Early Childhood Education Jobs in Tennessee

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Tennessee, like many of its Southern neighbors, doesn’t enjoy a position as a national leader in terms of the salaries people earn. But what sets Tennessee apart from many other states in the South and around the country is its commitment to improving teacher pay, as evidenced by the state’s record investments in public education and teacher salaries. In fact, in the past several years, Tennessee has invested more than $300 million toward increasing educator salaries.

Tennessee Salary Rankings

#40

in the US for Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

#38

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

#22

in the US for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

#45

in the US for Childcare Workers

#20

in the US for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare

Early Childhood Jobs in Tennessee

At $52,350 annually, Tennessee’s special ed kindergarten and elementary school teachers top the list for professionals working within the sphere of early childhood education. But here in Tennessee, they’re not lonely at the top. At about $50,000 a year, average salaries for both kindergarten teachers and education administrators in preschool and childcare settings aren’t far behind.

Occupation Total Employed Median Annual Salary % of US Median
Childcare Workers 9,660 $21,270 eks86%
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 6,160 $32,630 eks95%
Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education 3,460 $50,160 eks86%
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 5,590 $41,830 eks84%
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 4,180 $52,350 eks83%
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare 860 $50,990 eks94%
eks = Salary below nat’l. avg.     check = Salary above nat’l. avg.

Childcare Workers – Tennessee is home to 9,660 childcare workers who earn an average salary of $21,270. The number of childcare workers in Tennessee is projected to increase by 7.1% through 2026.

Child, Family, and School Social Workers – Tennessee’s 5,590 child, family, and school social workers earn, on average, $41,830. Employment among Tennessee’s child, family, and school social workers is expected to rise by 11.5% through 2026.

Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education – There are 3,460 kindergarten teachers working in Tennessee earning an average salary of $50,160. In Tennessee, jobs for kindergarten teachers are projected to increase by 9.1% through 2026 – that’s higher than the national projected growth rate of 7%.

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education – Tennessee is home to 6,160 preschool teachers – that’s about twice the number of kindergarten teachers here. These professionals earn an average salary of $32,630, just slightly below the national average of $34,410, but certainly competitive within the region. Preschool teacher jobs in Tennessee are projected to rise by 9.1% through 2026.

Special Education Teachers – Kindergarten and Elementary School – There are 4,180 special education teachers in kindergarten and elementary school settings employed in Tennessee, and these professionals earn $52,350 on average. The number of special education teachers at the kindergarten and elementary school levels in Tennessee should rise by 8.8% through 2026, which is slightly higher than the national projected growth rate of 8% for this occupation.

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare – Tennessee’s 860 education administrators in preschool and childcare settings earn an average salary of $50,990. Jobs for preschool administrators in Tennessee are projected to increase by 8.5% through 2026.

Special Education Teachers, Preschool – Tennessee’s 260 special education teachers in preschool settings earn an average salary of $48,000. In Tennessee, preschool special education teacher jobs are projected to increase by 12.5% through 2026 – much higher than the national projected growth rate of 8% for this profession.

City-Level Job Stats

While many of the salaries for preschool teachers and others working within the field of early childhood education throughout Tennessee’s metro areas are quite consistent, a few leaders do stand out. For example, average salaries in the Memphis area come out on top in nearly all early childhood education job classifications, often topping other metro areas by as much as $10,000.

Preschool Teachers

  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin – 2,400 licensed teachers with an average salary of $30,960
  • Memphis, TN-MS-AR – 1,260 licensed teachers with an average salary of $32,810
  • Knoxville – 810 licensed teachers with an average salary of $30,510
  • Chattanooga, TN-GA – 340 licensed teachers with an average salary of $29,360
  • Clarksville, TN-KY –average salary of $30,280
  • Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA – 200 licensed teachers with an average salary of $31,630
  • Johnson City – 160 licensed teachers with an average salary of $36,450
  • Jackson – 120 licensed teachers with an average salary of $33,060
  • Cleveland – 120 licensed teachers with an average salary of $27,150

Kindergarten Teachers

  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin – 1,080 licensed teachers with an average salary of $50,980
  • Memphis, TN-MS-AR – 620 licensed teachers with an average salary of $55,180
  • Knoxville – 600 licensed teachers with an average salary of $50,060
  • Chattanooga, TN-GA – 80 licensed teachers with an average salary of $48,000
  • Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA – 140 licensed teachers with an average salary of $50,980
  • Johnson City – 100 licensed teachers with an average salary of $45,770
  • Jackson – 100 licensed teachers with an average salary of $47,460
  • Cleveland – 60 licensed teachers with an average salary of $49,750

Special Education Teachers – Preschool

  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin – 150 licensed teachers with an average salary of $46,990

Special Education Teachers – Kindergarten and Elementary School

  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin – 1,030 licensed teachers with an average salary of $53,330
  • Memphis, TN-MS-AR – 1,570 licensed teachers with an average salary of $56,390
  • Knoxville – 460 licensed teachers with an average salary of $50,870
  • Chattanooga, TN-GA – 280 licensed teachers with an average salary of $50,580
  • Clarksville, TN-KY –average salary of $51,560
  • Kingsport-Bristol, TN-VA – 160 licensed teachers with an average salary of $48,140
  • Jackson – 100 licensed teachers with an average salary of $46,840

Education Administrators – Preschool and Childcare

  • Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin – 230 administrators with an average salary of $49,190
  • Memphis, TN-MS-AR – 200 administrators with an average salary of $57,340
  • Knoxville – 190 administrators with an average salary of $45,750
  • Clarksville, TN-KY – 70 administrators with an average salary of $43,560

 

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [salary data accessed April 2019] https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tn.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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