Early Childhood Education Jobs in Washington

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The Pacific Northwest is a good place to be if you’re an early childhood educator – and Washington State is a great place to put down roots. In addition to salaries that consistently exceed the national average, many of the professions in early childhood education in Washington are projected to see double-digit job growth in the coming years.

And it’s no wonder…the Evergreen State is just one of 15 states in the nation where growth in the child population has topped the national average. In fact, since 1990, the child population here has grown by 344,000, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation KIDS COUNT Data Book.

And while access to early childhood programs in Washington remains a persistent problem (just 43% of three- and four-year-olds here attend preschool), a number of cities are taking matters into their own hands and funding their own preschool programs. For example, the Seattle Preschool Program, funded by the state’s Families, Education, Preschool and Promise program levy, has increased the number of preschool spots in the city from 1,200 to 2,500.

Washington is ripe with opportunities for early childhood educators, so there may be no better time than now to begin taking advantage of everything this state has to offer!

Washington Salary Rankings

#12

in the US for Special Education Teachers, Preschool

#4

in the US for Childcare Workers

#13

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

#12

in the US for Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

#22

in the US for Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare

#21

in the US for Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education

Early Childhood Jobs in Washington

There are two themes among Washington State’s early childhood educators—competitive pay and exciting job prospects thanks to consistently strong job growth projections. Not only do most average salaries in this field exceed the national average, but in many occupations, job growth far outpaces what is being seen in other parts of the country. Even childcare workers in Washington earn considerably more than the national average for this profession, and are enjoying a job growth rate that is twice the national average.

Occupation Total Employed Median Annual Salary % of US Median
Childcare Workers 7,890 $29,430 check120%
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education 11,050 $32,960 eks96%
Child, Family, and School Social Workers 7,590 $51,990 check104%
Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education 7,870 $62,330 check107%
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School 4,570 $65,400 check104%
Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare 1,450 $50,170 eks93%
Special Education Teachers, Preschool 660 $63,400 check103%
eks = Salary below nat’l. avg.     check = Salary above nat’l. avg.

Childcare Workers – There are 7,890 childcare workers in Washington, and these professionals earn an average salary of $29,430, which is about $5,000 more than the national average. Job growth is projected at 14% through 2026—or double the national projected growth rate during the same timeframe.

Child, Family, and School Social Workers – There are 7,590 child, family, and school social workers employed in Washington. The projected job growth for these early childhood educators is 9.7% through 2026. The average salary for Washington’s child, family, and school social workers is $51,990, which is about $2,000 more than the state average for this occupation.

Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education – Washington’s 7,870 kindergarten teachers earn an average salary of $62,330, which is about $4,000 more than the national average for this profession. Job growth for the state’s kindergarten teachers is also impressive – employment is projected to increase 18.4% through 2026, which is more than double the projected growth rate for these professionals.

Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education – There are 11,050 preschool teachers employed in Washington State, and these early childhood educators earn an average salary of $32,960. Growth in this field is significant – it is projected that employment among Washington’s preschool teachers will increase by 17.2% through 2026 – much higher than the national projected growth rate of 10% for this profession.

Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School – Washington’s 4,570 special education teachers at the kindergarten and elementary school level earn an average salary of $65,400, which is about $2,000 more annually than the national average for these professionals. Growth in this field is projected at 18.4% through 2026 – that’s more than double the national projected growth rate for these teachers.

Education Administrators, Preschool and Childcare – There are 1,450 education administrators in preschool and childcare settings working in Washington. Job growth here in this profession is projected at 17.5% through 2026, which is much higher than the national projected growth rate of 11% for this occupation. Washington’s education administrators in preschool and childcare settings earn an average salary of $50,170.

Special Education Teachers, Preschool – There are 660 special education teachers working in Washington preschools, and these professionals earn an average salary of $63,400 – that’s about $5,000 more than the national average for this profession. Also impressive is the projected job growth rate of 18.3% through 2026, which is more than twice the pace of the 8% national projected growth rate in this profession.

City-Level Job Stats

The greater Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area comes out on top among Washington’s metro areas when it comes to early childhood educator salaries. For example, preschool teachers here earn an average of $34,690. Not surprisingly, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro area is the largest employer of early childhood education professionals and also boasts competitive salaries across the board.

Preschool Teachers

  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue – 6,800 licensed teachers with an average salary of $34,690
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA – 4,580 licensed teachers with an average salary of $30,970
  • Spokane – 690 licensed teachers with an average salary of $31,790
  • Olympia – 250 licensed teachers with an average salary of $28,720
  • Kennewick-Pasco-Richland – 340 licensed teachers with an average salary of $26,870
  • Yakima – 470 licensed teachers with an average salary of $31,980
  • Bremerton-Silverdale – 280 licensed teachers with an average salary of $31,590
  • Lewiston, ID-WA – 90 licensed teachers with an average salary of $27,230
  • Mount Vernon-Anacortes – 170 licensed teachers with an average salary of $25,470
  • Bellingham – 330 licensed teachers with an average salary of $31,980
  • Longview – 70 licensed teachers with an average salary of $27,430
  • Wenatchee – 220 licensed teachers with an average salary of $28,050

Kindergarten Teachers

  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue –average salary of $63,370
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA – 1,120 licensed teachers with an average salary of $74,460
  • Spokane – 820 licensed teachers with an average salary of $63,470
  • Olympia – 540 licensed teachers with an average salary of $62,280
  • Kennewick-Pasco-Richland – 560 licensed teachers with an average salary of $58,690
  • Yakima – 260 licensed teachers with an average salary of $56,580
  • Bremerton-Silverdale – 200 licensed teachers with an average salary of $67,950
  • Mount Vernon-Anacortes – 260 licensed teachers with an average salary of $64,250
  • Bellingham – 420 licensed teachers with an average salary of $64,310
  • Longview – 90 licensed teachers with an average salary of $59,380
  • Wenatchee– 330 licensed teachers with an average salary of $60,630

Special Education Teachers – Preschool

  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue – 320 licensed teachers with an average salary of $65,180
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA –average salary of $83,260
  • Olympia – 40 licensed teachers with an average salary of $62,720
  • Kennewick-Pasco-Richland – 30 licensed teachers with an average salary of $72,380
  • Yakima – 30 licensed teachers with an average salary of $61,490
  • Bremerton-Silverdale – 40 licensed teachers with an average salary of $63,880

Special Education Teachers – Kindergarten and Elementary School

  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue – 2,340 licensed teachers with an average salary of $67,030
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA – 1,040 licensed teachers with an average salary of $78,350
  • Spokane – 370 licensed teachers with an average salary of $63,900
  • Olympia – 170 licensed teachers with an average salary of $61,700
  • Kennewick-Pasco-Richland – 200 licensed teachers with an average salary of $60,750
  • Yakima – 200 licensed teachers with an average salary of $62,610
  • Bremerton-Silverdale – 200 licensed teachers with an average salary of $69,460
  • Bellingham – 130 licensed teachers with an average salary of $68,660
  • Longview – 110 licensed teachers with an average salary of $67,880
  • Wenatchee – 50 licensed teachers with an average salary of $60,570

Education Administrators – Preschool and Childcare

  • Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue – 850 licensed teachers with an average salary of $54,980
  • Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA – average salary of $45,390
  • Spokane – 60 licensed teachers with an average salary of $53,470
  • Olympia – 60 licensed teachers with an average salary of $35,150
  • Kennewick-Pasco-Richland –average salary of $45,860
  • Yakima –average salary of $50,630

 

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_wa.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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