Unveiling Salary Secrets: How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make?

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make?

In this post, we will answer the question, “How much do kindergarten teachers make?” Does your district/school pay fairly?

How much do kindergarten teachers make?

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make?

I taught the four year old class and kindergarten for almost eight years in Japan. When I decided to obtain my credential in America, I considered which route to go and salary partially impacted my decision.

With a growing emphasis on the importance of early childhood development, ensuring we have high quality educational staff should be our top priority.

What is the average kindergarten teacher annual salary? How much do they really make? What are the current employment projections? Are they paid fairly?

Prepare to be surprised as we uncover the realities of the salary landscape for these unsung heroes of education.

Whether you’re a prospective teacher or simply curious about the financial side of education, this eye-opening investigation will provide valuable data and insights into the compensation of kindergarten teachers. Get ready to discover the truth behind the numbers!

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make? Factors that Influence Kindergarten Teacher Salaries

A range of factors impact salaries for Kindergarten teachers, such as education, location, and years of service.

Factors that Influence Kindergarten Teacher Salaries

1. Level of Education

One of the primary factors in determining a kindergarten teacher salary is the level of education and qualifications held by the teacher.

While a bachelor’s degree is typically the minimum requirement, teachers with advanced degrees or specialized certifications may earn higher salaries.

2. Years of Service

The number of years of experience in the field can play a role in determining the salary for kindergarten teacher positions, as more experienced teachers often command higher pay.

Many school districts and companies pay according to a matrix. That means you move in two directions, length of service and and also number of educational credits. LAUSD’s pay scale moves like this.

3. Location: Rural vs. Cities

Furthermore, the location of the school can also affect salary, with teachers in urban areas generally earning a higher annual salary than those in rural areas.

The cost of living is also higher in cities, which means although pay is higher so are expenses.

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make? Average Salary for Kindergarten Teachers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2021, the median annual wage for kindergarten teachers was $61,350.

Average Salary for Kindergarten Teachers

However, it’s essential to note that this figure represents the midpoint, with some cities where kindergarten teachers earn more and others earning less. In other words, the average salary varies greatly by location.

The very highest paying 10% of kindergarten teacher salary was more than $88,590, while the lowest 10% of workers earned less than $38,290.

These figures provide a general overview of the earning potential for kindergarten teachers but keep in mind that salaries can vary considerably based on individual circumstances.

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make? Additional Factors That Can Impact Salaries

While education, experience, and location are primary factors that influence kindergarten teacher salaries, there are also other factors that can impact earning potential.

Additional factors that can impact salaries.

1. Club Facilitation or After School Program

For example, kindergarten teachers, who take on additional responsibilities such as coaching extracurricular activities or leading committees may be eligible for additional stipends or bonuses.

A kindergarten teacher who leads an after school program, for example, would likely receive a stipend. I earn a stipend by teaching Saturday School and Summer School. I also occasionally tutor for the after-school reclassification program. It all adds up.

2. Advanced Degrees

Additionally, some school districts offer kindergarten teacher salary incentives for teachers who pursue advanced degrees or specialized certifications.

It’s important for kindergarten teachers to explore these opportunities and consider how they can positively impact their overall compensation. Furthermore, changes in the education landscape, such as budget cuts or policy changes, can also have an impact on teacher salaries.

Staying informed about industry trends and potential changes can help teachers navigate these challenges and make informed decisions about their career paths.

Personally, I think teacher shortages and a renewed emphasis on early childhood development will promote kindergarten teacher jobs throughout the country.

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make AND Which companies pay kindergarten teachers the most?

According to Zippia.com:

Highest paying state: Hawaii

The Aloha State pays kindergarten teachers the most. The average base salary in Hawaii is $51,000.

Highest Paying City: Palo Alto, CA

The Bay Area city Palo Alto is the highest paying city. Palo Alto, CA, starts kindergarten teachers at $76,000 annually, according to data provided by the Palo Alto School District.

Highest Paying Private Company: Waldorf (New York)

Waldorf school in New York is the highest paying private company. The average base salary $61,000 according to Glassdoor.com.

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make? Salary Trend For Kindergarten Teachers

Many times salary increases in larger districts push smaller districts to increase pay. In that way, salaries fluctuate similarly. The LAUSD union just won a major salary increase, and I’ve noticed a similar trend among companies in nearby cities.

Salary Trend For Kindergarten Teachers

I recently met a kindergarten teacher who moved to LAUSD because of our pay increase. At least in Southern California, jobs for kindergarten teachers are plentiful. Positions are expected to continue to rise for a while.

If you are curious about your local school district’s kindergarten teacher salary, data is usually published online. Visit your local districts website, or search your district + “Teacher salary”. Teachers are considered “certificated” staff because of our credentials.

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make? Additional Benefits and Perks of Being a Kindergarten Teacher

While salary is an essential aspect of any job, it’s also crucial to consider the benefits and perks that come with being a kindergarten teacher.

Benefits & Perks of Being a Kindergarten Teacher

1. Benefits

Many school districts offer comprehensive benefits packages that include health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.

2. Summers

Additionally, teachers often enjoy a schedule that aligns with school holidays and summers off, providing valuable time for rest, relaxation, and (professional development). I loathe PD’s but they can be useful.

3. Job security

In addition, teacher jobs are generally secure. Teachers will always have a job.

4. Intrinsic rewards?

Furthermore, the intrinsic rewards of working with young children and making a positive impact on their lives can be immeasurable.

Kindergarten teachers have the opportunity to shape young minds, foster a love of learning, and make a lasting difference in the lives of their students.

We can’t live off intrinsic rewards, however I do find that while exhausting, I know I am doing great things in my student’s lives.

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make? Strategies for Negotiating a Higher Salary

Strategies for Negotiating a Higher Salary

Negotiating a higher salary as a kindergarten teacher requires careful preparation and strategic approach. It’s essential to research the salary ranges and averages for the specific region, state and school district in which you are seeking employment.

I’ve found it is easier to negotiate with private companies because public schools work on a matrix so they have less flexibility.

Understanding the market value for your qualifications and experience will provide a solid foundation for negotiation with job seekers.

Additionally, highlighting any unique skills, certifications, or experiences that set you apart from other candidates can strengthen your position.

It’s also crucial to demonstrate your commitment to ongoing professional development and a willingness to take on additional responsibilities that employers say may justify a higher base salary amount.

Lastly, practicing effective communication skills and articulating your value as an educator can help you make a compelling case for a higher salary during the negotiation process.

How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make? Resources for Finding Salary Information

Resources for Finding Salary Information

Finding accurate and up-to-date salary information is crucial when considering a career as a kindergarten teacher.

Fortunately, numerous resources are available to help educators navigate the salary landscape. Websites such as Teacher.org and Salary.com provide information on average salaries for teachers based on location, experience level, and qualifications.

Additionally, professional organizations such as the National Education Association (NEA) and local teacher unions can provide valuable insights into salary negotiations and industry standards.

It’s important to utilize these additional resources to gain a comprehensive understanding of the earning and job growth potential and compensation expectations for kindergarten teachers.

Conclusion: How Much Do Kindergarten Teachers Make?

Conclusion: Kindergarten Salaries

Kindergarten teachers are the unsung heroes of education, shaping young minds and setting the foundation for future success. While the salary landscape for these dedicated educators can vary based on various factors, it’s clear that their work is invaluable.

Factors such as education, experience, location, and additional jobs and responsibilities all play a role in determining the earning potential of kindergarten teachers.

Understanding these factors and utilizing resources to research salary ranges and negotiation strategies can help teachers navigate their careers and advocate for fair compensation.

As we unveil the salary secrets of kindergarten teachers, let us remember the immense value they bring to the lives of young children and the importance of recognizing their contributions.


I am an educator with almost 15 years of experience teaching in Japan, Hawaii, and in Los Angeles. My goal is to change education and the way we view literacy instruction in America.

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