Working with children provides an opportunity to contribute to their physical, mental and emotional development. Some people find fulfillment interacting directly with children through teaching and other educational professions, while others provide medical care and treatment through pediatric services. Still others may not work directly with children but labor on their behalf creating programs that provide physical and social enrichment opportunities.
Careers in education that involve children include kindergarten, elementary and middle school teachers, in addition to school librarians, teaching assistants, school counselors and day care or child care workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, teachers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in education, while librarians need a degree in library science and school counselors often need a master’s degree in counseling. The educational requirement for teaching assistants is an associate degree, and day care or childcare workers usually need a high school diploma. Salaries for educational careers vary greatly and in May 2012, ranged from $21,310 for child care workers to $56,170 for school counselors.
Careers in social work include child and family social workers who protect vulnerable children who may be in danger of neglect or abuse, while school social workers help students with behavioral problems, such as aggressiveness, bullying or excessive absenteeism. Social and human service assistants work with social workers. Social workers need a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology or sociology, reports the BLS. The minimum requirement for social and human service assistants is a high school diploma. Social workers earned an annual mean salary of $47,370 as of May 2012, while social and human service assistants earned $30,880.
Health care careers that involve children include pediatricians, pediatric nurses, pediatric dentists and dental hygienists. Other careers include child psychologists and psychiatrists and speech language pathologists. The educational requirement for pediatricians, psychiatrists and dentists is a medical degree in their respective fields, while nurses need an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing. The BLS lists the educational requirement for speech language pathologists is a master’s degree, while dental hygienists need an associate degree in dental hygiene. As of May 2012, salaries ranged from $167,640 for pediatricians to $72,730 for speech language pathologists.
Careers in recreation that deal with children include coaches, camp counselors and camp directors. Other careers include youth recreation workers, recreation leaders and directors of recreation and parks. According to the BLS, most coaches have a bachelor’s degree in physical education, education and sports science, or a related field, while camp and recreation employees generally have a degree in recreation, park resources or a related area. Annual mean salaries as of May 2012 ranged from $36,680 for coaches to $25,430 for recreation workers.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: School and Career Counselors
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Social Workers
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Social and Human Service Associates
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Physicians and Surgeons
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Registered Nurses
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Recreation Workers
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