California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education in California

May also be called: Head Start Teachers; Childhood Development Teachers; Nursery School Teachers; Pre-Kindergarten Teachers; Early Childhood Teachers; Lead Teachers; and Head Teachers.

What Would I Do?

Preschool Teachers instruct children up to five years of age through activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth. Preschool Teachers encourage childrens curiosity and imagination by providing them with opportunities to learn through play activities that they can question, investigate, experiment with, and observe.

Preschool Teachers usually work in pleasant surroundings that promote play and learning. They often have flexible schedules that can be either full or part time.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Preschool Teacher will appeal to you if you enjoy activities that involve assisting others and promoting learning and personal development. This occupation satisfies those with social interests. Social occupations involve teaching, offering advice, helping, and being of service to people.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2016 for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education in California is $32,180 annually, or $15.47 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Most employers offer vacation plans, health insurance, and sometimes educational benefits to keep current with teaching requirements and methods.

What is the Job Outlook?

Job prospects are expected to be favorable for Preschool Teachers. Job openings will result from the need to replace the large number of Teachers who are expected to retire or leave teaching for other reasons.

How Do I Qualify?

Preschool Teachers are often required to have training in vocational schools and related on-the-job experience. Some may be required to have an associate or bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education (ECE) or Child Development (CD).

Finding a Job

Preschool Teachers should apply directly to child development facilities. They can also receive job information from college placement offices and child care consultants. They should also network with other Preschool Teachers and search for jobs that are listed in newspapers and trade publications.  Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

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