From a young age, many of us have an idea of what job we want when we’re older. For those who love caring for others and enjoy being around children, however, you may be undecided on the exact career route to go down.
Whether you like the sound of being in a classroom environment and working as an elementary school teacher, or you’re swaying more to a healthcare role, here are some of the best careers for those who want to work with kids.
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Elementary School Teacher
One of the first career paths that springs to mind when thinking of working with children is an elementary school teacher. If you like the idea of being in a classroom and guiding a group towards success, you may flourish in a teaching role.
As an elementary school teacher, you will be responsible for shaping your students’ lives during a crucial period in their development, both as human beings and thinkers.
The idea of standing in front of a class and commanding attention can be daunting for many, so to succeed in a teaching role, you need to be confident in your abilities and know how to handle unruly children.
While many kids will listen to your every word, some will inevitably misbehave and throw tantrums (depending on the age), so knowing how to work well under pressure is vital.
You will also need to obtain a bachelor’s degree and your state teaching certification or license to work in a public school. What’s more, there may be additional teacher education training, internships, or programs you need to take before getting started.
For those who would prefer to work with very young children, working as a preschool teacher may be more to your liking. Understandably, when working with 3–5-year-olds, you must have compassion and tons of patience for your students.
The primary duty you will carry out is ensuring the young children in your care develop confidence and self-esteem through a variety of fun interactions and learning projects, both with you and their peers.
Working with preschoolers is a whole different ball game when compared to elementary and beyond, so it takes a special kind of person to succeed in this role. Alongside having excellent communication skills, you need to have a bachelor’s degree as well as the correct certifications.
Child Social Worker
For individuals who are passionate about helping troubled children from broken backgrounds, going into a child social worker role may be right for you.
Unfortunately, there are millions of kids across the United States who haven’t had the best of upbringings, so if you’re able to listen to the details and work well in stressful environments, this may be the perfect career path for you.
There will be all kinds of issues you encounter on a day-to-day basis as a child social worker, such as abuse, serious physical or mental illness, as well as neglect. It’s your job to keep your emotions at bay and do what you can to help the situation and most importantly, ensure the child is in safe hands.
To work in this role, you must obtain a bachelor’s degree. You can also earn a master’s degree in social work which will improve your chances of finding employment. Also, you must obtain professional registration or state licensure in your area of employment.
If you like the idea of working in a hospital setting and want to work with children, you may wish to consider becoming a pediatric nurse. In this role, you will perform screenings to make sure children are developing at the correct rate, as well as treat a variety of childhood illnesses, including ear infections.
Naturally, you must have a caring nature and demeanor to help put the child at ease, as they may feel stressed and agitated being under your observation. A few kind words and reassurance can go a long way and help the child settle while you treat them.
Baylor University offers pediatric primary care nurse practitioner courses that will arm you with the correct qualifications and credentials you need to get started. Like with any career working with children, you must undergo training and gain certification before you can begin.
For those who are drawn to the prospect of caring for a child in the home, working as a private nanny may be the right career path to go down. As a nanny, your primary responsibilities will include preparing meals, helping with household tasks, assisting with homework, and understandably, being a watchful eye over the kids.
As a private nanny, you may live in the family home (usually for free or at a discounted rate). Over time, you will develop a strong connection with both the children you’re looking after and the family.
When it comes to educational requirements to work as a private nanny, these are highly variable. Even if you obtain tons of qualifications and boast transferable skills, you still may not be the right fit for certain families.
If you consider yourself a book lover and enjoy nothing more than getting lost within the pages, why not combine your love for reading and working with children by becoming a school librarian?
In this role, you will have the power to introduce kids to the benefits of reading, as well as host story time sessions with children to bring the words on the paper to life.
As a school librarian, you will be in charge of supervising the library facility to ensure every book is in the right place. When children are doing projects, they may need your help in finding the right reading materials.
No matter what, you must have a set of rules and codes of conduct that the children follow to ensure your library stays quiet and peaceful for all those who visit.
If any of the career paths above interest you, make sure you have the correct credentials and skillset in place before applying. There are invaluable benefits to be gained from working with kids, including helping to inspire the youth of today and making positive changes in the world we live in.