Early Childhood Education Jobs in Illinois

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Early childhood learning in Illinois is serious business, and the many initiatives and programs here are proof positive that the state is committed to providing the earliest learners with a strong educational foundation long before they step into a kindergarten classroom.

The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development oversees Illinois’ initiatives, which include, among others,the Early Learning Council responsible for coordinating and expanding programs for children ages birth to five, and ExceleRate Illinois, which works to make continuous quality improvement a priority for the state’s early learning providers.

These programs work together to produce an effective, well-coordinated, and robust early childhood education system that not only serves young learners and their families but also produces the ideal environment for exciting and varied professional opportunities for early childhood educators.

Illinois Salary Rankings

#9

in the US for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare

#16

in the US for Special Education Teachers, Preschool

#21

in the US for Childcare Workers

#15

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

#23

in the US for Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

#30

in the US for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

Early Childhood Jobs in Illinois

Because Illinois is so representative of the U.S. in terms of population demographics and other measure, it is sometimes looked at as a perfect microcosm for what’s going on in the rest of the country. The same holds true when it comes to salaries for the state’s early childhood educators.

Salaries for these professionals almost always fall somewhere in the middle, often aligning with the national average. Childcare workers, special education teachers at the kindergarten and elementary school levels, and special education teachers at the preschool level all enjoy average salaries that are very competitive when compared with the national average.

Occupation Total Employed Median Annual Salary % of US Median
Childcare Workers 17,440 $24,250 eks99%
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 24,120 $31,500 eks92%
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 3,910 $56,100 check113%
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 9,670 $63,740 check101%
Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education 4,630 $55,660 eks95%
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare 2,280 $45,680 eks85%
Special Education Teachers, Preschool 2,510 $57,560 eks93%
eks = Salary below nat’l. avg.     check = Salary above nat’l. avg.

Work within the sphere of early childhood education in Illinois and chances are you’ll earn close to the national average.  Some outliers in the broader sphere of ECE include child, family, and school social workers, whose average salary is about $6,000 more than the national average, and kindergarten and preschool teachers who earn about $3,000 less than their colleagues in much of the rest of the country.

Childcare Workers – The 17,440 childcare workers in Illinois earn an average salary of $24,250, which is right in line with the national average of $24,610. Employment among Illinois’ childcare workers is projected to increase by 3.9% through 2026.

Child, Family, and School Social Workers – Illinois’ 3,910 child, family and school social workers earn an average salary of $56,100 – that’s about $6,000 more than the national average. Jobs among Illinois’ child, family, and school social workers are projected to rise by 5.7% through 2026.

Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education – There are 4,630 kindergarten teachers working in Illinois earning an average salary of $55,660. In Illinois, jobs for kindergarten teachers are projected to increase by 3.9% through 2026.

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education – There are 24,120 preschool teachers employed in Illinois – more than five times the number of kindergarten teachers here. These professionals earn an average salary of $31,500, or about $3,000 less than the national average. Jobs among Illinois’ kindergarten teachers are projected to increase by 3.9% through 2026.

Special Education Teachers – Kindergarten and Elementary School – Illinois’ 9,670 special education teachers working in kindergarten and elementary school settings – that’s ten times the number of special ed teachers in preschool settings. These professionals earn an average salary of $63,740, which is just slightly above the national average of $63,110. Preschool teacher jobs in Illinois are expected to increase by 10.2% through 2026, right in line with the national projected growth rate of 10% for this occupation.

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare – There are 2,510 education administrators employed in preschool and childcare settings in Illinois. These professionals earn, on average, $57,560, which is about $4,000 more than the national average. Jobs among Illinois’ education administrators in preschool and childcare settings are projected to rise by 8.8% through 2026.

Special Education Teachers, Preschool – The 960 special education teachers employed in preschool settings earn an average of $57,280, which is just slightly less than the national average of $58,390. Employment of preschool level special education teachers in Illinois is projected to increase by 10.5% through 2026, which is higher than the national projected growth rate of 8% for these early childhood educators.

City-Level Job Stats

Bloomington’s average salary for kindergarten teachers—$81,570—ranks it third in the nation and blows all other metropolitan regions in the state out of the water by at least $20,000.

The Chicago-Elgin-Naperville metropolitan region also came out on top for its average salaries for education administrators in preschool and childcare settings, special ed preschool teachers, and special ed kindergarten and elementary teachers.

Preschool Teachers

  • Chicago-Elgin-Naperville, IL-IN-WI – 19,560 licensed teachers with an average salary of $31,600
  • St. Louis, MO-IL – 3,880 licensed teachers with an average salary of $30,370
  • Peoria – 490 licensed teachers with an average salary of $32,050
  • Rockford – 470 licensed teachers with an average salary of $33,470
  • Bloomington- 410 licensed teachers with an average salary of $29,000
  • Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL – 480 licensed teachers with an average salary of $27,930
  • Springfield – 650 licensed teachers with an average salary of $28,460
  • Champaign-Urbana – 490 licensed teachers with an average salary of $30,600
  • Kankakee – 230 licensed teachers with an average salary of $27,460
  • Danville – average salary of $35,170

Kindergarten Teachers

  • Chicago-Elgin-Naperville, IL-IN-WI – 3,430 licensed teachers with an average salary of $56,680
  • St. Louis, MO-IL – 540 licensed teachers with an average salary of $53,730
  • Peoria – 110 licensed teachers with an average salary of $58,720
  • Rockford – 100 licensed teachers with an average salary of $60,760
  • Bloomington – 50 licensed teachers with an average salary of $81,570
  • Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL – 140 licensed teachers with an average salary of $60,370
  • Springfield – 60 licensed teachers with an average salary of $50,850
  • Champaign-Urbana – average salary of $54,280
  • Cape Girardeau-Jackson, MO-IL – 40 licensed teachers with an average salary of $44,120

Special Education Teachers – Preschool

  • Chicago-Elgin-Naperville, IL-IN-WI – 940 licensed teachers with an average salary of $56,320
  • Louis, MO-IL –average salary of $33,510

Special Education Teachers – Kindergarten and Elementary School

  • Chicago-Elgin-Naperville, IL-IN-WI – 7,510 licensed teachers with an average salary of $66,640
  • St. Louis, MO-IL – 990 licensed teachers with an average salary of $55,790
  • Peoria – 140 licensed teachers with an average salary of $55,270
  • Rockford – 30 licensed teachers with an average salary of $52,510
  • Bloomington – 50 licensed teachers with an average salary of $54,280
  • Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL – 180 licensed teachers with an average salary of $57,810
  • Springfield – 60 licensed teachers with an average salary of $50,850
  • Champaign-Urbana – 90 licensed teachers with an average salary of $49,630
  • Kankakee – 80 licensed teachers with an average salary of $52,430

Education Administrators – Preschool and Childcare

  • Chicago-Elgin-Naperville, IL-IN-WI – 1,920 licensed teachers with an average salary of $62,440
  • St. Louis, MO-IL – 400 licensed teachers with an average salary of $47,330
  • Rockford – 30 licensed teachers with an average salary of $52,510
  • Bloomington – 50 licensed teachers with an average salary of $54,280
  • Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL – 50 licensed teachers with an average salary of $35,350
  • Springfield – average salary of $48,720
  • Champaign-Urbana – 60 licensed teachers with an average salary of $37,650

 

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_il.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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