What Jobs Can I Get with an Early Childhood Education Associate Degree?

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue with an early childhood education associate degree. Read on to learn more about career options, job responsibilities and salary expectations. Schools offering Early Childhood Education degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At a Glance

Having an early childhood education associate degree prepares you for careers in child care and preschool environments, working with children ages 5 and younger. You might work in a school setting or a child care center.

Preschool/School Setting Child Care Center
Key Responsibilities Managing groups of children; working one-on-one; understanding developmental stages; maintaining safe and clean spaces; planning curriculum and activities; teaching academic, social and behavioral skills Working with children at a variety of ages from infants to toddlers; serving meals; changing diapers; planning activities and games; maintaining safety and order; teaching behavioral and social skills
Job Growth (2012-22) *17% *14%
Average Salary (2013) *$31,420 * $21,490

Source: *www.bls.gov

Where Can I Work With an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education?

Completing an associate's degree program in early childhood education will help you develop your skills and knowledge needed to work with children under the age of five. You'll have learned about managing, supervising and teaching in a preschool or childcare environment. You'll be trained in child development, child behavior and learning styles. Programs train you to manage a group of children and plan a safe environment for them. Your education allows you to take a job as a preschool teacher, assistant teacher, childcare manager or provider.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

If you choose to work as a preschool teacher or in a school setting, you provide education to children ages 3-5. You might teach in groups or tutor one-on-one. You use teaching strategies designed to capture the attention of the children and keep them interested in learning. Developing the curriculum and designing the teaching methods are among your duties. Your focus will be on teaching children topics relative to their developmental stage. You may work with a child to teach him or her to hold a pencil correctly, encourage creativity through an art project or introduce your students to games played as a group. These activities help with motor skills, social development and creative stimulation. You also teach students basic concepts of reading, writing, mathematics and science.

If you choose to work in childcare, your main responsibility is to provide supervision of children in a safe environment. You might work in a childcare center or your own home. Childcare doesn't only involve watching over children. Most childcare providers also provide activities for children to help teach them skills. Your duties also include providing healthy meals, changing diapers, preparing bottles and managing multiple children of different ages at the same time. You ensure that children get along with each other, prevent fighting and encourage social interaction. You may have to provide special foods for children on restricted diets, handle children with behavioral issues or care for a sick child.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual salary for a childcare worker as of May 2013 was $21,490, and the average annual salary for a preschool teacher was $31,420 (www.bls.gov).

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