Early Childhood Education
Employment Information


In Washington, the median wage for a preschool teacher is $12.95/ hour. Wages vary on the teacher's education and years of experience.

In Washington, the median wage for a childcare worker is $10.42/ hour. Nationally, the median wage is $9.42/hour.

Work Environment

Preschool teachers and childcare workers spend most of their time in contact with children, other staff members and parents. They communicate both in person and via telephone, letters, memos and e-mail. They regularly deal with unpleasant, angry or discourteous children and parents, as well as conflict situations.

Preschool teachers and childcare workers have a high level of responsibility for the health, safety and well-being of the children in their care.

 The physical work environment is mostly indoors, but teachers and childcare workers may spend short periods of time outside each day. They are exposed to diseases and infections regularly and often need to lift, carry or hold children. The classroom environment may be chaotic, with noise levels that can become distracting.

Employment Outlook

Between 2012 and 2022, the number of jobs for preschool and kindergarten teachers is projected to grow 19 percent in Washington state. During this same period, the number of jobs for childcare workers is projected to increase 12 percent.