Careers in Early Childhood Education

Graduates of Chemeketa's Early Childhood Education degree and certificate programs may find employment at Head-Start programs, child care centers, parent cooperative preschools, private preschools and kindergartens. Public schools hire graduates as teaching assistants and parents hire graduates as nannies. Some graduates also start their own in-home childcare and preschool programs.


Typically, the beginning wages of graduates are higher than for individuals in this field without degrees.

Starting wages in Oregon with -

  • Early Childhood Certificate: $7.50 to $10 per hour
  • Associate's Degree: $10 to $15 per hour

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics wage and salary jobs in the child care services industry are projected to grow about 15 percent over the 2008-18 period, compared with the 11 percent employment growth projected for all industries combined.

Work Settings and Roles

Public and Private Care and Education Programs

  • Teacher Aide/Assistant
  • School-Age Program Leader
  • Assistant Teacher
  • Teacher
  • Head/Lead Teacher
  • Director/Coordinator

Elementary Schools

  • Educational Assistant
  • Teacher
  • Resource Teacher or Specialist

Family Education Programs

  • Home Visitor
  • Family Support Specialist
  • Parent Educator

Private Homes

  • Family Child Care Provider
  • Nanny

Work Environment

Helping children grow, learn, and gain new skills can be very rewarding. Preschool teachers and child care workers often improve their own communication, learning, and other personal skills by working with children. The work is sometimes routine; however, new activities and challenges mark each day. Child care can be physically taxing, as workers constantly stand, walk, bend, stoop, and lift to attend to each child's interests and needs. Individuals working with children must be constantly alert, anticipate children's needs, and utilize appropriate and effective guidance techniques.

For more information, e-mail or call 503.399.6072.