Child care workers supervise children when their parents are unable to. Some work in schools or for civic organizations, but the majority work in day care centers. Those who work with school-age children typically supervise them before and after school. Those who work with infants and toddlers may watch children all day. Depending on the employer, applicants might be required to hold an associate's or bachelor's degree in early childhood education.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, child care workers in the United States earned an average annual salary of $21,320 as of May 2011. The pay range for 80 percent of all child care workers was between $16,220 and $29,510 per year. The median salary, or midway point, was $19,430 per year.
States and Cities:
The BLS reports that the average pay by states and districts for child care workers ranged from a high of $28,640 per year in the District of Columbia and a low of $17,780 in West Virginia. Daycare workers in the Northeast, Far West and Alaska earned the highest average incomes. The highest-paying metropolitan area in the country was the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City area of California, where child care workers averaged $29,930 per year.
Salary by Work Setting:
Nearly half of all child care workers in the United States were employed by day care services as of 2011, according to the BLS. Child care workers in this industry reported an average annual income of $19,560. Child care workers employed by civic and social organizations reported a similar average pay, at $19,600 a year. Those who worked at elementary and secondary schools reported a significantly higher average pay, at $23,910 per year.
The BLS expects employment among child care workers to increase by 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, higher than the projected growth rate of 14 percent across all occupations. Many jobs will become available due to current child care workers leaving the profession. As a result, the BLS expects that applicants will not have much trouble finding a job in the field, even those who do not have relevant postsecondary education.