Early Childhood Education Jobs in Montana

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If Montana Governor Steve Bullock has his way, Montana’s early childhood system will do an about-face, increasing opportunities for both early learners and the professionals who teach and care for them.

As of 2017, Montana was just one of six states with no state-funded pre-k programs. That same year, the $6 million STARS Preschool pilot program was introduced, providing early childhood education to children at 18 locations throughout Montana. Data from these programs looking at a number of different metrics designed to evaluate school readiness showed an improvement of 21 percent.

While the state legislature has yet to approve additional funding for preschool programs in Montana, both aspiring and practicing early childhood educators here are confident that Bullock’s continued commitment to establishing high-quality early learning programs in the state will result in increased professional opportunities in the coming years.

Montana Salary Rankings

#26

in the US for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare

#33

in the US for Childcare Workers

#31

in the US for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

#35

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

#31

in the US for Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

Early Childhood Jobs in Montana

Living in Montana is as much about lifestyle as it is about making money, and it’s hard to beat life in a place that has so much to offer… from the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Yellowstone National Park, it’s a land touched by the sublime. So, there’s plenty to do after class for teachers, a bonus that draws many people to the state. The state is expected to continue drawing more families with more kids in the coming years, creating more opportunities for early childhood educators in the state.

Occupation Total Employed Median Annual Salary % of US Median
Childcare Workers 2,700 $22,380 eks91%
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 910 $31,160 eks91%
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 1,240 $38,210 eks77%
Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education 500 $52,730 check110%
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 300 $53,840 eks85%
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare 130 $40,570 eks75%
eks = Salary below nat’l. avg.     check = Salary above nat’l. avg.

In Montana, salaries within the sphere of early childhood education reflect the low cost of living in the state. On the whole, kindergarten teachers, both in and outside the realm of special education, are among the best compensated in the state. But workers in almost every category can look forward to an increase in openings in the coming decade, with school social workers, for instance, expected to increase in number by more than 13 percent.

Childcare Workers – There are 2,700 childcare workers in Montana with an average annual salary of $22,380. That number is expected in increase by more than 8 percent over the next seven years.

Child, Family, and School Social Workers – There are 1,240 workers in this field in Montana today, a number expected to increase to 1,620 by 2026, a more than 13 percent increase. They make an average of $38,210 a year.

Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education – Fewer than 500 kindergarten teachers are employed in Montana, only 490 throughout the state, with an average salary of $52,730.

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education – There are 910 teachers working at the preschool level here, with an average annual salary of $31,160. That number is expected to increase by almost 10 percent in the coming years.

Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School – 300 teachers fill these positions in Montana, with an average annual salary of $53,840.

Special Education Teachers, Preschool and Childcare – No data was available for this category.

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare – There are only 130 preschool level childcare education administrators in the state, with an average salary of $40,570. That number is expected to increase by around 5 percent by 2026, however.

City-Level Job Stats

In a rural state with only one city breaking the 100,000 mark in terms of population, jobs are widely scattered and salary levels are extremely localized. There’s only one position—preschool teachers in Great Falls—that has more than 100 individuals employed in a single demographic region, so salary estimates do not have a great deal of data to back them up. Instead, it’s safe to assume that cities themselves will have the highest salary levels in general in all positions.

Preschool Teachers

  • Billings, MT – 90 teachers with a median annual salary of $28,730
  • Great Falls, MT – 130 teachers with a median annual salary of $19,870
  • Missoula, MT – 100 teachers with a median annual salary of $27,480

Kindergarten Teachers      

  • Billings, MT – 90 teachers with a median annual salary of $53,840
  • Great Falls, MT – 50 teachers with a median annual salary of $61,770
  • Missoula, MT – 50 teachers with a median annual salary of $49,940

Special Education Teachers – Kindergarten and Elementary School

  • Billings, MT – 70 teachers with a median annual salary of $53,110
  • Missoula, MT – 40 teachers with a median annual salary of $50,100

Education Administrators – Preschool and Childcare

  • Missoula, MT – 30 administrators with a median annual salary of $35,950

 

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_mt.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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