Early Childhood Education Jobs in New Mexico

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It’s no secret that New Mexico has historically been near the bottom in the nation for its early education system, but what you may not know is that the Land of Enchantment has been making significant strides in recent years and that the state’s earliest learners and the professionals who care for and educate them are enjoying more opportunities than ever before.

For example, when former Governor Martinez took office in 2011, New Mexico ranked 44thin the nation for its early education system according to the Annie E. Casey Kid’s Count report with just 39% of all three- and four-year-olds attending preschool. By 2017, however, this number increased to 44%, allowing the state to jump to 29thplace in national rankings.

And in 2019, Governor Grisham signed a bill that would create a state agency devoted entirely to improving the state’s early childhood education system. Governor Grisham vows to work toward universal access to preschool here.

For aspiring and practicing early childhood educators, these developments translate into more varied professional opportunities—both now and in the coming years. This is something that’s sure to complement the state’s already-solid salaries, which are consistently comparable to the national average.

New Mexico Salary Rankings

#34

in the US for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare

#30

in the US for Special Education Teachers, Preschool

#17

in the US for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

#40

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

#28

in the US for Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

#37

in the US for Childcare Workers

Early Childhood Jobs in New Mexico

New Mexico is known as the land of enchantment, and with such beautiful scenery and natural wonders, it’s easy to see why. Salaries for preschool teachers and others working in the field of early childhood education here live up to expectations. Education administrators in preschool and childcare are likely to find work with pay right at the national average. Salaries in Santa Fe’s schools and organizations are particularly friendly toward special education teachers and preschool teachers.

New Mexico’s overall affordability and high quality-of-life make it a perfect location for a job that allows you about three months of time off to enjoy each year. The state is also far from being an intellectual backwater, boasting the highest proportion of PhDs of any state. With most positions in preschools and other settings set to expand over the coming decade, it’s a solid choice for early childhood educators.

Occupation Total Employed Median Annual Salary % of US Median
Childcare Workers 2,380 $21,940 eks89%
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 2,490 $34,100 eks99%
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 760 $51,050 eks81%
Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education 1,160 $53,780 eks92%
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 1,830 $41,460 eks83%
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare 300 $46,340 eks83%
Special Education Teachers, Preschool 210 $48,710 eks89%
eks = Salary below nat’l. avg.     check = Salary above nat’l. avg.

Rapid growth rates mark most jobs within the sphere of early childhood education in the Land of Enchantment. Social workers in child and family services are expected to expand by over 12 percent in the next seven years, for instance, and most other categories will experience growth of between 5 and 10 percent. With salaries that hover around the national average for preschool and kindergarten teachers, you can expect a solid salary in addition to plenty of great job opportunities for years to come.

Childcare Workers – There are 2,380 childcare workers in New Mexico, making an average of $21,940 a year. The field is expected to grow by more than 7 percent by 2026.

Child, Family, and School Social Workers – There are 1,830 social workers in schools and other settings working with children and families statewide. They make an average of $41,460. This job category boasts the highest growth of any in the field with more than 12 percent growth expected by 2026.

Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education – New Mexico has 1,160 kindergarten teachers working outside of special education. Their average salary is $53,780. Their numbers will grow by over 5 percent in the next 7 years.

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education – 2,490 preschool teachers work throughout New Mexico, making an average salary of $34,100 annually. That’s right about the national average for the position.

Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School – 760 teachers work in special education with kindergartners and elementary school students here. They make an average of $51,050 annually.

Special Education Teachers, Preschool and Childcare – There are only 210 preschool-level special education teachers in New Mexico, making an average of $48,710 a year.

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare – As a small state, New Mexico has only 300 early education administrators, but the field is growing—the state projects a more than 6 percent increase over the next 7 years. They make an average of $46,340 annually.

City-Level Job Stats

Albuquerque may boast the most job openings in the most categories related to early childhood education here, but it’s little Las Cruces that ranks first when it comes to salaries. Although the state as a whole offers average or slightly below average salaries for these positions, educators in Las Cruces can enjoy New Mexico’s low cost of living and other advantages while raking in salaries well above the national average.

Preschool Teachers

  • Albuquerque, NM – 1,220 teachers with a median annual salary of $30,140
  • Farmington, NM – 190 teachers with a median annual salary of $24,460
  • Las Cruces, NM – 280 teachers with a median annual salary of $24,430
  • Santa Fe, NM – 130 teachers with a median annual salary of $34,470

Kindergarten Teachers

  • Albuquerque, NM – 530 teachers with a median annual salary of $48,280
  • Farmington, NM – 40 teachers with a median annual salary of $46,600
  • Las Cruces, NM – 120 teachers with a median annual salary of $75,070
  • Santa Fe, NM – 60 teachers with a median annual salary of $53,840

Special Education Teachers – Kindergarten and Elementary School

  • Albuquerque, NM – 330 teachers with a median annual salary of $44,570
  • Las Cruces, NM – 190 administrators with a median annual salary of $91,310
  • Santa Fe, NM – 90 teachers with a median annual salary of $53,770

Education Administrators – Preschool and Childcare

  • Albuquerque, NM – 170 administrators with a median annual salary of $39,060

 

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_nm.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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