What Can You Do With an Early Childhood Education Degree? ECE Jobs (2023)

An early childhood education degree, also known as an ECE degree, gives prospective educators many different opportunities to teach and cultivate important lessons catered toward the development of young children. These varying opportunities come in the form of different educational occupations, all meant for specialization in early childhood education. Individuals in these roles will be able to make a real difference in the foundational knowledge of countless children.

What Is Early Childhood Education?Top Early Childhood Education Degree Jobs

  1. Preschool Teacher
  2. Nanny
  3. Childcare Center Director
  4. Childcare Worker
  5. Special Education Teacher
  6. School Counselor or Psychologist

How to Become an Early Childhood Educator
Become an Early Childhood Education Specialist with GMercyU

What is Early Childhood Education?

The technical definition of early childhood education is the period of learning that takes place from birth to the age of eight. From the preschool level up to the end of early childhood, there are many different programs and approaches to curricula available. They can be federally funded, state-funded, or privately funded. All are set to help students reach certain cognitive standards and benchmarks that are helpful to children as their education continues.

Lessons learned during early childhood develop the fundamentals of learning and participating in a learning environment. Visit our own article that focuses on the question, “What is Early Childhood Education?”

Top Early Childhood Education Degree Jobs

Now that you know what an ECE degree entails, you might be wondering, “What can I do with an early childhood education degree?” Outlined below are some of the top early childhood education jobs. Take a look at the educational requirements, a summary of responsibilities, and the average salary for each occupation to see which is right for you.

(Video) What can I do with an Associates Degree in Early childhood Education?

Preschool Teacher

Average Salary:$29,780 per year
Educational Requirements:Associate’s degree in early childhood education or related field
Where you work:Daycare services, state, local, or private schools, private homes, religious institutions, grantmaking organizations, civic centers

What Does a Preschool Teacher Do?

Preschool teachers are tasked with administering the fundamental lessons associated with early childhood education that help bring their students up to developmental standards. Day-to-day activities in this position include working with young children both individually and in a group setting, tracking the progress of each student, organizing entertaining educational activities, and creating daily schedules. Early educators can use a child’s desire to play and be active as an advantage in the learning process

Traditional academic education is not all a preschool teacher must focus on. Some emotional and social education takes place in a preschool setting, as well. At this early stage, educators use team exercises to improve social skills, but also to teach lessons on inclusion and respect.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher

Average Salary:$57,980 per year
Educational Requirements:Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education
Where you work:Public and Private Elementary schools, Child Day Care Services, charter schools, religious-based schools

What Does a Kindergarten Teacher Do?

Many daily responsibilities of kindergarten and elementary school teachers mirror those of a preschool teacher. They put together lesson plans, daily schedules for class, and track the progress of their students. The emotional and social lessons continue to play a large role in this position. By this stage of education, some of these responsibilities become more complex as the students build upon the foundational knowledge they learned in preschool.


There are a few major differences between the two occupations. Preschool tends to take place in one classroom where the students learn, play, rest, and eat. They may move to a lunchroom or an outdoor play area, but kindergarten and elementary school students move around much more in during the day. These students frequently move to different classes for different lessons, head to the lunchroom to eat, go outside for recess, and participate in field trips. A high level of supervision is required of teachers at this stage of schooling. Also, teachers entering this occupation can expect to work at a private or public school. A very small percentage are employed by daycare services.


Average Salary:Minimum wage - $18 per hour
Educational Requirements:Vary based on state, employer, and workplace
Where you work:Private homes

What Does a Nanny Do?

Nannying is an occupation that varies greatly based on the employer. Every child and every family have different needs when it comes to childcare. In the simplest description, nannies must provide attentive, warm care to the children they are tasked with looking after. That may entail simple supervision and care in an employer’s private home, but nannies are often given additional responsibilities. For example, nannies may also be expected to bring children to and from events, do some food shopping for them, and even make sure the house remains clean and organized while the employers are indisposed.

One thing that sets this job apart from others on the list is that nannying can be a live-in position. Some employers need someone to live in their private home or on the property that can be available to take care of their children at any time. Live-in nannies may look after children from the moment they wake up to when they’re tucked in at night. Be sure to take into account the variance in responsibilities, salary, and educational requirements associated with nannying.

What’s the Difference Between a Babysitter and a Nanny?

The difference between a babysitter and a nanny is not always clear. Each position features similar daily duties and childcare expectation. The easiest way to differentiate the two is that nannying is more likely to be a regular, full-time position. Often, babysitters are informally used as needed for an agreed-upon hourly or flat rate. On the other hand, nannies are almost always regularly employed, full-time or part-time. They are formally paid at an agreed-upon hourly rate, and all necessary employment and tax paperwork must be taken care of. The more formal nature of nannying usually goes hand-in-hand with additional duties like cooking, shopping, or cleaning for employers.

Childcare Center Director

Average Salary:$47,940 per year
Educational Requirements:Bachelor’s degree in early childhood education
Where you work:Child daycare services, grantmaking organizations, civic centers, religiousinstitutions, and state, local, or private schools

(Video) Early Childhood Education in Canada | Requirements, PSWP, Job Options & more

What Does a Childcare Center Director Do?

Preschool and Childcare center directors work a step back from the classroom, and they focus on the bigger picture of managing an early childhood education center. Directors supervise teachers and other employees of the center. They hire new educators, influence daily curricula and academic standards for students, allocate funds, communicate with parents, and ensure that their institution is up to health and safety standards.

Some directors own the center that they direct while others are employed by the owner, or by the executive directors of an educational chain or franchise. If a director is employed by an outside entity, they must effectively communicate with that entity and run the center according to their policies and goals. If the owner is also the director, the center can be managed in whatever way they see fit. The position is much less hands-on with students and much more administrative.

Childcare Worker

Average Salary:$23,240 per year
Educational Requirements:High school diploma or equivalent
Where you work:Childcare centers, their own home, private homes

What Does a Childcare Worker Do?

Interestingly, childcare workers share many responsibilities with preschool teachers, but they exist outside of the traditional classroom. Childcare workers look after children, create schedules around education, play, and nourishment, introduce children to basic concepts, and help prepare them for the next level of education, usually kindergarten. They help children build social relationships with others, and they teach activities art or dance that may grab the interest of the children in their care. Sometimes childcare workers communicate with the teachers of children they work with to focus on specific lessons or skills that need improvement.

Childcare workers do not only work with children in preschool. Individuals in this occupation may also work with older children before and/or after school. In this situation, childcare workers would be helping with homework or other facets of the curriculum being taught during the school day. Some childcare workers are even employed over the summer to continue the education of participating children.

Special Education Teacher

Average Salary:$59,780 per year
Educational Requirements:Bachelor’s degree in special education or related field
Where you work:Public, private, charter, or religious-based schools

(Video) What can I do with a Bachelor's in Early Childhood Education?

What Does a Special Education Teacher Do?

Special education teachers work with students who have mental, emotional, physical, or learning disabilities. This profession is not relegated to early childhood education. Individuals with sufficient degrees and certifications in special education can work with students from preschool all the way through high school. These educators have quite an array of daily responsibilities and they can change based on the capabilities of the student they are assisting. Generally, special education teachers must assess and reassess their students’ skills, determine their educational needs, discuss students’ educational progress with parents and other school staff, and plan activities catered toward their students’ specific abilities. Special education teachers are pivotal in progressing their students’ education and guiding their transition from grade to grade.

The Individualized Educational Program (IEP) is the cornerstone of a special education teacher’s responsibilities. It’s the formalized plan discussed with parents, fellow teachers, and administrators that is updated and designed to effectively educate every individual special education student. Special education teachers must be able to create efficient and practical IEPs to be successful, no matter the age of their students.

School Counselor or Psychologist

Average Salary:$56,310 per year
Educational Requirements:Master’s degree in school counseling or related field
Where you work:Private, public, charter, and religious-based schools, healthcare and social assistance organizations, other educational services

What does a School Counselor Do?

If you’re wondering, “what can you do with an early childhood education degree besides teach?,” don’t worry, there are many job opportunities for you to work with children outside of the classroom. For example, school counselors help students with academic and social skills needed to succeed academically. These are skills not normally taught in a classroom environment, like how to study or manage time effectively. School counselors will meet with students individually or in small groups and identify where they could use some help. They try to identify issues that impede on the academic success of individual students and help remedy those issues. Usually, counselors will collaborate with students, teachers, and parents to solve these problems. Counselors are also tasked with teaching students and staff about sensitive issues like drug abuse and bullying.

This is another occupation that is not relegated to early childhood, and the responsibilities differ based on the age group being counseled. A school counselor hired by an elementary school would be working with younger children, and their needs are much different from those of their high school counterparts. This early age group would most likely learn about decision making, time management, and appropriate social behavior from their counselors.

How to Become an Early Childhood Educator

The first step to becoming an early childhood educator is to narrow down the occupations that interest you in the field. This decision will help set your academic goals since many of these jobs have different educational requirements. Previous experience, personal interest, desired workplace environment, and financial goals are all important to making decisions about the occupation you’d like to earn.

Based on the occupations above, it seems as though the most versatile degree is a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. It’s a requirement in several positions, and it will be beneficial to you when applying to any position that involves working with children. It may not be a requirement to be a preschool teacher, but it will set you apart from other applicants. That degree would have the same effect when competing for work as a nanny or as a childcare worker. If you’d like to have a more managerial role, like Day Care Center Director, or a more specialized role, such as a school counselor, a higher degree will be helpful. It may even be required. After you decide on the degree you’d like to pursue, the next step would be to look for higher education institutions that offer that degree program.

(Video) Early Childhood Educator Program

Become an Early Childhood Education Specialist with GMercyU

Gwynedd Mercy University has an exceptional degree program for students who would like to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Early Education. Our unique Early Childhood Education program gives students hands-on classroom experience in their very first semester with our Teacher Apprenticeship Program (TAP). GMercyU’s program also provides significant assistance when prospective early childhood educators begin looking for student teaching opportunities, and affiliated professors and administrators will help students earn their teaching certifications, as well. Take a look at our website for more information on ourEarly Education Program.



Is an ECE degree worth it? ›

Committing to an early childhood education career means you could help young learners reap long-term benefits, from success in elementary school to potential lifelong earnings. You may even be able to play a part in ensuring those children are less likely to have run-ins with the law as adults.

What is the highest paying job in early childhood education? ›

Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

As one of the highest paying jobs in early childhood education, special education teachers who work in the field of early childhood education have the potential to make nearly six figures per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

What can an early childhood educator do? ›

Main tasks. Develop education programs that promote the overall development of children. Lead children in various activities (art, music, physical activity, culture, etc.). Organize activities for school-aged children who use the before and after-school child care service.

What degree is best for early childhood education? ›

Top Five Early Childhood Education Degree Programs
  • PhD in Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Leadership and Advocacy. ...
  • Doctor of Education (EdD) with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. ...
  • EdS in Early Childhood Education. ...
  • MS in Early Childhood Studies. ...
  • BS in Early Childhood Studies.

Does ECE have high salary? ›

ECE Engineer salary in India ranges between ₹ 0.2 Lakhs to ₹ 18.6 Lakhs with an average annual salary of ₹ 2.8 Lakhs.

Is ECE high paying? ›

Tech ECE jobs salary is around INR 3 - 6 LPA. Freshers start their careers with an average pay of INR 4 LPA, and their salary gets hiked as they develop their technical skills and experience.

What are 3 different careers you could have in early childhood education? ›

Top Early Childhood Education Degree Jobs
  • Preschool Teacher. Average Salary: $29,780 per year. ...
  • Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher. Average Salary: $57,980 per year. ...
  • Nanny. Average Salary: Minimum wage - $18 per hour. ...
  • Childcare Center Director. ...
  • Childcare Worker. ...
  • Special Education Teacher. ...
  • School Counselor or Psychologist.

How much do ECE teachers get paid per hour? ›

Early Childhood Teacher Salaries / Wages in 2020
PositionSalary / Wage $Location
Qualified Early Childhood Teacher30 – 33 per hourAuckland
Early Childhood 2IC70,000 – 80,000Auckland
Fully Certificated / Registered ECE Teacher25 – 35 per hourAuckland
Early Childhood Teacher48,000 – 52,000Auckland
7 more rows

What is the highest paying daycare? ›

High Paying Daycare Jobs
  • Early Childhood Director. Salary range: $40,500-$66,000 per year. ...
  • Child Life Specialist. Salary range: $40,500-$54,000 per year. ...
  • Nursery School Teacher. Salary range: $36,500-$54,000 per year. ...
  • Early Childhood Specialist. ...
  • Nursery Manager. ...
  • Child Development Specialist. ...
  • Child Care Director. ...
  • Day Care Director.

How do early childhood educators make money? ›

How to Make More Money As a Preschool Teacher
  1. Tutor. ...
  2. Teach English Online. ...
  3. Provide Childcare to Families During Breaks. ...
  4. Work in Public Schools or Private Schools That Pay Well. ...
  5. Open a Teachers-Pay-Teachers (TpT) Store. ...
  6. Freelance as a Writer. ...
  7. Start an Online Business. ...
  8. Work Towards Owning a Preschool.

What masters can I do after early childhood education? ›

Several pathways from the degree provide postgraduate opportunities in the following fields: • Masters in Social Work • MSocSc (Social Policy) Specialist Pathway (Children and Young People) • MSc in Audiology • MA in Women's Studies • M.Sc. Speech and Language Therapy • M.Sc.

Do you make good early childhood teachers? ›

Patience, communication, and a love of young children are just a few of the qualities you'll need if you want to become an early childhood educator. Young children move a mile a minute, aren't always the best listeners and are learning just about everything as if it's brand new.

Can I teach with an early childhood Studies degree? ›

Graduates with an early childhood studies degree have gone on to become teachers, play specialists and family support workers, but the options don't end there.

Is early childhood in demand? ›

It is also a growing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for individuals working in early childhood education is strong, with employment of preschool teachers expected to grow 10 percent over the next eight years..

How long is a early childhood education diploma? ›

This programme is targeted at Pre-School Educators, SHS Certificate Holders, Teacher's Certificate 'A' holders, Social Workers and all those who desire to be trained in the education of children at the pre-school level.

Is ECE major hardest? ›

Students consider electrical engineering to be the toughest major mostly because of the abstract thinking involved. With majors like civil engineering, you can visually see the effect of what you're designing.

Does ECE have good future? ›

Opportunities for ECE students are also available in several companies (both Governmental and Non-Governmental) in various fields like designing, manufacturing, installing, operating and subsequent maintenance of the electronics systems and corresponding equipment.

Does ECE have future? ›

ECE engineer can get govt jobs with high probability. If you are good in communication and circuits ece is a good choice. The scope of ECE is very high. You can join IT industry, airlines, telecommunication, etc.

Is IT difficult to get IT job for ECE students? ›

Yes, ECE student can get job in IT sector. The most important thing is that IT is a branch of Engineering which deals with programming and is completely software side. Better learn programming as IT mainly deals with programming. If you are good at programming then you can easily get job in IT sector.

Is ECE a good career for girl? ›

There is nothing as that some particular branch or course can only be opt by some particular gender, it depends on your own interest, if you have an interest in electronics then definitely go for the Electronics Engineering, it's not like if it's good for girls or not, it only depends on your interest, as if you really ...

What is the major of Bachelor of early childhood education? ›

Description. Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (BECEd) is a four-year program that prepares its students for both the art and science of teaching children 0 – 8 years old. It provides a solid foundation on developmentally appropriate practices in effective early childhood care and education.

What are some examples of early childhood education? ›

Early Childhood Education Workplaces
  • Public Schools.
  • Private Schools.
  • Special Education.
  • Kindergarten Centers.
  • Daycare.
  • In-Home Nanny.

What state pays early childhood teachers the most? ›

Highest-Paid Preschool Teachers By State
RankStateAverage Preschool Teacher Salary
3New York$40,587
4New Mexico$38,878
46 more rows
Aug 2, 2022

Who are the highest paid teachers? ›

Highest-Paid Teachers By State
RankStateAverage Teacher Salary
3New York$57,919
46 more rows
Dec 4, 2022

What is the highest paid elementary teacher? ›

How Much Does an Elementary School Teacher Make? Elementary School Teachers made a median salary of $61,400 in 2021. The best-paid 25% made $77,920 that year, while the lowest-paid 25% made $48,450.

Where do childcare workers get paid the most? ›

Child care workers in Dartmouth make the most money. New Bedford and Falmouth are other high paying cities for child care workers. A child care worker will most commonly be promoted to cashier.
1. Washington.
Total Child Care Worker Jobs:1,681
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$58,000
3 more rows
Apr 6, 2021

What state pays daycare workers the most? ›

Geographic profile for Childcare Workers:
StateEmployment (1)Hourly mean wage
New York41,720$ 15.89
California28,240$ 17.02
Florida27,740$ 13.25
Georgia17,600$ 11.48
1 more row

Is childcare a good career choice? ›

There are so many perks to working in childcare, such as teaching the future leaders of tomorrow, supporting children's social and intellectual development, as well as working within an environment that is supportive and shares the same passion as you!

How to make 6 figures as a teacher? ›

How to make more money as a teacher
  1. Find opportunities to earn supplemental money at your school. ...
  2. Do research on your location's pay rates. ...
  3. Earn an advanced degree. ...
  4. Take advantage of professional development opportunities. ...
  5. Transition to an administrative career. ...
  6. Offer tutoring options.
Jan 19, 2023

How can I make a lot of money with an education degree? ›

20 Highest Paying Jobs in Education — What Degrees Make the Most Money?
  1. Superintendents. ...
  2. School Principals. ...
  3. Chief Academic Officers. ...
  4. Assistant Principal. ...
  5. Academic Deans or Post-secondary Education Administrators. ...
  6. High School Teachers. ...
  7. Elementary School Teachers. ...
  8. Middle School Teachers.

Does ECE have masters degree? ›

Master of Science in Electronics & Communication Engineering (M.S. ECE.)

What can I do after my diploma in early childhood education? ›

Spotlight pathways to successful careers
  1. Early childhood educator.
  2. Childcare worker/nanny.
  3. Kindergarten assistant.
  4. Family day care educator.
  5. Specialised education teacher.

What is the other name for early childhood education? ›

Early childhood education (ECE), also known as nursery education, is a branch of education theory that relates to the teaching of children (formally and informally) from birth up to the age of eight.

What are 5 skills you need as an early childhood educator? ›

5 Essential Skills for an Early Childhood Educator
  • Patience. Children go through different stages of learning. ...
  • Communication. Young children aren't always good at expressing themselves or effectively communicating—that's why ECE teachers need to be excellent communicators. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Organization. ...
  • Enthusiasm.

Is preschool teacher a stressful job? ›

Teachers and principals were twice as likely to report frequent job-related stress compared to those in other professions, according to a survey released by RAND Corp. in June. They were also more likely than others to report burnout and symptoms of depression.

What are some weaknesses in childcare? ›

The challenges that people face when working in childcare
  • Not enough time in the day to do everything.
  • Too much paperwork.
  • Not enough time spent with the children.
  • Difficulty recruiting staff who are qualified.
  • Not getting enough support.
  • Difficulties in communicating with parents.
Mar 11, 2016

Can you be a kindergarten teacher with an ECE degree? ›

Since there are no specific kindergarten teacher courses or degrees, public school kindergarten teachers need at least a bachelor's degree in education. In a bachelor's degree program, you can major in elementary or early childhood education.

What level is a degree in early childhood studies? ›

Graduate Practitioner Competencies

The graduate level practitioner will be offered to students studying the BA Early Childhood Studies course. Students will gain the level 6 recognition through undertaking an assessed placement alongside their course, that focuses on the topics learnt throughout the degree.

Can you teach kids without a degree? ›

All states require teachers to have a license to teach in the public school systems. A bachelor's degree is also considered a minimum requirement for full-time teachers in K-12 schools across the country.

What is the highest paying job in early childhood? ›

Early Childhood Special Education Teacher

As one of the highest paying jobs in early childhood education, special education teachers who work in the field of early childhood education have the potential to make nearly six figures per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Why should I study early childhood education? ›

It is a rewarding career as you get to make a difference

Early childhood educators not only shape young minds but also help them realise their true potential along the way. In short, they get to provide each child with a good start not only in education but also in life.

Is a child development degree worth it? ›

A degree in child development can lead to many opportunities to help children be healthy, happy, safe, and well-adjusted to the world around them. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics details incredible work opportunities within child development that are experiencing rapid growth.

Is diploma in childcare hard? ›

But those who become educators know that it is a highly challenging field. One needs patience, understanding, positive energy, and physical fitness to become a successful educator. In addition, there should be a passion for training and attend workshops and seminars to become more effective educators and teachers.

What does a diploma in early childhood education mean? ›

Overview About this course

Take the lead in providing meaningful childhood care to babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Gain the practical knowledge to become an educational leader or manager in childcare and ensure children receive quality inclusive care in their early years.

What is early childhood education as a course? ›

Early Childhood Education teaches future educators to inspire young learners and create a supportive environment that stimulates their curiosity and joy for learning. Typically, students learn how to teach children of different age groups, typically between the ages of 2 and 8 years old.

Is there a demand for ECE? ›

The employment outlook will be good for Early childhood educators and assistants (NOC 4214) in Ontario for the 2022-2024 period. The following factors contributed to this outlook: Employment growth will lead to several new positions. A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements.

What job will I get after ECE? ›

Core Jobs

Embedded Engineer or Network Support Engineer. The fields they will work in are circuit design, wireless communications, robotics, electronics, VLSI, Nanotechnology, Embedded Systems, Digital Electronics, Optical Communications, and Signal among others.

Is ECE a good career? ›

ECE is a thriving sector with multiple job opportunities across industries. With the advancements in technology and the introduction of new gadgets, the ECE degree holders can look forward to a deluge of career avenues, that too in the best companies.

Is ECE difficult study? ›

ECE is one of the hardest branches of designing yet it relies upon you whether it is hard or simple to study.

Is ECE in demand in USA? ›

EE/CE engineers are in high demand in the United States, which pays well. The salary of an EE/CE engineer averages around $105,000. EE/CE engineers can also get promoted faster than average and have higher opportunities for leadership roles.

Why is ECE better than IT? ›

ECE: Here, aspirants deal with Electronics with some part of communication. The subject uses the scientific knowledge of the behaviour and effects of electrons to develop devices, systems, or equipment that uses electricity. Future prospects wise, currently a ECE graduate is in more demand than IT.


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