Salary & Growth
Graduates in the Early Education and Child Development program can find employment working with infants, children, adolescents and their families in a variety of settings. Employers include day care centers, pre-schools, public and private schools. In Allegheny County, the average hourly mean pay rate is $9.89 per hour to an annual mean salary of $29,280.
The training and qualifications required of child care workers vary widely. Each state has its own licensing requirements that regulate caregiver training. These requirements range from less than a high school diploma, to a national Child Development Associate (CDA) credential, to community college courses or a college degree in child development or early childhood education. State requirements are generally higher for workers at child care centers than for family child care providers.
Child care workers in private settings who care for only a few children often are not regulated by states at all. Child care workers generally can obtain some form of employment with less than a high school diploma and little or no experience, but certain private firms and publicly funded programs have more demanding training and education requirements. Different public funding streams may set other education and professional development requirements2.
Child care workers held approximately 1.3 million jobs in 2008. Nearly 33% of child care workers were self-employed; most of these were family child care providers. Child day care services employed about 19% of all child care workers, and about 19% worked for private households. The remainder worked primarily in educational services; nursing and residential care facilities; amusement and recreation industries; civic and social organizations; and individual and family services. Some child care programs are for-profit centers, which may be affiliated with a local or national company. A very small percentage of private-industry establishments operate onsite child care centers for the children of their employees2.
Employment of preschool teachers is expected to grow by 19% from 2008–2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Continued emphasis on early childhood education is increasing the demand for preschool teachers. Some states are instituting programs to improve early childhood education, such as offering full day and universal preschool. These programs, along with projected higher enrollment growth for preschool age children, will create new jobs for preschool teachers.
However, this growth will be moderated by slower growth in the number of children aged 3 to 5, the age group most often enrolled in preschool programs. In addition, these workers are often assisted by child care workers and teachers assistants, and higher demand for these workers may temper growth for preschool teachers2.
1 2009 PA CareerLink
2 Occupational Handbook
3 Pennsylvania Career Guide 2010–2012