Job Options for Early Childhood Education Master’s Grads

Between 2017 and 2018, there were more than 1.5 million 3- and 4-year-old children enrolled in pre-kindergarten programs in the United States. During that same time, the top 10 largest for-profit childcare organizations in the U.S had capacity for more than 730,000 children. These numbers represent opportunities for teachers and educators who have a heart for working with the very young.

Some positions in early childhood education settings are available only to those with a master’s degree. In addition to working directly with students in the classroom, there are other paths to follow. These include curriculum development, childcare/preschool administration, leadership in pre-kindergarten programs like Head Start, leadership in a private preschool or childcare center, and home-based educator in programs such as Early Head Start.

Jobs for Graduates with a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education

A master’s degree in early childhood education will prepare you to find success in a position that matches your specific passions and career goals.

  • Preschool teachers work with students, ages 3 to 5, in the classroom, preparing them for transition into kindergarten.
  • A childcare director manages and supervises an entire childcare center.
  • A director of curriculum development helps create and oversee the implementation of appropriate curriculum for children.
  • Administrators like principals and assistant principals lead a school, either public or private, and oversee the daily management of academic and operational business.
  • Head Start or Early Head Start, organizations which promote school readiness, hire graduates for teaching, supervisory, and administrative roles.
  • Some graduates with an M.Ed in Early Childhood Education specialize in working with children who have special needs or children who are English language learners.
  • Graduates can also go on to teach in post-secondary education, preparing others to work in the field of early childhood education.

The Financial Benefits of Having a Master’s Degree in Education

As a graduate, you may see a significant increase in your salary. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that even a starting salary for a teacher with a master’s degree is approximately 10% higher than a teacher with a bachelor’s degree.

The difference in compensation for classroom teachers and administrative roles is even greater. According to, preschool teachers in 2018 earned a mean annual wage of $34,410, but preschool and childcare center directors earned $47,940 as a median annual wage. Jobs in this category are expected to increase by 7% by 2028. Similar positions in individual and family services or in religious organizations had significantly higher mean annual wages.

Earning a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education Degree

Worcester State University offers a fully online program for those who wish to pursue the advanced degree of M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education.

Learn more about Worcester State University’s online M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education program.


Glassdoor: Child Care Director Salaries Jobs and Salary Info for a Master’s in Early Childhood Education Why Get a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education: Top 10 Reasons

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare Center/Program

Statista: Total Number of 3- and 4-Year-Old Children Enrolled in State Pre-Kindergarten Programs in the United States in 2019

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