Early Childhood Education Jobs in Colorado

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Colorado’s early childhood education efforts have come together in a meaningful way through Colorado Shines Brighter, a program aimed at analyzing and implementing changes to the state’s early childhood care and education options in an effort to improve the availability and quality of care.

Enhanced services, better transparency, and improved access—it’s all part of a larger effort to ensure that the state’s earliest learners have access to the best resources and opportunities. Colorado Shines Brighter is just one example of the outstanding system of checks and balances the state has in place for children from birth to age five and is part of the state’s shared vision of ensuring Colorado’s children are prepared to enter kindergarten.

A career in early childhood care and learning is your opportunity to be part of Colorado’s exciting early childhood education system and begin making a difference in the lives of Colorado’s youngest learners.

Colorado Salary Rankings

#6

in the US for Childcare Workers

#20

in the US for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

#17

in the US for Special Education Teachers, Preschool

#30

in the US for Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School

#16

in the US for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare

#41

in the US for Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

Early Childhood Jobs in Colorado

Salaries for early childhood educators in Colorado tend to be quite inconsistent, with 2018 statistics showing that while some job classifications come with salaries far above the national average, many fall short. In some areas of the state, like Boulder, salaries for early childhood education jobs are impressive, often surpassing national averages, while other areas of the state struggle to remain competitive with state and national averages.

Occupation Total Employed Median Annual Salary % of US Median
Childcare Workers 8,620 $28,700 check117%
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 8,700 $33,140 eks96%
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 6,700 $51,060 check103%
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 3,510 $54,500 eks86%
Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education 3,630 $50,020 eks86%
Special Education Teachers, Preschool 890 $56,830 eks92%
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare 910 $52,160 eks97%
eks = Salary below nat’l. avg.     check = Salary above nat’l. avg.

Childcare workers and child, family and school social workers in Colorado enjoy salaries above the national average. And while education administrator, preschool teacher, and special education teacher jobs in preschool settings come with salaries that are at or slightly below the national average, it’s the work they’re doing and the improved student outcomes that have come as a result that’s earning the state the attention it deserves.

Childcare Workers – The 8,620 childcare workers in Colorado earn an annual average salary of $28,700 – that’s about $4,000 more than the national average. The number of jobs for childcare workers in Colorado is projected to rise by 27.1% through 2026 – that’s nearly quadruple the projected national growth rate of 7% for this profession.

Child, Family, and School Social Workers – There are 6,700 child, family and school social workers in Colorado earning an average of $51,060, or about $2,000 more than the national average. The number of child, family, and school social workers is expected to increase by 22.9% through 2026 – much higher than the national growth rate of 16% during the same period.

Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education – Colorado’s 3,630 kindergarten teachers earn an annual average salary of $50,020. The number of jobs for kindergarten teacher’s in Colorado is projected to rise 21.1% through 2026 – more than triple the national projected growth rate of just 7% for these teaching professionals.

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education – There are 8,700 preschool teachers in Colorado – more than double the number of kindergarten teachers in the state. These jobs pay an annual average salary of $33,140, which is comparable to the national average. Preschool teacher employment in Colorado should increase by 33.4% through 2026 – that’s more than triple the national growth projection of 10% for this profession during the same period.

Special Education Teachers – Kindergarten and Elementary School – Special education teachers in Colorado’s kindergarten and elementary school settings earn an annual, average salary of $54,500. There are 3,510 dedicated teachers working in this position in Colorado – more than three times the number of special education teachers in preschool settings. The number of special education teachers in kindergarten and elementary school settings in Colorado is projected to rise 20.3% through 2026 – much higher than the national rate of growth of 8%.

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare –There are 910 education administrators working in preschool and childcare settings in Colorado. The annual average salary for these professionals is $52,160, just $1,000 less than the national average. Employment for administrators in Colorado’s preschools and childcare settings is projected to increase by 33.3% through 2026 – about triple the national demand of 11% for these professionals during this period.

Special Education Teachers, Preschool –Special education teacher jobs in preschool settings pay $56,830 on average. About 890 dedicated teachers hold jobs in this specialized role. The number of jobs for Colorado’s preschool special education teachers should increase by 21.6% through 2026 – or more than double the national projected growth rate of 8% for this profession.

City-Level Job Stats

You’ll find there’s considerable inconsistency in pay when looking at what ECE teachers, administrators and others are earning in different metro areas and regions throughout Colorado. For example, the average annual salary for kindergarten teachers in Pueblo is just $47,040, while in Boulder, it’s about $8,000 more, at $55,480. Similarly, special education teachers in kindergarten and elementary school settings in Colorado Springs earn $47,500 on average, while in Boulder, it’s $66,400 – about $19,000 more.

Preschool Teachers

  • Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO – 4,560 teachers earning an average of $33,550
  • Boulder, CO – 1,040 teachers earning an average of $35,840
  • Colorado Springs, CO – 1,000 teachers earning an average of $30,120
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, CO – 570 teachers earning an average of $31,310
  • Pueblo, CO – 90 teachers earning an average of $31,530
  • Grand Junction, CO – 40 teachers earning an average of $33,850

Kindergarten Teachers

  • Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO – 1,640 teachers earning an average of $54,370
  • Boulder, CO – 260 teachers earning an average of $55,480
  • Colorado Springs, CO – 450 teachers earning an average of $45,490
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, CO – 210 teachers earning an average of $51,040
  • Pueblo, CO – 110 teachers earning an average of $47,040

Special Education Teachers – Preschool

  • Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO – 420 teachers earning an average of $60,660
  • Colorado Springs, CO – 110 teachers earning an average of $48,290
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, CO – 130 teachers earning an average of $50,360

Special Education Teachers – Kindergarten and Elementary School

  • Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO – 1,760 teachers earning an average of $57,720
  • Boulder, CO – 230 teachers earning an average of $66,400
  • Colorado Springs, CO – 520 teachers earning an average of $47,500
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, CO – 220 teachers earning an average of $50,480
  • Pueblo, CO – 90 teachers earning an average of $49,210
  • Grand Junction, CO – 90 teachers earning an average of $55,920

Education Administrators – Preschool and Childcare

  • Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO – 510 administrators earning an average of $54,100
  • Boulder, CO – 110 administrators earning an average of $49,350
  • Colorado Springs, CO – 70 administrators earning an average of $53,200
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, CO – 70 administrators earning an average of $44,520

 

2018 Occupational Employment Statistics sourced from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) [salary data accessed April 2019] https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_co.htm#25-0000

BLS salary data represents state and MSA (Metropolitan Statistical Area) average and median earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

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