Preschool Teacher, Public School

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.
License required by 50 states
2nd most burdensome licensing requirements
1st most widely and onerously licensed occupation

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.

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Oregon 50 $665.00 2,920 4 years 4 years 2 0 18
2 Missouri 50 $191.05 2,920 4 years 4 years 3 0 0
3 Connecticut 50 $1,095.00 2,673 4 years 40 months 2 0 0
4 Tennessee 50 $775.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 5 0 18
5 New York 50 $914.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 4 0 0
6 South Carolina 50 $600.25 2,555 4 years 3 years 3 0 18
7 New Mexico 50 $809.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
8 Pennsylvania 50 $528.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
9 Michigan 50 $445.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
10 Idaho 50 $349.75 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 18
11 Louisiana 50 $516.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 3 0 0
12 Maryland 50 $436.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 3 0 0
13 Georgia 50 $351.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 3 0 0
14 Hawaii 50 $584.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
15 Rhode Island 50 $566.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
16 New Hampshire 50 $556.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
17 Wisconsin 50 $520.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
18 North Carolina 50 $260.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 1 0 18
19 New Jersey 50 $535.45 2,190 4 years 2 years 2 12 18
20 Vermont 50 $666.50 2,555 4 years 3 years 1 0 0
21 Massachusetts 50 $405.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
22 Delaware 50 $296.00 2,555 4 years 3 years 2 0 0
23 Washington 50 $1,003.75 2,190 4 years 2 years 2 0 0
24 West Virginia 50 $267.25 2,190 4 years 2 years 2 0 18
25 Alaska 50 $730.00 2,190 4 years 2 years 2 0 0
26 Indiana 50 $478.00 2,190 4 years and 2 years - 3 0 0
27 Iowa 50 $512.00 2,190 4 years 2 years 2 0 0
28 Arizona 50 $437.00 2,190 4 years 2 years 2 0 0
29 Kansas 50 $462.00 1,825 4 years 1 years 2 0 0
30 California 50 $398.00 1,825 4 years and 1 years - 2 0 0
31 Kentucky 50 $358.00 1,825 4 years and 1 years - 2 0 0
32 Colorado 50 $279.50 1,825 4 years and 1 years - 1 0 0
33 Virginia 50 $630.00 1,460 4 years - 4 0 18
34 Florida 50 $555.00 1,460 4 years - 3 0 18
35 Alabama 50 $593.65 1,460 4 years - 4 0 0
36 Illinois 50 $660.00 1,460 4 years - 3 0 0
37 Texas 50 $374.75 1,460 4 years - 2 0 18
38 Nevada 50 $577.00 1,460 4 years - 3 0 0
39 D C 50 $484.00 1,460 4 years - 3 0 0
40 Mississippi 50 $442.00 1,460 4 years - 3 0 0
41 Minnesota 50 $343.20 1,460 4 years - 3 0 0
42 Arkansas 50 $420.75 1,460 4 years - 2 0 0
43 Maine 50 $396.00 1,460 4 years - 2 0 0
44 Nebraska 50 $351.00 1,460 4 years - 2 0 0
45 Oklahoma 50 $334.00 1,460 4 years - 2 0 0
46 Wyoming 50 $320.00 1,460 4 years - 1 0 0
47 South Dakota 50 $51.00 1,460 4 years - 2 0 0
48 Montana 50 $63.25 1,460 4 years - 0 0 0
49 North Dakota 50 $685.50 1,276 2 years 18 months 3 0 0
50 Ohio 50 $305.00 730 2 years - 1 0 0