Some people have a natural calling to service. Whether that be in education, politics, or healthcare, a variety of people want to help others in whatever ways they can. This can sometimes open doors to career opportunities, whether it be in the public or private sectors.
For those with natural maternal or paternal instincts, helping children in a variety of ways comes naturally. To provide the most benefit to the next generation of leaders and citizens, being involved in their day-to-day lives through career choices seems like a logical fit. Ultimately, there are a variety of career fields and choices that can allow those with a soft spot for children to serve them in meaningful ways.
If you love children and want to build a career around helping them, then continue reading to find out about 6 great careers worth pursuing.
The most common career path in the United States that allows people to work with children on a regular basis is teaching. With more than 3 million teachers in the US alone, one might think that this career path has no room for additional talent, but the reality is teaching is in constant need of fresh blood. With hundreds of thousands of people retiring or leaving the teaching profession each year, this is an excellent and in-demand opportunity for those who love to work with children.
The average teacher in the US earns approximately $60,000 per year, making it one of the better-paying professions that allow both working with children and a variety of benefits such as pensions and insurance. Ultimately, teaching allows individuals to decide where exactly they fit best in helping children: some pursue careers in younger education, while others fit best in a middle school or high school setting. Regardless of preference, this is a profession with abundant opportunities and a need for qualified, passionate workers.
On the front lines of care for children – especially in these tumultuous times – are healthcare professionals. There are more workers employed in healthcare than any other job sector, but only a relative handful get to work with children on a regular basis. One of the best examples of this convergence is the pediatric nurse practitioner.
To become employed as a pediatric nurse practitioner, you must first complete one or more pediatric nurse practitioner programs: these can require anywhere from 2 to 6 years of formal education in most circumstances. Pediatric nurse practitioner programs train those who love children on how to perform diagnostic tests, dispense medications, and record vital information about child patients, among other things.
Pediatric nurse practitioners earn very decent incomes, with many earning more than $100,000 per year. However, the road to becoming this type of caregiver is long and difficult – but it does allow those who love children an opportunity to give back to their communities.
The living environments of children as they grow up can have a profound impact on development and overall success in life. While we all wish every child had access to all of the benefits and needs that today’s world requires, this simply isn’t the case. This is where the profession of social worker plays a very important role.
Social workers are public employees who possess a bachelor’s degree or higher. Their sole responsibility in terms of caring for children is to ensure that they are receiving the care and support they need. Social workers often work alongside schools and visit homes to verify that living conditions and home life are acceptable.
In situations where this isn’t the case, social workers help relocate children into more acceptable living conditions. There’s arguably no other profession where the safety of children is more paramount.
Babysitter or Nanny
Not all childcare is performed in outside settings: much of what children need often come from within the home. Nevertheless, parents can’t always be there physically for their children. Between jobs and other responsibilities, the need for childcare is a growing phenomenon in the US. More than $40 billion was spent on childcare in the US alone in 2019.
While the bulk of these expenditures are focused on daycare, a growing share is for babysitters and private nannies. These professions can allow for greater flexibility while still giving those who love working with kids an opportunity to do so. Ultimately, there are a variety of babysitting and nanny opportunities, including live-in nannies, part-time babysitters, and full-time child-care specialists.
Counselors are yet another vital profession – and one that allows those who love working with children to do so on a regular basis.
You probably remember interacting with your own school’s counselor. This is the environment in which most child counselors work (though there are other situations where counselors work outside of campuses). School counselors work in all manner of school settings, helping children from pre-K through high school and college.
Counselors help children plan their futures, resolve situations, ameliorate tensions, and provide general advice when necessary. Fundamentally, child counselors exist to help guide students and children through difficult times.
Last but not least, the role of psychologist is a major component in healthy child development. Very few people are experts in deducing how best to help individual children or otherwise diagnose deep-seated issues, but child psychologists provide this service on a regular basis.
Child psychologists help primarily treat and diagnose mental disorders and conditions in children. In most situations, these professionals work for private institutions such as private practices or hospitals but may also work alongside schools and law enforcement. Child psychologists have at least a bachelor’s degree and are equipped to navigate a variety of challenging situations that parents simply do not have the experience in to handle.
Child psychologists earn substantial incomes, but as mentioned, substantial educations are first required to provide these vital solutions to children. To learn more about what child psychologists do, click here.
These 6 vital professions form just a small piece of the fabric that helps children in day-to-day life. While there are hundreds of potential careers in which you can interact with children at various points, these careers help immerse those who love working with kids into the dynamic on a full-time basis.