The Best Online Associate in Early Childhood Education Degree Programs

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If you enjoy working with young children, you may want to consider a career in early childhood education.

Early childhood educators work in elementary schools, preschools, and daycare centers. They teach young children essential skills like communication, reading, and basic math. Early childhood educators also guide children’s emotional and intellectual development. Early childhood educators can serve as important positive role models for their pupils.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that preschool teaching positions will grow by 10% between 2016 and 2026. As such, prospective students considering an early childhood education associate degree can expect to find ample career opportunities after graduation.

Top 10 Online Associate in Early Childhood Education Programs 2020

#1 Pamlico Community College Grantsboro, NC
#2 Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus, OH
#3 Clovis Community College Clovis, NM
#4 Eastern Wyoming College Torrington, WY
#5 Brunswick Community College Bolivia, NC
#6 Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE
#7 Montgomery Community College Troy, NC
#8 Gulf Coast State College Panama City, FL
#9 Stanly Community College Albemarle, NC
#10 George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville Hanceville, AL

Online Associate in Early Childhood Education Degree Program Ranking Guidelines

We selected these accredited online associate in early childhood education degree programs based on the quality of the program, types of courses provided, faculty strength, school awards, rankings and reputation; this includes the reputation for providing online degree programs.

The Best Online Associate in Early Childhood Education Degree Programs

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4

Eastern Wyoming College 

Torrington, WY

About this school

Based in Torrington, EWC offers affordable postsecondary programming. Students may choose from 17 associate degrees and certificates. EWC maintains partnerships with 11 universities, facilitating graduates' transfer into four-year programs. EWC accommodates both out-of-state and nontraditional learners through distance learning.

Aspiring educators who plan to work with young students can earn an online associate of arts in early childhood education at EWC. Most students complete this program in four semesters. Graduates can continue their education at a four-year institution or enter the workforce immediately. Students pursuing this early childhood education associate degree online must complete 60-61 credits. Notable courses include:

  • Social and cultural awareness
  • Standard first aid and safety
  • Engaging families in early childhood settings
  • Teaching with technology
  • Business mathematics

EWC also requires an education capstone course as a culminating experience.

Faculty use the CampusCruiser learning management system to administer online coursework. Software allows students to interact asynchronously through message forums, email, and chat boxes. However, some courses may use synchronous components, requiring students to login at specific times and participate in live classes. EWC provides librarian assistance over the phone, plus reference services and bibliographic instruction.

Students gain access to 24/7 tutoring services through NetTutor, and they may also contact the school's student success center to access additional help with coursework.

Graduation Rate
46%
5

Brunswick Community College 

Bolivia, NC

About this school

BCC was established in the town of Bolivia in 1979. The school offers accessible and affordable two-year degrees, certificates, and diplomas. BCC emphasizes student-centered learning, meeting the needs of a diverse student population. The college offers online coursework to accommodate nontraditional and out-of-state learners.

BCC's associate of applied science in early childhood education prepares graduates to develop curricula appropriate for students in early childhood facilities. Individuals who earn this early childhood education associate degree online complete a total of 76 credits. Noteworthy courses include:

  • Sociology of the family
  • Professional research and reporting
  • Advanced issues in early childhood education
  • Exploration activities, and elementary spanish

BCC also requires participants to complete an early childhood capstone practicum.

The format of online courses vary. Asynchronous classes allow students to interact with professors and classmates through email and online chats. Assignments may include essays, discussion posts, group work, and exams. Contrastingly, synchronous courses mimic in-person class environments. Students must log on to the BCC learning management system at set times. The college also offers some hybrid courses, which require occasional in-person attendance.

Distance learners gain access to success coaching, academic advising, and mentorship programs. Students who require additional support can receive tutoring through the school's academic center for excellence. Tutors specialize in reading, writing, and math. BCC participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, which allows out-of-state students from affiliated states to access online courses.

Graduation Rate
35%
6

Northeast Community College 

Norfolk, NE

About this school

Based in Norfolk, Nebraska, Northeast offers students a variety of two-year associate degrees. The college prioritizes student-centered learning and holds awards for community college excellence from the Aspen Institute. Northeast also strives to provide low-debt degrees that offer a notable return on students' investment, whether they transfer to a four-year institution or immediately join the workforce.

Northeast offers two degrees for aspiring early childhood educators: an AAS in early childhood education and an AA in early childhood education. Students in either degree track must complete at least 60 credits. The AAS includes 12-21 general education credits, 42 core credits, and up to four elective credits. Alternatively, the AA requires 32.5 core credits and a larger number of general education credits. Participants should consult their advisors to discuss elective options. Notable courses include:

  • Infant and toddler development
  • Preschool child development
  • Pediatric basic life support and first aid
  • Early childhood education curriculum planning

These programs also require an in-person practicum experience at a childcare facility. Students must pass a criminal background check prior to working with children. Learners can earn their early child education degree online through a cooperative effort with other Nebraska community colleges.

Distance learners gain access to academic advisors, a writers' clinic, and online tutoring. The career services department also provides resume and cover letter help, interview skill building, and a job board. The library’s databases provide access to articles and other information resources, such as books, journals, newspapers, and other subscription services.

Graduation Rate
55%
7

Montgomery Community College 

Troy, NC

About this school

Montgomery Community College offers a rural postsecondary experience in Troy, North Carolina. Students can earn associate degrees and certificates in 14 fields. With a 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, professors can provide engaging, hands-on instruction. Montgomery Community College also strives to provide affordable, accessible coursework. The school offers open admissions and provides nontraditional students with access to distance learning options.

Aspiring early childhood educators can earn an associate of arts in education in the early years: birth through fourth grade, preparing graduates to pursue a bachelor's degree or enter the workforce. Learners who earn this early childhood education associate degree online complete 61 credits, including 25 general education credits and 36 major credits. Distinctive courses include:

  • Literature in early childhood and elementary education
  • Teaching English language learners
  • Working with children with special needs
  • Teaching young children

Participants also complete a student-teaching experience, spending 15 hours a week at an approved facility for a semester. This program holds programmatic accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Montgomery Community College utilizes the Blackboard learning management system to administer digital coursework. Courses follow weekly modules, which contain all assignments and supplementary reading materials. Coursework includes essays, exams, discussion boards, and group projects. For research assistance, students can contact librarians over the phone or by using the after-hour librarian online chat. Montgomery Community College also offers online tutoring in multiple subjects.

Graduation Rate
34%
8

Gulf Coast State College 

Panama City, FL

About this school

Located in Panama City, Florida, GCSC was established in 1957 after the state legislature created a community college network. Students at GCSC may choose from over 150 degrees and certificates. Associate degree programs are designed for students who wish to pursue a four-year degree or enter the workforce after graduation.

Students interested in teaching children up to the age of five years old can earn an associate of science in early childhood education at GCSC, which qualifies graduates for the Florida childcare professional credential. Earning this associate degree in early childhood education online requires completing 60 credits, including 15 general education credits and 45 core credits. Students can look forward to taking the following courses:

  • Social studies and creative expression for young children
  • Guiding the young child
  • Facilitating social development
  • Practices for working with young children with special needs in inclusive settings

This program also requires participants to complete a supervised work experience and portfolio; students must pass a background check before working with young children.

Faculty deliver this program through hybrid courses, which require students to complete coursework online and attend three face-to-face sessions per class throughout the semester. GCSC utilizes the Canvas online learning management system. Assignments may include exams, essays, group projects, and discussion posts. Some courses may also use proctored tests; students can complete exams in person or by using Respondus Monitor proctoring software.

Graduation Rate
40%
9

Stanly Community College 

Albemarle, NC

About this school

Based in Albemarle, North Carolina, SCC offers two-year postsecondary experiences in 12 fields. The college promotes community involvement, diversity, and inclusion. SCC also boasts student-centered learning environments, which provide effective teaching and encourage lifelong learning. The school offers a 15-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, creating ample opportunities for interaction with professors and classmates.

SCC designs its online associate of applied science in early childhood education to provide learners with pertinent knowledge related to foundational child growth theories, curriculum development, learning, and assessment to meet the needs of young learners. Students may select the transfer licensure track or the transfer nonlicensure track, each of which consists of 73 credits. SCC holds articulation agreements with multiple four-year institutions for transfer track students. Notable courses in the program include:

  • Child guidance
  • Early childhood administration
  • Language and literacy experiences
  • Professional research and reporting
  • Children with exceptionalities

Students must also complete in-person early childhood capstone practicum experiences.

Distance learners gain access to an academic support center and 24/7 online tutoring through Smarthinking. SCC's career services provide resume development, internship opportunities, and career assessments. Distance learners can also take advantage of library resources by accessing virtual chat rooms, online databases, and e-books.

Graduation Rate
36%
10

George C Wallace State Community College-Hanceville 

Hanceville, AL

About this school

Established in 1966, Wallace State has become one of the largest schools in the Alabama Community College System. Students can pursue over 50 associate degrees and certificates. Wallace State also maintains multiple articulation agreements, which allow students to transfer into four-year programs with ease.

Students interested in working with young children can earn an associate of applied science in child development online at Wallace State, developing the knowledge and skills needed to provide effective instruction and carry out administrative tasks. Most students earn their early childhood education associate degree online in five semesters with full-time attendance. The curriculum consists of 61 credits, including the following notable courses:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Methods and materials for teaching young children
  • Program planning for educating young children
  • Children's literature and language development
  • Children's creative experiences.

This program also requires participants to engage in a supervised practical experience at an approved educational facility.

Wallace State uses the Blackboard learning management system to administer online coursework. Fully online courses typically follow an asynchronous format, providing ample scheduling flexibility. Students engage with professors and classmates through email and discussion boards. All child development courses are available online.

Graduation Rate
40%
11

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College 

Shell Lake, WI

About this school

WITC offers two-year postsecondary experiences in Shell Lake. Students can choose from over 60 programs that prepare graduates to enter the workforce or continue their education by transferring into four-year programs. WITC boasts an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, helping students build meaningful relationships with professors and receive one-on-one support. WITC also works to accommodate diverse student needs. For instance, nontraditional learners who require greater flexibility can take coursework online.

The online E-CHiLD-early childhood education program at WITC provides graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to educate young learners. Students who earn this associate degree in early childhood education online complete 60 credits. Most full-time students earn their degree in two years. The curriculum includes a variety of courses, including:

  • STEM
  • Family and community relationships
  • Children with differing abilities
  • Oral and interpersonal communication
  • Principles of sustainability

WITC requires learners to engage in introductory, preschool, intermediate, and advanced practicum experiences. This program meets the requirements for YoungStar -- Wisconsin’s childcare quality rating and improvement system -- and also leads to several transfer opportunities. Graduates from this program also qualify for the Wisconsin professional credential for preschool teachers.

Distance learners gain access to the same quality instruction as their on-campus counterparts. Courses typically follow an asynchronous format, providing ample flexibility. Distance learners engage with professors and classmates through discussion boards, email, and private chats.

Graduation Rate
54%
12

Community Care College 

Tulsa, OK

About this school

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, CCC was originally established as a school for dental assistants. Today, the college offers over 10 career-ready programs. CCC prioritizes student-centered learning and strives to accommodate diverse learning needs. Nontraditional learners at CCC can attend distance programs that allow students to graduate without ever setting foot on campus. CCC also boasts small class sizes, which create more opportunities for one-on-one engagement between students and professors.

Aspiring educators who enjoy working with young students can earn an associate in early childhood education at CCC. Participants can earn their degrees in as little as 10 months. Distinctive courses include:

  • Social and emotional development
  • Language and literacy
  • Curriculum development
  • Child growth and development
  • Guidance

This early childhood education associate degree online program maintains a partnership with the Council for Professional Recognition. Graduates can also earn the child development associate credential -- one of the most widely recognized credentials in early childhood education.

Online courses typically utilize an asynchronous format, allowing students to complete assignments at their convenience as long as they meet specified deadlines. Learners can engage with classmates and professors through discussion boards, email, or private chats. Assignments may include essays, exams, and projects. CCC also provides free online tutoring, career development resources, and resume-building workshops.

Graduation Rate
73%
13

University of Cincinnati-Main Campus 

Cincinnati, OH

About this school

Founded in southern Ohio in 1819, UC offers an urban postsecondary experience to nearly 46,000 students each year. The school is dedicated to academic excellence, diversity, intellectual inquiry, and inclusion. Students can pursue degrees at all levels and seamlessly transition into advanced programs. UC also offers distance programming that permits working and nontraditional learners to balance their personal responsibilities while earning their degrees.

UC's school of education offers an associate of applied science in early childhood care and education, which emphasizes quality instruction and ethical practices. Students may choose one of the following concentration areas:

  • Infant and toddlers
  • Preschoolers
  • Administration

Students in this early childhood education program complete 60 credits, including 45 core credits and 15 concentration credits. Notable courses may include:

  • Assessment and evaluation in early care and education
  • Creative instructional environments for young children
  • Social emotional development and guidance for infants and toddlers
  • Operation of an ECE program

Students enrolled in the preschoolers or infant and toddlers concentration must complete a practicum experience. Distance learners can access coursework through the Blackboard online learning management system. Courses typically utilize an asynchronous format, which provides increased flexibility. Students access weekly modules that contain supplemental reading or video lectures. Assignments include essays, group projects, and discussion posts. Some courses may require learners to sit for proctored exams.

Graduation Rate
69%
14

Florida Gateway College 

Lake City, FL

About this school

Based in Lake City, FGC offers a public community college experience to over 5,000 students each year. FGC prioritizes student-centered learning, and its small class sizes create opportunities for hands-on instruction and interaction between students. FGC administers over 60 programs and works to accommodate diverse student needs by offering online classes.

Aspiring educators who enjoy working with young learners can earn an associate of science in early childhood education at FGC. Graduates may enter the workforce directly or transition into the early childhood education bachelor's program at FGC. Learners who earn this early childhood education associate degree online finish 60 credits of coursework, and students may choose from specialization tracks in the following areas:

  • Infant-toddler
  • Preschool
  • Special needs
  • School age and childcare center management

Distinctive courses include:

  • Cognitive experiences for young children
  • Basic childhood nutrition
  • Introduction to technology for educators
  • Survey of disabling conditions in young children
  • Learning through play

This degree requires learners to carry out a child development internship at an approved early childhood facility. The program holds accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

FGC uses the Canvas online learning management system to administer coursework. Most courses utilize an asynchronous format, through which students can complete assignments at their own pace. FGC also provides students with academic advisors. Distance learners can access multiple online library resources and live assistance from librarians through text, live chat, and email.

Graduation Rate
41%
16

Liberty University 

Lynchburg, VA

About this school

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty is one of the largest Christian universities in the world. The school also ranks among the most conservative colleges in the country. Liberty accommodates diverse student needs by offering over 600 programs to on-campus and distance learners.

With a 17-to-1 online student-to-faculty ratio, students can network and collaborate with peers while also accessing hands-on instruction from their teachers.

Liberty's school of education offers an associate of arts in early childhood education nonlicensure degree track, which prepares graduates to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year program. This early childhood education associate degree consists of 60 credits, including 36-39 general education credits and 21 core credits. Most students earn their degrees in 18 months with full-time attendance. Featured courses include:

  • Wellness in the early childhood setting
  • Psychology of childhood
  • Learning theory and portfolio development
  • Educational philosophy for teachers

This program does not require any in-person or practicum experiences.

Online courses at Liberty follow an eight-week format. Students access weekly modules through the Blackboard online learning management system. Most courses follow an asynchronous format. Assignments may include discussion posts, virtual group work, essays, and exams. Liberty hosts a digital library and distance learners gain access to an online writing center, career center, and technology support.

Graduation Rate
47%
17

University of Alaska Fairbanks 

Fairbanks, AK

About this school

Established in 1922, UAF is recognized as an international research center that offers high-quality postsecondary instruction. UAF boasts an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, granting students access to small class sizes and plentiful opportunities for hands-on instruction and engagement.

Students interested in learning about child development and instruction can enroll in UAF's associate of applied science in early childhood education program. Graduates prepare to immediately enter the workforce or transition into four-year programs. Students who earn this early childhood education associate degree online complete 60 credits, including courses like:

  • Positive social and emotional development
  • Child and family ecology
  • Inclusion of children with special needs
  • Screening and assessment
  • Healthy learning environments

This program also requires two in-person practicum experiences.

Distance learners can access online coursework through the Blackboard online learning management system. Most eCampus courses follow an asynchronous format with no in-person requirements. Students access weekly modules, which contain their assignments and supplementary reading materials or recorded lectures. However, some courses may follow a synchronous format, requiring students to login at specific times to engage in audio or video conferencing.

UAF offers in-state tuition to all eCampus students. Distance learners also gain access to technical support, academic advisors, and career development.

Graduation Rate
30%
18

Chaminade University of Honolulu 

Honolulu, HI

About this school

Located in Hawai'i on the island of Oahu, Chaminade is the only Catholic university in the state. Chaminade also represents one of three Marianist postsecondary schools in the country. Students enroll from all over the world, creating a diverse educational environment. Chaminade has grown from a two-year college into a university, offering both undergraduate and graduate programs. However, class sizes remain small, with an 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Chaminade's education and behavioral science department offers an associate of science in early childhood education that explores the knowledge and skills needed to create stimulating learning experiences for young learners. Students can earn this early childhood education associate degree online by completing 60 credits of coursework. Notable classes include:

  • Child development
  • Health and family issues in early childhood education
  • Leadership and guidance in education
  • Curriculum foundations

Learners must also complete an in-person field experience. Graduates may directly enter the workforce or pursue advanced education, seamlessly transitioning into one of Chaminade's online bachelor's degree programs.

Chaminade uses the Canvas online learning management system to administer distance coursework. Courses typically follow an asynchronous format, providing a large amount of flexibility. Chaminade also allows full-time students to accelerate their program by taking additional courses each semester.

Graduation Rate
54%
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Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Associate in Early Childhood Education Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Choosing an Online Early Childhood Education Associate Degree Program

Take your time when selecting where to earn an early childhood education associate degree online to make sure you find the right program. Many options exist -- with a little patience and research, you can find a school that matches your specific needs. If cost represents a primary factor in your decision, you may want to start your search with public, in-state programs. These typically offer the most affordable tuition rates. However, some distance programs offer the same tuition rate to all online students, regardless of residency status. The list below describes a few other factors worth considering when looking at associate programs.

  • Program Cost: Tuition and fees vary depending on the school and program, as do the number of credits required to graduate and the transfer credits allowed. Online courses may or may not cost the same as on-campus courses. Make sure to compare the per-credit costs for each program that interests you.
  • Transfer Policies: If you wish to transfer credits into your associate program or ensure that your degree will transfer to a bachelor’s program at another institution, it is important to look into each school’s transfer policies. Most schools limit the number of transfer credits they accept. Additionally, many two-year colleges boast articulation agreements with four-year colleges, ensuring smooth transfer of associate degree credits.
  • School Size and Type: Class size and the student-to-teacher ratio can vary widely according to the type of school you attend. For example, large universities may rely on larger classes taught by graduate students, while smaller schools may offer smaller class sizes with greater individual attention. Look into the average class sizes of online courses to ensure you will receive the classroom experience you need.
  • Program Length: Online programs frequently offer flexible delivery options, including part-time, full-time, and accelerated formats. Most associate degrees take full-time learners two years to complete.
  • On-Campus Requirements: Some online programs do require occasional on-campus meetings, such as orientations or weekend residencies. Make sure that you can travel to campus as needed or select a program that does not require any on-campus commitments.

Accreditation for Online Early Childhood Education Associate Degrees

All the best schools participate in a voluntary evaluation process to demonstrate program quality; this process is called accreditation. Colleges often consider accreditation when determining whether they will accept transfer credits, and employers may expect job applicants to hold a degree from an accredited institution. When exploring online programs, you can look for institutional and programmatic accreditation. Institutions may hold regional or national accreditation. Both the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education coordinate accreditation, recognize accrediting bodies, and maintain lists of accredited schools.

Regional accreditation is typically viewed as more rigorous and prestigious than national accreditation, and regionally-accredited institutions often only accept transfer credits from other regional institutions.

Community colleges can receive regional accreditation, just like four-year schools can.

In addition to institutional accreditation, programs can hold specialized accreditation to demonstrate that they meet standards in the field. Early childhood education programs may hold accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, while teacher preparation programs may hold Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation accreditation.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education?

Associate degrees typically require students to complete about 60 credits and take two years of full-time study. Online programs frequently offer flexible options that allow learners to progress at their own pace, and part-time learners may take 3-4 years to complete their degree. However, part-time options do enable students to continue working more easily while attending school.

Additionally, learners who can transfer in credits, test out of requirements, and/or take accelerated classes can complete their degrees in less than two years. The time it takes to complete an early childhood education associate degree online can impact the overall cost of a program. Most schools raise their tuition rates each year, and students who take larger course loads may gain access to lower per-credit tuition rates.

Courses in an Online Early Childhood Education Associate Program

Introduction to Early Childhood Education

This course introduces the theoretical and historical foundations of early childhood education. Topics include national, professional, and ethical standards; state regulations; career options; and program types. Students explore methods that can be used to create safe, appropriate, and responsive environments and activities for young children.

Child Development

This course explores the physical, social-emotional, and cognitive changes that occur in the first five years of life. Students learn to identify the skills young children typically acquire during this time and ways to support growth and optimize developmental outcomes.

Health and Wellness

This course emphasizes the health-related aspects of child development and age-appropriate behavior management techniques. Future caregivers learn to identify potential challenges children in their care may face. They also develop strategies to provide appropriate care, communicate with families, and promote wellness.

Exceptional Children

In this course, students explore ways to work with parents and other professionals to care for children with special needs, including those with physical/cognitive disabilities and gifted/talented children. Topics include methods for modifying the physical environment to ensure inclusion and strategies for adapting activities and instruction.

Language and Literacy

This course provides an overview of normal language development in young children. Students explore strategies to facilitate language development, identify appropriate children’s literature and its purpose, and present literature to young children in engaging ways.

Educational Paths for Early Childhood Education Degrees

After earning an online associate degree in early childhood education, you may decide to continue your education by earning a bachelor’s degree. Some schools require their employees to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, especially if they want to teach kindergarten or higher grades. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree can also pursue some leadership positions, increasing their salary potential and allowing workers to gain access to benefits like employer-paid healthcare. The three degrees below represent potential educational pathways aspiring teachers can follow.

Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education

The upper-level courses in a bachelor’s in early childhood education program go into greater depth than associate-level courses. These programs may prepare you to earn teacher licensure in your home state, qualifying you to work in a public elementary school.

Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education with a Montessori Education Concentration

The Montessori method revolutionized the education of young children by focusing on a child’s natural curiosity and emotional development. Montessori teachers receive specialized training during their teacher education programs, qualifying them for both traditional and Montessori classroom settings.

Bachelor’s in Physical Education

A child’s physical development proves just as important as their intellectual and emotional development. Physical education programs may satisfy the requirements for teacher licensure in your home state, opening the door to more career opportunities and a higher salary.

Early Childhood Education Associate Degree Salary Information

Associate degree holders can find rewarding positions teaching and caring for young children in public and private preschools, elementary schools, and Head Start programs. They may also provide much-needed childcare to working parents through daycare providers and recreational centers. These teachers and care providers offer nurturing, professional supervision and instruction to children ages five and under. Professionals who go on to complete a bachelor’s degree may qualify for higher-paying jobs in the field. The list below describes career options often pursued by graduates of associate programs.

Preschool Teachers

Preschool Teachers work with children under the age of five in childcare centers and public and private preschools, helping young learners acquire the basic academic and social skills needed for elementary school. This position typically requires an associate degree.

Entry Level

$25,000

Mid-Career

$27,000

Experienced

$28,000

Late Career

$29,000

Childcare Worker

Childcare Workers care for young children not yet in school. They may also provide after-school care in private homes, schools, and childcare centers. While this position may not require an associate degree, some employers prefer to hire degree holders.

Entry Level

$20,000

Mid-Career

$21,000

Experienced

$22,000

Late Career

$24,000

Preschool Director

Preschool Directors manage the daily operations of childcare centers and preschools, including hiring teachers, dealing with admissions, and communicating with parents. This position requires at least an associate degree, although employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor’s.

Entry Level

$36,000

Mid-Career

$37,000

Experienced

$40,000

Late Career

$42,000

Teacher Assistant

Schools typically require applicants to hold an associate degree or some college experience to assist classroom teachers. Teacher Assistants give students additional instruction or personal attention as needed, supervise children and ensure their safety, and help teachers prepare materials and deliver lessons.

Entry Level

$22,000

Mid-Career

$24,000

Experienced

$25,000

Late Career

$26,000

Elementary School Teacher

Elementary School Teachers typically hold a bachelor’s degree; in public schools, they also need to obtain state licensure. An associate degree may serve as an important first step toward qualification as an elementary school teacher.

Entry Level

$39,000

Mid-Career

$44,000

Experienced

$50,000

Late Career

$56,000

Source: PayScale

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