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Online Elementary Education Degree Programs

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What is an Online Elementary Education Degree Program?

An online elementary education degree program provides you with the necessary skills to teach children in the early stages of their education. These programs typically cover a range of grades, from kindergarten to 4th-7th grade. As a future teacher, you will learn how to manage a classroom effectively and teach fundamental subjects such as math and reading. In addition, you will develop an understanding of the diverse learning needs of children.

To gain practical experience, you will be required to participate in supervised fieldwork in an elementary school classroom. While some aspects of your program may be in-person, the majority of your coursework can be completed online. If you have a passion for nurturing young minds and guiding them towards success, pursuing an online elementary education degree could be the perfect path for you.


A typical elementary education degree program offers a comprehensive curriculum that includes both theoretical and practical aspects of teaching. This program covers a wide range of topics from educational psychology to innovative technologies that enhance the learning experience. Additionally, it equips you with practical teaching strategies that can help you effectively manage a classroom.

Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Education

This program provides a foundational understanding of teaching children, but it does not lead to a teaching license upon completion. Nonetheless, it could be a stepping stone towards pursuing advanced education in the field or exploring alternative career paths that require knowledge of teaching.

Course Examples:

B.A. in Elementary Ed (grades K through 6)

Establish a strong basis in the field of education by covering essential topics like learning theories and the impact of education. You will also study different types of learners and have the opportunity to develop and refine your teaching skills through hands-on practice.

Course Examples:

M.A. in Teaching, Elementary Ed

If you have a bachelor’s degree in a field outside of education, this path may be suitable for you. You will acquire the knowledge of the subject matter you will be teaching. Additionally, you will learn the essential instructional skills required to pursue a career in education.

Course Examples:

Undergraduate Programs in Elementary Education

To become a kindergarten or elementary school teacher in public schools, a minimum of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education is required. Private schools may have different requirements, but a B.A. degree is generally preferred. The elementary education B.A. program is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of teaching. The program starts by studying the history of teaching and progresses to exploring current issues in the field. Classroom management is an important aspect of the program, as students are taught how to create a structured and positive environment that fosters learning. The program also emphasizes student motivation and engagement, and guides students on how to effectively facilitate learning.

The curriculum of an elementary education B.A. program emphasizes instructional planning and teaching methods. You will learn various tools and techniques to effectively teach each subject, ranging from language arts to social studies. Additionally, you will gain skills in presenting information in a way that is understandable to a young audience. You will also learn how to facilitate student learning and intervene when students are experiencing difficulties.

Depending on the state, some may require you to specialize in a particular content area such as math or science. Alternatively, you may choose to specialize in a particular subject, such as special education or teaching English as a second language (ESL).

Student teaching is a crucial component of your elementary education degree program. During this phase, you will have the opportunity to practice and refine your classroom management skills, as well as learn effective methods for presenting information to students. You will be assigned a mentor teacher who will guide you and offer valuable feedback as you navigate the classroom environment.

Graduate Programs in Elementary Education

In certain states, obtaining a Master’s degree (M.A.) is a requirement to become a certified teacher. Typically, this comes after obtaining initial certification and gaining some experience teaching. At the Master’s level, you will have the opportunity to further develop your knowledge of elementary teaching and classroom management. Alternatively, you may choose to specialize in a new area of teaching. For instance, you could focus on reading, curriculum and instruction, or another subject of your interest.

Prospective educators may choose to pursue an M.A. in elementary education after completing a B.A. in a different field. If you decide to change your career path to education, you will first need to obtain your teaching licensure. Some M.A. programs are specifically designed for students with this goal in mind, where you will learn the fundamentals of teaching. However, graduate programs aimed at experienced educators may not cover these basics.

Participating in classroom practice is often a component of M.A. programs, regardless of whether or not you have prior teaching experience. If your goal is to obtain licensure, this could involve student teaching. Alternatively, you may participate in a practicum or internship.

What Do Elementary Education Online Degree Courses Look Like?

An elementary education program covers teaching theory and practical teaching skills. You will explore various teaching strategies for different subjects, including science and reading. Additionally, you may study topics such as professional ethics and working with students from diverse backgrounds, including those with learning differences.

Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment: The teacher's role involves three essential areas: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. These areas work together to establish a successful classroom. You will acquire the skills to create a curriculum that aligns with your district's standards. You will learn how to develop instructional strategies that cater to the needs of your students. Furthermore, you will explore different techniques for evaluating student learning outcomes.

Psychology for Educators: You As an educator, understanding how students learn, think, and develop is crucial. That's why a course on psychology is essential for teachers. This course covers concepts in psychology that help teachers understand their students better. You'll learn how to apply these theories to your teaching strategies, and you'll also discover how to work effectively with diverse learners.

Teaching Mathematics: In this course, you will acquire the necessary concepts and strategies for teaching math to elementary students. You will gain a deeper understanding of how math lessons are interconnected and how they contribute to a student's overall comprehension. Topics such as numeration, geometry, and logic will be covered. You will have the opportunity to create and practice different teaching models to enhance your teaching skills.

Teaching Diverse Populations: This course focuses on delivering equal access to education. You will study the many ways diversity can enrich your classroom – from the linguistic to the cultural. You’ll learn how to be culturally responsive and mindful of your own biases. And, you’ll learn instructional techniques for meeting diverse learning needs.

How Long Does It Take You to Earn a Degree in Elementary Education Degree Online?

Earning a B.A. in Elementary Ed typically requires a four-year commitment, while an M.A. program can take anywhere from 16 to 24 months to complete. The duration of these programs may vary depending on whether you choose to study part-time or full-time.

How Much Does an Elementary Education Degree Program Cost?

According to DataUSA, the median tuition fee for in-state students at public four-year schools is $6,601. On the other hand, do you know what the median tuition fee for out-of-state students at private and for-profit schools was? It was $28,345. Below, you can compare the tuition fees for several bachelor’s degree programs in Elementary Education:

Top Schools That Offer Elementary Education Degree Programs

You will find the DataUSA lists 1,228 institutions with Elementary Education and Teaching programs. From those schools, you can see students were awarded 39,745 degrees in 2017 (the most recent data). You will see the most common degree awarded in this field was a B.A.

School 2017 Degrees awarded 2019/20 Tuition (out of state unless *)
Western Governors University 1007 $6,670*
Grand Canyon University 642 $17,800*
Liberty University 536 $22,747*
University of Phoenix Arizona 473 $9,552*
University of Central Florida 434 $22,467
Northern Arizona University 347 $26,516
Illinois State University 303 $26,356
University of Northern Iowa 281 $21,222
Kansas State University 220 $26,316
University of Florida 213 $28,659

Choosing Your Accredited Elementary Education Degree Program

Each state has unique requirements for pursuing a teaching career and obtaining teacher certification. To ensure that you meet the educational requirements in your state, it is important to check with the appropriate authorities. For example, in Pennsylvania, you need to complete a teacher education program that is approved by the Department of Education.

Choosing an accredited elementary education degree program can also be beneficial. The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) accredits teacher education programs to ensure that they meet high-quality standards. This credential is designed to help aspiring teachers like you.

The CAEP accredits programs at the following levels:

  • B.A.
  • M.A.
  • PhD.
  • Post Baccalaureate
  • Other programs that may lead to your certification, licensure, or endorsement.

Top Salaries for Elementary School Teachers by State

In the table below, you can see the states with the highest average salaries for teachers. You will often need a B.A. for this career path.

State Employment Annual Mean Wage
New York 80,930 $80,540
California 157,240 $77,990
Connecticut 17,860 $77,900
Alaska 3,190 $77,030
District of Columbia 2,890 $76,950

What Can You Do with an Elementary Education Degree?

The latest data reveals that there are over 5 million education graduates currently employed. Among them are graduates of Elementary Education programs. It’s worth noting that this field is growing.

You can see a one year growth rate of 1.25%.

Elementary education is part of the education, training, and library occupation category, which is projected to grow 5% from 2018 to 2028. The growth rate for roles such as kindergarten and elementary school teacher is estimated to be around 3% during the same period. This growth is influenced by two major factors: student enrollment and government budgets.

It’s important to note that the demand for teachers like you is directly related to student enrollment and government budgets. Higher enrollment means a greater need for teachers. However, the number of teachers that can be hired depends on state and local budgets. Additionally, the location of your desired teaching job can also impact the demand for teachers. Urban and rural areas may have different needs for educators.


Have you considered a career in elementary education? It may surprise you to know that this field still attracts more women than men, with females making up over 90% of graduates in this major. Additionally, the average age of an education graduate in the workforce is 46.2 years old.

Jobs You Can Pursue with an Elementary Education Degree

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teacher

As a Kindergarten or Elementary School Teacher, you will have the responsibility of educating young students in various subjects, including math, science, and reading. You will be in charge of designing lesson plans and monitoring your students’ progress. Moreover, you may guide your students on how to interact with their peers and establish classroom guidelines for appropriate behavior. It is also likely that you will communicate with parents and guardians to provide updates on their child’s academic performance.

According to 2020 BLS data:

Median Salary: $73,300 per year

Job growth through 2029: 7% (Much faster than average)

Entry level education: Bachelor’s Degree

Substitute Teacher

If you pursue a career as a Substitute Teacher, you will be responsible for filling in for the regular teacher when they are absent. You may work in either a public or private school setting, and your responsibilities will vary based on the grade level and subject matter of the class you are teaching.

According to 2020 BLS data:

Median Salary: $47,480 per year

Job growth through 2029: 9% (Faster than average)

Entry level education: Post secondary non degree award

Career and Technical Education Teacher

If you opt to pursue a career as a Career and Technical Education Teacher, your main responsibility would be to provide instruction to students in technical subjects. This could include topics such as auto repair, cosmetology, and culinary arts. You would need to design lesson plans that facilitate the development of career and technical skills among your students. Additionally, you may be required to train your students in the use of various tools and equipment, while also emphasizing key rules and safety procedures. To help your students learn, you may also demonstrate hands-on tasks related to the field you teach, such as installing brakes on a car or taking a patient’s blood pressure.

According to 2020 BLS data:

Median Salary: $115,800 per year

Job growth through 2029: 45% (Much faster than average)

Entry level education: Master’s Degree