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Career and Education Opportunities for Preschool Teachers in Chicago, Illinois

Preschool teachers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Chicago, Illinois area. There are currently 17,840 working preschool teachers in Illinois; this should grow 29% to about 22,940 working preschool teachers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for preschool teachers are expected to grow by about 18.9%. Preschool teachers generally instruct children (normally up to 5 years of age) in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility.

Preschool teachers earn approximately $12 hourly or $26,000 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $11 hourly or $23,870 yearly. Incomes for preschool teachers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Primary and Secondary School Education in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Primary and Secondary School Education category nationally. Jobs in this field include: group teacher, bilingual instructor, and day care teacher.

There are 180 schools of higher education in the Chicago area, including nineteen within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can get a degree to start your career as a preschool teacher. The most common level of education for preschool teachers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a preschool teacher if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Preschool Teacher

Preschool Teacher video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, preschool teachers instruct children (normally up to 5 years of age) in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschool, day care center, or other child development facility. They also may be required to hold State certification.

Preschool teachers establish and enforce rules for behavior, and methods for maintaining order. They also furnish a variety of materials and resources for children to explore, manipulate and use, both in learning activities and in imaginative play. Equally important, preschool teachers have to organize and label materials, and display students' activities in a manner appropriate for their ages and perceptual skills. They are often called upon to demonstrate activities to children. They are expected to attend professional meetings and teacher training workshops to maintain and improve professional competence. Finally, preschool teachers talk with other staff members to develop and schedule lessons promoting learning, following approved curricula.

Every day, preschool teachers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they speak clearly.

It is important for preschool teachers to collaborate with other teachers and administrators in the development and revision of preschool programs. They are often called upon to maintain accurate and complete student records as required by laws and administrative regulations. They also meet with other professionals to consider individual students' needs and progress. They are sometimes expected to decide on order, issue, and inventory classroom equipment and supplies. Somewhat less frequently, preschool teachers are also expected to furnish disabled students with assistive devices and assistance accessing facilities such as restrooms.

Preschool teachers sometimes are asked to perform administrative duties such as hall and cafeteria monitoring, and bus loading and unloading. and administer tests to help decide on children's developmental levels and potential. And finally, they sometimes have to attend staff meetings, and serve on committees as required.

Like many other jobs, preschool teachers must have strong self control in the face of challenging situations and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Elementary School Teacher. Teach pupils in public or private schools at the elementary level basic academic, social, and other formative skills.
  • High School Teacher. Instruct students in secondary public or private schools in one or more subjects at the secondary level, such as English, mathematics, or social studies. May be designated according to subject matter specialty, such as typing instructors, commercial teachers, or English teachers.
  • Kindergarten Teacher. Teach elemental natural and social science, personal hygiene, and literature to children from 4 to 6 years old. Promote physical, mental, and social development. May be required to hold State certification.
  • Middle School Teacher. Teach students in public or private schools in one or more subjects at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable State laws and regulations.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Preschool Teacher Training

Northeastern Illinois University - Chicago, IL

Northeastern Illinois University, 5500 N Saint Louis Ave, Chicago, IL 60625-4699. Northeastern Illinois University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,193 students and an admission rate of 71%. Northeastern Illinois University has a bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching.

Dominican University - River Forest, IL

Dominican University, 7900 W Division St, River Forest, IL 60305. Dominican University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,413 students and an admission rate of 85%. Dominican University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching.

Elmhurst College - Elmhurst, IL

Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126-3096. Elmhurst College is a small college located in Elmhurst, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,315 students and an admission rate of 69%. Elmhurst College has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching.

DePaul University - Chicago, IL

DePaul University, 55 E Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604. DePaul University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,554 students. DePaul University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated sixteen and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Chicago State University - Chicago, IL

Chicago State University, 9501 S. King Drive, Chicago, IL 60628-1598. Chicago State University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,820 students and an admission rate of 61%. Chicago State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated twelve and seven students respectively in 2008.

Purdue University-Calumet Campus - Hammond, IN

Purdue University-Calumet Campus, 2200 169th St, Hammond, IN 46323-2094. Purdue University-Calumet Campus is a medium sized university located in Hammond, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,325 students and an admission rate of 74%. Purdue University-Calumet Campus has less than one year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree programs in Child Care and Support Services Management which graduated one, seventeen, and two students respectively in 2008.

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has a one to two year program in Child Care and Support Services Management which graduated seven students in 2008.

College of Lake County - Grayslake, IL

College of Lake County, 19351 W Washington St., Grayslake, IL 60030-1198. College of Lake County is a large college located in Grayslake, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 16,359 students. College of Lake County has a less than one year program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated three students in 2008.

Roosevelt University - Chicago, IL

Roosevelt University, 430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605-1394. Roosevelt University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,708 students and an admission rate of 43%. Roosevelt University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching.

Saint Augustine College - Chicago, IL

Saint Augustine College, 1333-45 W Argyle, Chicago, IL 60640-3593. Saint Augustine College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,275 students. Saint Augustine College has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated twenty-eight, fifty-one, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest - Gary, IN

Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest, 1440 E 35th Ave, Gary, IN 46409-1499. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest is a medium sized college located in Gary, Indiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,701 students. Ivy Tech Community College-Northwest has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated two and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

National-Louis University - Chicago, IL

National-Louis University, 122 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60603. National-Louis University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,874 students and an admission rate of 56%. National-Louis University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and post-master's certificate programs in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated zero, forty-four, and one students respectively in 2008.

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College - Chicago, IL

City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College, 30 E Lake St, Chicago, IL 60601-2449. City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College is a medium sized college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 8,342 students. City Colleges of Chicago-Harold Washington College has an associate's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated one student in 2008.

Saint Xavier University - Chicago, IL

Saint Xavier University, 3700 W 103rd St, Chicago, IL 60655. Saint Xavier University is a medium sized university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,307 students and an admission rate of 71%. Saint Xavier University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching.

Columbia College Chicago - Chicago, IL

Columbia College Chicago, 600 South Michigan, Chicago, IL 60605-1996. Columbia College Chicago is a large college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 12,464 students. Columbia College Chicago has a bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated nine students in 2008.

Governors State University - University Park, IL

Governors State University, 1 University Pky, University Park, IL 60466-0975. Governors State University is a medium sized university located in University Park, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,457 students. Governors State University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching.

Kendall College - Chicago, IL

Kendall College, 900 N. North Branch Ave, Chicago, IL 60622. Kendall College is a small college located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,958 students and an admission rate of 99%. Kendall College has a bachelor's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated forty-three students in 2008.

Erikson Institute - Chicago, IL

Erikson Institute, 451 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60654-4510. Erikson Institute is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 293 students. Erikson Institute has a master's degree program in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated fifteen students in 2008.

Concordia University - River Forest, IL

Concordia University, 7400 Augusta, River Forest, IL 60305-1499. Concordia University is a small university located in River Forest, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,185 students and an admission rate of 58%. Concordia University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Early Childhood Education and Teaching which graduated one, zero, and zero students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.