If children, with their wide-eyed curiosity and constant honesty, make you smile, you should consider a career that allows you to work closely with them. As they say, if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life.
As a childcare worker or preschool educator, you get the opportunity to introduce children to learning and to the world. To succeed in this role, you need to be a patient and clear communicator with an interest in child development, reports Penn Foster, an online school offering early childhood education degrees. The industry is set to grow by 17 percent by 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
If you love taking care of people and want to work with children, a position as a pediatric nurse is rewarding. Simply complete a nursing degree, and get a job in a clinic that specializes in families and children. According to the BLS, the median annual salary for this challenging role is $65,470, and finding a job shouldn’t be difficult as the industry is growing faster than average with 19 percent growth projected in the next decade.
Nurses who return to school for an additional two years can become pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs), a move that increases their median yearly wage to $96,000. Like doctors, PNPs are able to diagnose illness and prescribe medicine, according to the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.
As a family therapist, you get to work closely with children and the rest of their families. With your support, the family unit will learn to function more effectively, and you will be making the world better in a significant way. Counseling sessions often take place in the family’s home, giving you a chance to really get to know the child’s environment. You will need a master’s degree to get started, but according to the BLS, you can expect to earn a median wage of $41,000 per year.
If you know how to command room of children, but you’d rather make them laugh than learn math, consider working as a children’s entertainer. Most entertainers run their own businesses, booking gigs at birthday parties or festivals. As your own boss, you can host birthday parties as a princess, put on puppet shows at state fairs, or just clown around at kiddie parties.
However, you need to be prepared for anything. Matthew Arnold, a 25-year veteran of the industry, said that after being poked in the eye by a child and suffering a scratched cornea, he just put on a patch and became a jolly pirate. You can never let a bad day show in this industry, Arnold told the Guardian.
As a social worker, you will deal with child abuse and other crisis-type situations. However, you will also work with people as they face challenges in their life, including adopting a child, dealing with an illness, finding childcare, or accessing resources for their children with disabilities.
Some social workers enter the field with a bachelor’s degree in social work, but the BLS reveals that most social workers have a master’s degree as well as a couple years of clinical work under their belt before they dive into this career. The median wage is $44,000, and like nursing, the field is growing at a rate of 19 percent.