5 Career Paths That Allow You To Work With Kids
This post is featured on behalf of Jackie Roberson.
Children are the future. Even more than that, children are loving, hilarious, exciting and fascinating. It isn’t surprising that you are determined to pursue a career that puts you in contact with kids; rather, it’s a surprise that more people don’t.
However, not all jobs working with kids pay well, not all of them are mentally stimulating or emotionally rewarding, and not all of them do much to make a difference in a child’s life. If you are looking for a career outside of daycare or elementary school teaching, here’s a list of paths toward kids perfect for you.
If the Community Is Your Calling…
If you want to work not just with individual children and families but also improve the community at large through your good works, you should consider becoming a social worker. Children and family social workers help pull babies and kids out of dangerous homes, work with parents and caregivers to improve children’s outcomes and generally provide assistance and aid to children in need.
To become a social worker, you need a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related field, like sociology, psychology or even political science. With these credentials, you can begin a career in direct social work through government agencies, non-profit organizations and other institutions.
In this role, you will be assigned a caseload filled with children and families that need your help. You can return to school for a master’s in social work, which will qualify you for licensed clinical social work positions. More often, social workers at this level provide counseling services and generally more comprehensive care to their clients.
If You Are Interested in Medicine…
Some people feel like they were born to work in medicine. If you feel the calling toward a career in medicine but also desperately want to work with kids, you should pursue a career in pediatrics. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to apply to medical school and become a pediatrician. In fact, you can consider several careers in pediatrics that don’t require the medical school route.
One popular option is pediatric nursing. Nurses do need education, but this can be as little as a year or two at a community college to earn your LPN degree. For more advanced (and higher paying) pediatric nursing positions, you should acquire a bachelor’s degree in nursing and perhaps consider a master’s degree to follow. Regardless of your degree level, you should apply for jobs at pediatric doctor’s offices or pediatric units at hospitals.
If You Have a Background in Psychology…
Psychology is fascinating, and child psychology can be even more so. Its enthralling to learn how children’s minds develop — and how they can improperly develop at different stages. If you have a background in psychology and little interest in social work, you should consider continuing into child counseling.
Unlike psychiatry, which requires a medical degree, psychology is more a field of study than it is a career path. Of course, you can remain a child psychologist by pursuing a master’s and doctorate in the field, but this career will keep you in the lab and at the writing desk. If you want to work with kids every day, you should earn a master’s in school counseling online, which will prepare you to work in schools with children who need your help navigating family issues, social concerns and academic matters.
If You Would Like to Pursue Law…
Law is a noble profession, but those with plenty of heart often avoid it for its seemingly cold and unfeeling nature. However, there are children who desperately need caring attorneys to represent them fairly. If you are logical and compassionate in equal measure, you might be interested in a career as a juvenile lawyer.
As with any specialized attorney, juvenile lawyers gain experience in this niche after they earn their law degrees, which require three years of intensive study. You also need to pass your state’s bar exam. You should try to find firms that focus on juvenile representation during your law school study and after, so you can firmly establish yourself in this realm of law.
If You Need Kids in Small Doses…
You might want to work with kids — but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want kids in your space at all times. If that’s the case, you need to find an occupation that balances contact with kids and adults, which is easier to find than you might expect if you study library and museum sciences.
Both librarians and museum curators work in spaces that children frequent, for school trips or for their own interests, but libraries and museums are also frequented by adults. Thus, you can experience the small joys of children without being inundated by them on an hourly basis.
These are just five career path suggestions to make an impact on children’s lives. Which one interests you the most?