240 per year, or about $1,610 to $2,690 per month. The bottom 10 percent were earning $7.90 per hour or less, equaling $16,420 per year or about $1,370 per month. The top 10 percent had wages of $20.95 per hour, equaling $43,570 per year, or $3,630 per month.
Types of Employment
Preschool teachers working in child daycare services were making $11.81 per hour on average in 2009, translating to $24,560 annually, or about $2,050 monthly. A large number also work for preschools connected with elementary and secondary schools, earning an average of $18.58 per hour, equaling $38,640 per year or $3,220 per month. Preschool teachers working for individual and family services and for religious organizations earn roughly $29,000 per year on average, or about $2,420 per month. Average pay rates in civic and social organizations were comparable with the average in daycare, at $25,230 per year or about $2,100 per month.
North Carolina had the largest number of preschool teachers per capita in the country in 2009, and they earned $10.83 per hour on average, or $22,530 per year and about $1,880 per month. The highest-paying state for preschool teachers was New Jersey, with an average pay rate of $16.24 per hour, translating to $33,770 per year and about $2,810 per month. Ocean City, New Jersey, was the highest-paying metro area for these teachers, with an average salary of $22.22 per hour, $46,220 per year and about $3,850 per month.
2016 Salary Information for Preschool Teachers
Preschool teachers earned a median annual salary of $28,790 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, preschool teachers earned a 25th percentile salary of $22,750, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $38,350, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 478,500 people were employed in the U.S. as preschool teachers.