Working with children is challenging. And it’s not always stress-free. Depending on the job, hours can be long and underpaid. But in terms of career satisfaction, you can’t go wrong. Your role is important in wider society, you’re working with kids (which is just fun in its own right!), and your day-to-day job has a direct influence on their future. It can be an incredibly rewarding career path.
For those of you who are interested in working with children but aren’t quite sure what’s out there, we’ve put together a small list of jobs that cater to different interests, salary requirements, and qualifications. You’re sure to find something that’s right up your street, whether you want a job right out of high school or are looking for college options.
Kindergarten/Elementary School Teacher
Being an elementary school teacher involves drawing up lesson plans that follow a curriculum, teaching children a wide range of subjects, and preparing them for formal examinations. And that’s just the official job description. You also need to be prepared to manage distinct personalities and deal with needy parents!
It’s a demanding job, but most teachers will say it’s more than worth it. In surveys that track jobs with the highest satisfaction levels, teachers are part of the furniture. Watching children take real steps in their development, the laugh out loud moments that happen on a daily basis, and having a job that makes a difference in society all contribute to why this job makes so many people happy.
The job role is exactly what’s written on the tin: you’ll be supporting teachers in their roles in either a school or nursery. Your duties will be varied, from helping to mark papers, assisting individual students with tasks, and preparing classes. Some teaching assistants are hired for a very specific job, such as working with pupils that have special needs.
Becoming a teaching assistant doesn’t usually require any special qualifications other than a high school diploma. However, competition for places can be fierce; some form of formal early childhood education qualification is generally recommended to give you that edge when looking for a teaching position. This is especially true with educational institutions that also provide practical work placement as part of the course.
Youth workers can make a tremendous difference to young people’s lives. Working with children of all ages, you’ll take a guiding role in their social, educational, and personal lives. This usually happens in a wide variety of places and settings, including school, youth centers, and colleges/universities.
Depending on the organization, your job may include helping to plan and deliver health, relationship, gang, violence, and drug-related advice and programs. You’ll regularly review progress, run activities, and work with other organizations, schools, and parents to help children achieve their potential and find a positive place in society.
Special Education Teacher
Children with special needs require teachers who are able to provide additional support and teaching to help children reach their full potential. You’ll be helping a wide range of children, including those with physical ailments, visual or hearing impairments, learning difficulties (from dyslexia to autism, or a combination!), as well as gifted kids. Your role is to provide a safe, encouraging, positive, and stimulating learning environment for the children.
Special education teachers get paid more than the average kindergarten or primary school teacher, but there’s a reason why: you’ll be looking at way more paperwork, additional responsibilities, and a high-pressure environment. The burnout rate in this job is unsurprisingly high. However, the reward for helping children facing such challenges and seeing them come out at the other end with a smile and ready to find their place in the world is more than worth it.
There are no two ways about it: being a child psychotherapist is a demanding job. You’ll be dealing with children with a variety of emotional or behavioral issues, including (but not limited to!) depression, phobias, aggression, self-harnvam, anxiety, and eating disorders. Employment is offered by the national health services (in countries such as the United Kingdom or New Zealand, for example) or private practices.
This job has good scope for advancement, with the average salary in the United States hovering around the $80k per year. Senior positions offer well into the six figures. Of course, you will be expected to possess the relevant qualifications (degree and professional qualifications) as well as extensive experience in the sector.
Teaching assistants, youth workers, psychotherapists, and teachers. We’ve given you a wide variation in terms or role types, salaries, career advancement opportunities, and range of responsibilities. But this is still just a small selection of jobs for those of us that love kids. There are plenty more out there. So if you really want to work with children, get out there and start looking for your dream job.
|Theodora Evans is a passionate blogger from Sydney and she is someone you would call an IT nerd that travels the world. Also, she takes great interest in psychology and helping people deal with their mental and anxiety issues. Besides that, she loves martial arts and enjoying the nature.
Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) and Speech Language Pathologist Assistants (SLPA) also have many options for working with children, and the pay is higher, as well.
I’m working part-time as a SLPA & enjoy the flexibility of working in early intervention for language delayed children.
Previously, I started my own early childhood education program and ran it out of my home for 10 years – a licensed childcare. Depending on the area you live in, this can be a financially rewarding career (but childcare can also pay very little, especially if you live in a rural area).
Hmm, that is some compelling information you’ve got going! Makes me scratch my head and think. Keep up the good writing!