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2022 Early Childhood Education Degree Guide

Rapid Growth in Early Childhood Education Degrees Awarded

#34 Most Popular Major
31k Degrees Awarded
24.2% Increase in Graduates

Early Childhood Education was the 34th most popular major in the 2019-2020 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 31,017 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 7,495 over the prior year, a growth of 24.2%.

The United States has 1,017 different schools where you can get a degree in early childhood education. Our 2022 Best Early Childhood Education Schools ranking analyzes 616 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for early childhood education students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of child development programs later in this article.

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Early Childhood Education

Teaching others how to do something is a required skill for child development majors. Talking to others to convey information effectively and selecting and using training instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things are all required skills for careers related to this major.

Prior Education for a Child development Program

early childhood education degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. Specific child development careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Early Childhood Education Degrees

There are many different child development degree levels. You can spend many years getting as high as a in early childhood education to something that takes less time like a . Depending on the early childhood education degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to child development, with approximately 46.4% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to child development tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 47.7%
High School Diploma 14.8%
Master’s Degree 13.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 9.5%
Some College Courses 6.2%

About 68.6% of workers in careers related to child development obtain at least bachelor's degrees. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in early childhood education have received.


The education level required is different depending on the child development career you are seeking.

Career Opportunities for Child development Majors

Average Number of Jobs
46.4k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
10% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Solid Growth Projected for Child development Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your child development degree? Early Childhood Education careers are expected to grow 9.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to early childhood education.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Preschool Teachers 528,600 10.5%
Kindergarten Teachers 166,700 8.0%

How Much Money Do People With a Child development Degree Make?

As you might expect, salaries for child development graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

High Paying Careers for Child development Majors

Salaries for early childhood education graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers child development grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Kindergarten Teachers $58,370
Preschool Teachers $34,410

Getting Your Early Childhood Education Degree

With over 1,835 different child development degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased child development school rankings to help you with this.

Early Childhood Education is one of 11 different types of Teacher Education Grade Specific programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Elementary Education 40,622
Secondary Education 9,530
Teacher Education 8,205
Teacher Development & Methodology 5,386
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education & Teaching 3,484

View All Child development Related Majors >


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