What Can You Do with a Masters in Early Childhood Education?

What Can You Do with a Masters in Early Childhood Education?

With growing demands for qualified specialists, a master’s in early childhood education is a must-have if you want a fulfilling and high-paying job. If you’re wondering, “What can you do with a master’s in early childhood education?“- you’re about to find out! Here’s an overview of the rewarding career paths that open up with this advanced degree.

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What Can You Do with a Master’s in Early Childhood Education?

With a master’s in early childhood education, you can pursue advanced roles in the field, from teaching to administration. You can become an early preschool teacher, childcare center director, or special education teacher. Additionally, you can work as an educational consultant or specialize in early childhood policy and advocacy roles.

Woman sitting on a bean bag and reading from a book, while her young students are listening

This degree equips you with advanced knowledge and skills to impact young children’s learning and development. It prepares you for leadership positions in schools, daycare centers, and educational organizations. With expertise in early childhood education, you can shape educational practices and policies that benefit young learners.

Job TitleMedian SalaryProjected Job Openings (2022-2032)Employment Growth (2022-2032)
Preschool Teacher$37,130/year512,300+3%
Childcare Center Director$54,290/year74,800-3%
Early Childhood Special Education Teacher$65,910/year498,400+8%
School Psychologist$91,990/year62,790+14%
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher$63,670/year1,548,400+1%
Childcare Worker$30,370/year945,900-2%

Preschool Teacher

Preschool teachers have the important task of guiding children from three to five as they build foundational abilities in social and emotional regulation, language acquisition, and cognitive development. This encompasses learning the ins and outs of the classroom, developing social skills, and mastering the alphabet, numbers, shapes, sizes, and colors.

The job prospects for this role are expected to increase by 3% from 2022-2032.

  • Median salary: $37,130 per year
  • Work experience: None
  • Number of jobs that will open (2022-2032): 512,300

Childcare Center Director

One of the most important administrative roles in daycare is that of the director. They take care of everything, from making educational plans to employing staff, organizing programs, ensuring compliance with state regulations and standards, and even feeding the kids in their care.

However, there will likely be a 3% drop in work opportunities for childcare facility directors between 2022 and 2032.

  • Median salary: $54,290 per year
  • Work experience: Less than five years
  • Number of jobs that will open (2022-2032): 74,800

Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

One of the many possible careers for individuals with a background in preschool teaching is working with students with special needs. Since special education teachers work with kids with a variety of special needs, they need to make the curriculum more meaningful, accessible, and beneficial for children with many different disabilities.

The job prospects for special education teachers are expected to increase by about 8% between 2022-2032.

  • Median salary: $65,910 per year
  • Work experience: None
  • Number of jobs that will open (2022-2032): 498,400

School Psychologist

A teacher with a background in early childhood education may be able to advance to school psychologist or guidance counselor role with additional training. School psychologists work in educational settings to help children manage behavioral issues, academic difficulties, and emotional challenges.

There will be a 14% increase in the number of jobs for school psychologists from 2018 to 2028.

  • Median salary: $91,990 per year
  • Work experience: Internship/Residency
  • Number of jobs that will open (2022-2032): 62,790

Kindergarten And Elementary School Teacher

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers instruct children in basic subjects like math and reading, develop social skills, plan age-appropriate learning tasks, grade assignments, and assure a positive learning environment. They adapt to the varying educational needs of students as they grow and develop.

Jobs for primary and kindergarten teachers are expected to expand by around 1% in 2022-2032.

  • Median salary: $63,670 per year
  • Work experience: None
  • Number of jobs that will open (2022-2032): 1,548,400

Childcare Worker

A person who works in childcare is responsible for meeting a child’s important needs when family members are not available. They also organize activities that stimulate physical, emotional, intellectual, and social growth. This could include jobs as a nanny, in a daycare, or in a program before or after school.

However, those with a master’s degree may’ve enhanced knowledge of child development and be qualified for higher-level positions in this field. A master’s degree can also reflect a commitment to the profession, which may yield increased responsibilities and pay opportunities. Childcare workers may expect a 2% decline in job openings in 2022-2032.

  • Median salary: $30,370 per year
  • Work experience: None
  • Number of jobs that will open (2022-2032): 945,900
School teachers helping their young students tie their hair after a nap break

What Is A Master’s In Early Childhood Education Exactly?

A master’s in early childhood education is a graduate-level degree centered on effectively educating individuals to teach and nurture children from birth through eight years. The curriculum is designed to provide graduates with a deep understanding of child development, learning theories, and educational practices tailored for young learners.

Common Courses That Students Will Learn

During a master’s program in early childhood education, students engage in various courses that cover important topics in the field. Some of the key areas of study include:

  • Child development: Insights into the physical, cognitive, and social growth patterns of children.
  • Curriculum design: Techniques for creating instructive and engaging curricula suitable for early childhood.
  • Assessment strategies: Evaluation methods to track and enhance children’s learning progress.
  • Classroom management: Strategies to create a conducive learning environment for young children.
  • Family and community engagement: Understanding the role of families and communities in a child’s early learning and development.

The coursework integrates both theoretical and practical approaches, often including hands-on experiences through student teaching, internships, or practicums. Students learn to implement best practices in early childhood settings, design engaging activities for young learners, and support each child’s needs.

Why Pursue a Master’s in Early Childhood Education Program?

A master’s in early childhood education allows educators to specialize in practices for young children. It empowers them with a deep understanding of child development and the ability to apply advanced educational theories in the classroom. This degree prepares them for influential roles in early childhood education.

Let’s explore three key benefits of this degree.

Increased Job Satisfaction

Giving children chances to learn and develop is a main objective of early childhood education professionals. Numerous professionals in the industry work with exceptional education children, traumatized children, and children for whom English is a second language.

Providing a good academic atmosphere for these kids can give these educators a stronger feeling of purpose. These individuals can also help kids in one or more school districts do better in school by being policymakers, school administrators, or program directors. This kind of broad impact on the lives of young pupils can raise job satisfaction.

Growing Need For Educators

The hiring need for teachers is expected to rise as the population grows. This will give individuals with master’s degrees in early childhood education more opportunities.

Schools also emphasize the value of early childhood education through focused programs and customized lesson plans. This increased need for more meaningful education means that teachers holding this master’s degree could have a better career future.

Higher Income Potential

Teachers with a master’s degree may be able to make more money. For instance, a principal, who usually holds a master’s degree, earns a national average of $78,181 annually. On the other hand, preschool instructors without an advanced degree, make an average of $40,020.

Even when early childhood education specialists are not interested in administration, holding advanced degrees could increase their chances of landing well-paying jobs.

Admission Requirements for a Master’s in Early Childhood Education

Though each institution has its own specific admission requirements for a master’s in early childhood education, generally speaking, you should expect to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Degree and CGPA: Applicants typically must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Many programs seek candidates with a minimum cumulative GPA (CGPA) of around 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Official transcript: Candidates must submit an official transcript from their undergraduate institution. This transcript will display the courses taken and grades achieved, which helps admissions committees evaluate an applicant’s scholarly potential.
  • Essay or writing sample: Some programs may ask for an essay or writing sample. This is to assess an applicant’s critical thinking, writing skills, and suitability for a graduate program in early childhood education.
  • Statement of purpose: A well-crafted statement of purpose should articulate the applicant’s motivations for pursuing a master’s in early childhood education, their professional goals, and how the program aligns with their aspirations.
  • Letters of recommendation: Some institutes require prospective students to submit two to three letters of recommendation. These letters should preferably come from academic advisors or professional supervisors who can attest to the candidate’s abilities and qualifications.
  • Admission interview: Some institutions conduct admission interviews as part of their selection process. The interview can gauge an applicant’s commitment and compatibility with the program’s values and objectives.
Woman holding a letter flashcard to her kindergarten class

Best Accredited Master’s In Early Childhood Education Degree Programs

Now you’re wondering which programs you should apply for. Of course, you’d want to go only for the best. This is why we have created a list of three notable institutions offering accredited master’s in early childhood education degree programs.

Each of these programs offers a unique set of courses and experiences designed to prepare graduates for various roles in the field.

Other Rankings

Career Outlook for Early Childhood Education degree at Northern Arizona University

Cost of Degree: $11,946
Expenses: $16,928
Starting Salary: $45,541
Salary after 4 years: $49,453
Cost Recoup Time: 7 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

Northern Arizona University

  • Estimated cost per credit: $610
  • Accreditation: National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • Required credits to graduate: 30-37 credits

Northern Arizona University offers a master of education (MEd) in early childhood education. The curriculum focuses on the developmental needs of young children and early childhood educational practices. This program is ideal for those wishing to advance their skills in working with young children from birth through age eight.

Through comprehensive coursework, students engage with subjects including childhood literacy, educational research, and curriculum development. These subjects are designed to equip them with the skills needed to enhance their teaching strategies.

Northern Arizona University’s Online Degrees

BAS in Applied Science
Degree Concentrations
  • Administration
  • Emergency Management
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Public Administration
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Bachelor of Science in Education in Career and Technical Education
Degree Concentrations
  • Business and Marketing
  • Education and Training
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Health Careers
  • Industrial and Emerging Technologies
  • Occupational
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Dental Hygiene
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Computer Information Technology
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Health Sciences
Degree Concentrations
  • Diagnostic Medical Imaging and Therapy
  • General Allied Health
  • Medical Assisting
  • Paramedic Care
  • Physical Therapist Assisting
  • Respiratory Care
  • Surgical Technology
  • Public Health
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS/BA in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Degree Concentrations
  • Communication General
  • Organizational Communication
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BBA in Business Administration
Degree Concentrations
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business
  • Global Business
  • Human Resource Management
  • Logistics and Supply Chain Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
Degree Concentrations
  • Administration
  • Early Childhood
  • Technology Management
  • Humanities
  • Public Administration
  • Technology Management
  • University Studies
  • Emergency Management
  • Industrial Leadership
  • Technology Management
  • Justice Studies: Intelligence Studies
  • Criminal Justice Administration
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Psychology
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS/BA in Management
Degree Concentrations
  • Health Care
  • Entrepreneurship and Business Development
  • Human Resource
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Nursing
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BS in Parks and Recreation Management
Degree Concentrations
  • Community
  • Commercial and Tourism
  • Outdoor Education and Leadership
  • Park Protection
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BA in Public Administration
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
BSW in Social Work
  • Required Credits: 120
  • Completion Time: None Reported
  • Format: Online
Other Rankings

Career Outlook for Early Childhood Education degree at University of Dayton

Cost of Degree: $18,590
Expenses: $18,140
Starting Salary: $61,918
Salary after 4 years: $67,511
Cost Recoup Time: 7 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

University of Dayton

  • Estimated cost per credit: $1,405
  • Accreditation: Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • Required credits to graduate: 30 credits

The University of Dayton’s Master of Science in Education (MSE) in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy is designed to prepare graduates for leadership roles in the early childhood field. The program takes a comprehensive approach, focusing on the skills needed for effective advocacy and leadership within early childhood education settings.

Courses cover various topics, such as education law, policy development, and program administration. The program typically spans two years and is designed to provide students with the proficiencies needed to assume leadership positions and shape the future of early childhood education policy and practice.

Woman coloring a sheet of paper with her young student

Career Outlook for Early Childhood Education degree at Worcester State University

Cost of Degree: $6,093
Expenses: $16,313
Starting Salary: $53,505
Salary after 4 years: $58,102
Cost Recoup Time: 5 years
Paid back at 15% of annual salary

Worcester State University

  • Estimated cost per credit: $365
  • Accreditation: Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Required credits to graduate: 34-39 credits

Worcester State University’s master’s in early childhood education program is structured to impart advanced knowledge and methods to educators that support the learning and development of young children. The program can be attended on a part-time or full-time basis, giving students flexibility in their studies.

With a curriculum that includes instruction in special education, literacy, and curriculum planning, students gain a well-rounded education impactful in the classroom. Graduates are prepared to fill roles as educators, curriculum specialists, or lead teachers in early childhood settings, supported by a solid foundation in educational theory and practical application.

Related Questions

Is a Master’s in Education the Same as a Master’s in Teaching?

They aren’t the same. A master’s in education typically encompasses a broader understanding of educational practices, including leadership, policy, and research. In contrast, a master’s in teaching is more focused on classroom teaching techniques and pedagogy.

How to Become an Early Childhood Education Teacher?

To qualify as an early childhood education teacher, an individual must obtain a relevant degree, typically a bachelor’s in education or early childhood education. Subsequently, they need to secure a teaching license specific to their state’s requirements.

How Much Do Master’s in Early Childhood Education Graduates Earn?

Earning potential is enhanced with a master’s degree in early childhood education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those holding a master’s degree in this field can earn up to 43% more than their counterparts with a bachelor’s degree, particularly in roles like preschool and kindergarten teaching.

Conclusion

Graduates with a master’s in early childhood education possess advanced skills to foster young learners’ development. They can pursue careers in curriculum design, educational policy advocacy, and leadership roles, enabling them to make significant contributions to the field of education.

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