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Jobs and Salary Info for a Masters in Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education programs prepare students to work with young children, from infants to third graders. Because children's needs and abilities vary within this age group, those with master's degrees have a range of job opportunities, from administrator of a childcare or preschool facility to elementary teacher in a public or private school. A master's graduate could even become a postsecondary teacher of future caregivers at a community college.

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Childcare and Preschool Administrator Job Description

A master's degree in early childhood education allows one to work as an administrator of a day care or preschool facility, performing many leadership roles. Childcare and preschool administrators take on managerial roles within the facility. They create and enforce policies, complete necessary reports and maintain budgets.

Human resource duties for childcare agency managers include hiring, training and evaluating staff members. They often serve as curriculum directors, setting educational standards and determining age-appropriate curriculum. Public relations are part of the administrators' responsibilities, as they collaborate with parents and the community.

Salary Information

Administrator salaries differ depending on the type of facility and the assigned duties. For instance, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that preschool teachers earned a median annual wage of $27,130 in 2012. However, preschool and childcare center administrators earned $43,950 as a median annual wage in 2012.

Elementary Teacher Job Description

Many early elementary teachers pursue a master's degree in early childhood education. They can thus enhance their skills instructing young students while earning necessary continuing education hours for teacher certification. Teachers use varied instructional strategies to teach age-appropriate lessons in math, reading, writing, science and social studies. Through regular observation and testing techniques, teachers evaluate students' educational and social development, making adaptations as needed so that all students can succeed, regardless of their cultural background or educational capabilities.

Maintaining a classroom environment conducive to learning and establishing an effective classroom management plan are important in early childhood classrooms. Teachers collaborate with colleagues and parents to maximize student achievement.

Salary Information

The BLS reported that kindergarten and elementary school teachers earned median annual salaries of $50,120 and $53,400 in 2012.

Postsecondary Teacher Job Description

Research-focused master's degree programs in early childhood education prepare graduates to conduct educational research and to teach education and child development courses at the postsecondary level. Some colleges and universities require their instructors to hold doctorate degrees, but many community colleges and technical education schools employ teachers with a master's degree.

Postsecondary teachers plan and execute lessons, evaluate student performance and advise students in their career paths. Some instructors also work on research projects. It's important for those in postsecondary education to stay current on developments in their field through professional journals and organizations, conferences and collaboration with colleagues.

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics