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What Can I Do with an Associate's Degree in Teaching Education?

An associate's degree in teaching education may qualify students for entry-level careers or four-year teacher education programs. From there, they could go on to pursue a variety of teaching positions that don't necessarily require licensure. Continue reading below for information regarding associate's degree programs in teaching education.

Associate's Degree in Teaching Education Overview

How long does it take to get a teaching degree? This depends on several factors, including the type of teaching degree you wish to pursue. Associate's degree programs in teaching education usually take two years to complete and are designed for students who want to become teaching assistants or child care workers, as well as individuals who intend to transfer to bachelor's-level programs and learn how to become a teacher in public primary and secondary schools. Associate's degree program topics might emphasize child growth and development, performance assessment, and classroom management. In addition to offering insight into the teaching profession, such programs provide exposure to different areas of education. You might focus your studies on a specific specialty, such as early childhood or elementary education.

Important Facts About These Occupations

Teacher Assistant Preschool Teacher Child Care Worker
Median Annual Salary (2018) $26,970 $29,780 $23,240
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 4% growth 7% growth 2% growth
Key Skills Communication skills, patience, and resourcefulness Detail-oriented and organizational skills; physical stamina First-aid and interpersonal skills
Work Environment Public and private schools or childcare centers; often part-time Public and private schools or childcare centers; often on a 10-month schedule Child care centers or at home; some irregular hours

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

While you could continue your education at a four-year college or university and go on to become a licensed teacher, you also might pursue a position that doesn't require a bachelor's degree. Many associate's-degree holders become teacher's assistants, preschool teachers, or child care workers.

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers instruct and take care of students, typically between the ages of three and five. Through the use of creative activities that incorporate games and music, they develop curricula that nurture children and encourage their development while preparing them for kindergarten. While qualifications vary depending on the hiring schools and the states in which they are located, many preschool teachers are required to hold two-year teaching degrees in early childhood education.

Child Care Worker

Like preschool teachers, child care workers look after pre-kindergarten children. They typically work in residential homes or child care centers. Along with managing the safety of children, they may help children develop good fitness and eating habits, as well as social skills. Requirements for becoming a child care worker vary greatly by employer and state. Those who work in care centers or care for several children in their homes are often required to hold associate's degrees and state licensure.

Teacher's Assistant

You may be asking, what can I do with an early childhood education degree besides teach? Although this degree prepares you for education, it is possible to support teachers rather than teach yourself. Teacher's assistants, also known as teacher's aides, help main educators with classroom lessons and activities. They also perform clerical duties, such as grading tests or preparing instructional materials. They may be responsible for supervising students in classrooms, lunchrooms, or playgrounds. Career advancement typically is limited to those who have obtained higher education. Teacher's assistants who go on to earn bachelor's degrees may receive tuition reimbursement from their employers.