If you love spending time with children, you will be happy to learn many occupations that allow you to work with them on a full-time basis. As kids are the future of society, you could use your skills to shape their minds, improve their health, or help them become confident, well-rounded adults.
If you are unsure about the best occupation for you but know you want to use your skills to care for and influence young people, you have arrived at the perfect place. Here are four fulfilling career paths for working with children.
Teaching is a worthwhile consideration for any hard-working person who wants to make a positive difference to young minds. If you are considering a career as a teacher, you must decide on the best avenue for your personality and passions.
If you would like to educate children from kindergarten to the 12th grade, a K-12 teaching position will be a perfect fit. However, you can choose to specialize in a specific grade, such as:
- Early childhood (pre-kindergarten to second grade)
- Elementary (third to fifth grade)
- Secondary (sixth to 12th grade)
If you would prefer to educate children at a secondary level, you must pick a specific area, such as English, Maths, Science, or Social Studies. Alternatively, you could specialize in a specific interest, such as supporting and educating students with special needs.
How to Become a Teacher: If you are interested in becoming a teacher, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree in education. Also, your state may require you to receive a teaching certificate to become a qualified teacher.
2. Pediatric Nursing
If you would like to combine a passion for healthcare with your love of working with children, pursue a pediatric nursing career. In the role, you will cater to children’s complex medical needs. Of course, the occupation isn’t for the fainthearted, as you may need to care for children with serious illnesses and injuries daily.
Pediatric nurses can work in different settings, too, such as a:
- Doctor’s office
Pediatric nurses in schools tend to deal with small healthcare issues or medical emergencies. For example, they will likely perform first aid, notify parents or guardians about a child’s illness, and care for wounds and illnesses during school hours.
How to Become a Pediatric Nurse: If you love the idea of caring for children’s health each working day, you must first become a registered nurse by completing a BSN or ADN degree and passing the NCLEX Exam. Next, you must gain experience in a pediatric setting.
If you would like to care for the complex healthcare needs of young people, you can train to become a pediatric nurse practitioner at a flexible pace. Join one of the respected online pediatric acute care nurse practitioner programs available.
3. A Child Psychologist
Children of all ages can struggle with various mental disorders that may affect their quality of life, childhood, and personality. As a child psychologist, you will help young patients find ways to cope with a mental health disorder and overcome a painful experience, which may stem from trauma, the loss of a loved one, or an accident.
As a child psychologist, you will perform assessments to gain an insight into a child’s mental health and determine the correct treatment plan for their needs. You will likely meet with patients on a long-term, ongoing basis, and your support could help them overcome a mental health challenge to embrace a happier future.
Common child psychologist duties include:
- Conducting clinical interviews
- Observing patient behavior
- Meeting with parents or guardians to discuss the best treatment plan for their child
How to Become a Child Psychologist: If you want to make a positive difference in children’s mental health, a child psychologist career might suit your professional goals. To enter the profession, earn a doctoral degree in psychology (Ph.D. or Psy.D). Some psychologists even conduct research and report their findings in one or more academic journals.
To enjoy success in the role, you must have exceptional communication, analytical, observational, and interpersonal skills. Also, you must appear patient and trustworthy to encourage a child to discuss their emotions.
If you would like to care for children’s daily needs in a relaxed, comfortable setting, consider a career as a nanny. Each working day you will be responsible for keeping a child safe, healthy, entertained, and cared for in the comfort of their home.
In some settings, you might be asked to perform various household chores, such as caring for pets or washing laundry. Parents may also expect a nanny to:
- Help a child with homework
- Transport a child to and from various afterschool activities
- Perform light errands, such as picking up groceries
- Loading and emptying a dishwasher
- Meal preparation for children
It is essential to discuss a parent’s expectations before accepting a nanny position. It will ensure you are 100% comfortable performing various activities, and it can prevent frustration from a client.
How to Become a Nanny: There are no education requirements for becoming a nanny. However, some parents or guardians may only consider nannies who have a high school diploma, a college degree, or are fluent in a second language. The more experience you have in the role, the easier it will be to find employment and receive a larger salary. Also, you may need to sign a minimum one-year contract for a nanny role unless you are hired as a temporary, summer, or vacation nanny.
It is important to note that you must be a US citizen to legally work as a nanny. Also, you can improve your chances of employment if you have a clean driving license, a reliable vehicle, and are a non-smoker.
If you love the idea of working with children as a career, the above occupations could suit your personality to a tee. Yet, you must research a role, its requirements, and salary to ensure it matches your professional, personal, and financial goals.