Preschool Teacher, Public School

License required by 50 states

2nd most burdensome licensing requirements.

1st most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

Preschool teachers instruct children (normally up to five years of age) in activities designed to promote social, physical and intellectual growth needed for primary school in preschools, day care centers or other child development facilities. This report looks at requirements for teachers working in public preschools only.

Forty-nine states and D.C. require licenses of preschool teachers working in public schools; Utah is the only state that does not. On average, these laws require $492 in fees, over five and a half years (2,050 days) of education and experience, and around two exams—the second most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied. Because almost every state licenses the occupation, it ranks as the most widely and onerously licensed.

License requirements vary, as do the ways in which states license the occupation. Missouri and Oregon require a bachelor’s degree for their preliminary teaching licenses and four years of teaching experience for their continuously renewable professional teaching licenses (2,920 days total). Ohio, on the other hand, has no preliminary license and requires only an associate’s degree (730 days) for its continuously renewable one. (See Appendix B under “Public School Teacher” for details on how the occupation was observed.) Similarly, exam requirements range from none in Montana to five in Tennessee. Fees are over $1,000 in Connecticut and Washington but under $200 in Missouri, Montana and South Dakota.

States With Licenses

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Oregon 50 $665 2920 4 years 4 years 2 0 18
2 Missouri 50 $191 2920 4 years 4 years 3 0 0
3 Connecticut 50 $1,095 2673 4 years 40 months 2 0 0
4 Tennessee 50 $775 2555 4 years 3 years 5 0 18
5 New York 50 $914 2555 4 years 3 years 4 0 0
6 South Carolina 50 $600 2555 4 years 3 years 3 0 18
7 New Mexico 50 $809 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
8 Pennsylvania 50 $528 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
9 Michigan 50 $445 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
10 Idaho 50 $350 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
11 Louisiana 50 $516 2555 4 years 3 years 3 0 0
12 Maryland 50 $436 2555 4 years 3 years 3 0 0
13 Georgia 50 $351 2555 4 years 3 years 3 0 0
14 Hawaii 50 $584 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
15 Rhode Island 50 $566 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
16 New Hampshire 50 $556 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
17 Wisconsin 50 $520 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
18 North Carolina 50 $260 2555 4 years 3 years 1 0 18
19 New Jersey 50 $535 2190 4 years 2 years 2 12 18
20 Vermont 50 $667 2555 4 years 3 years 1 0 0
21 Massachusetts 50 $405 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
22 Delaware 50 $296 2555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
23 Washington 50 $1,004 2190 4 years 2 years 2 0 0
24 West Virginia 50 $267 2190 4 years 2 years 2 0 18
25 Alaska 50 $730 2190 4 years 2 years 2 0 0
26 Indiana 50 $478 2190 4 years and 2 years 3 0 0
27 Iowa 50 $512 2190 4 years 2 years 2 0 0
28 Arizona 50 $437 2190 4 years 2 years 2 0 0
29 Kansas 50 $462 1825 4 years 1 years 2 0 0
30 California 50 $398 1825 4 years and 1 years 2 0 0
31 Kentucky 50 $358 1825 4 years and 1 years 2 0 0
32 Colorado 50 $280 1825 4 years and 1 years 1 0 0
33 Virginia 50 $630 1460 4 years 4 0 18
34 Florida 50 $555 1460 4 years 3 0 18
35 Alabama 50 $594 1460 4 years 4 0 0
36 Illinois 50 $660 1460 4 years 3 0 0
37 Texas 50 $375 1460 4 years 2 0 18
38 Nevada 50 $577 1460 4 years 3 0 0
39 D C 50 $484 1460 4 years 3 0 0
40 Mississippi 50 $442 1460 4 years 3 0 0
41 Minnesota 50 $343 1460 4 years 3 0 0
42 Arkansas 50 $421 1460 4 years 2 0 0
43 Maine 50 $396 1460 4 years 2 0 0
44 Nebraska 50 $351 1460 4 years 2 0 0
45 Oklahoma 50 $334 1460 4 years 2 0 0
46 Wyoming 50 $320 1460 4 years 1 0 0
47 South Dakota 50 $51 1460 4 years 2 0 0
48 Montana 50 $63 1460 4 years 0 0 0
49 North Dakota 50 $686 1276 2 years 18 months 3 0 0
50 Ohio 50 $305 730 2 years 1 0 0

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