Working with children is a lot like being in an action-packed film, just when you think nothing worse can happen – the worst happens! Carlos accidentally eats glue, Sally pours glitter all over the carpet and Tim draws all over your newly painted walls.
It’s a rewarding career choice where only the toughest survive (didn’t we say it felt like being in the movies?) Although challenging at times, this job allows you to make a difference in someone else’s life – whether it’s helping a tired parent get some much-needed sleep or teaching a shy kid to believe in his dreams.
There really is nothing more demanding or gratifying than working with kids. So, if you think you have what it takes to start a career in childcare, read on to discover some possible job options for you.
If you’ve ever wanted to have the title ‘Baby Boss’ stamped on your business card, then you should consider becoming a preschool director. After all, preschool directors are responsible for creating policies, approving curricula and generally making sure that children below the age of five get all the activities and education they need.
Average Salary: $23,219 | £17,700
Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you that all reliable nannies are a godsend. Let’s face it, as much as parents love and adore their children, there are times when they just want to have a day to themselves, preferably by the poolside with a side of mimosas and without screaming babies interrupting their well-deserved rest. And that’s where nannies come in!
If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming the next Maria von Trapp and Mary Poppins, then this is the career for you. While being good at this job is best learned through experience, it doesn’t hurt to be certified by a nanny school or a professional organisation like the International Nanny Association. And while there’s no shame in being a regular nanny, private nannies stand to make so much more (think: Blu Ivy’s nanny) because of the additional training and knowledge they possess.
Average Salary: $25,236 | £19,214
If you have a knack for listening and giving advice but don’t like dealing with adult problems (because…who does?), then becoming a school counsellor could be perfect for you. School counsellors are the cool but infinitely wiser adults who advise kids on a plethora of issues; whether it’s getting over a heartbreak, choosing a university or patching up with a friend. It’s an important and essential job that assists with a child’s overall well-being. And with the rise of mental health problems and bullying over the years, one that’s become high-in-demand.
Average Salary: $27,187 | £20,730
The first five years of raising a child are challenging for most parents. It’s when the terrible twos and the three-nager phases happen. It’s also the reason why they love nurseries so much and why childcare teachers are so in-demand.
If you have copious amounts of energy and don’t mind paying extra for your dry-cleaning bill, then becoming a childcare teacher may just be your dream job. This profession is perfect for morning people who enjoy being messy and love interacting with children, even if it means perpetually trying to get glitter and glue out of their hair. It’s a fulfilling and flexible job that has numerous opportunities for growth – with some even working their way up to becoming a baby boss (See also: number four).
Average Salary: $29,840 | £25,013
This heart-warming job can occasionally rank as heart-breaking too; as a paediatrician, you never know what type of illness or injury, you’ll be faced with. As a specially trained nurse, you are tasked with comforting and helping treat children who are in acute care.
While they earn more than the average healthcare practitioner, they also have the immense responsibility of taking care and helping kids get through painful and often, frustrating medical treatments. Their jobs may not be the easiest, but their work is undeniably critical.
Average Salary: $31,660 | £24,159
If you love photography just as much as you love kids, why not combine your love for both by becoming a child portrait photographer?
It might seem like an easy job but if you’ve ever asked a child to sit still, then you know this career is not for the weak-kneed and faint of heart. After all, you’re tasked to capture the most precious moments of a child, and that can put anyone under a lot of pressure.
It’s a skill that requires creativity, hard work and a whole lot of patience. But when done right, the end result can be absolutely breath-taking (just Google ‘Anne Geddes’).
Average Salary: $32,068 | £24,419
Child and family social workers have the difficult task of looking after children who are victims of broken homes or neglectful parents. And with the increasing number of children living in poverty every year, it’s a job that’s unfortunately become in-demand.
In the UK alone, over four million children live in relative poverty, so it comes as no surprise that the need for social workers has doubled over the past decade. While certainly challenging, these kinds of social workers are essential to making sure that children don’t remain as victims, which makes their jobs absolutely crucial to a country’s welfare.
Average Salary: $34,676 | £26,442
Some of the best childhood memories come from summer camp. You learn how to roast marshmallows, build a fire and scare your bunk buddies with ghost stories. But the reason you’re able to learn and do all that is because you had an awesome camp director.
So, if you enjoyed your experience and want to pay it forward, then why not become a camp director yourself? It’s an exciting job that allows you to teach and interact with children outside the classroom setting. It’s not all fun and games though, camp directors are responsible for the overall safety of camp participants while managing daily operations which is a tough job if you don’t know how to multi-task.
Average Salary: $39,068 | £29,781
If you have a passion for style and adore children’s closets, then you may want to consider designing for children and teens. This relatively new field became ‘in vogue’ when paparazzi started focusing their camera lenses on celebrity kids. Soon enough, most regular parents wanted their kids to don the hippest clothes, too. So, if you’d like to make a difference by providing stylish yet affordable clothes for children then this is definitely the best way to go.
Average Salary: $42,150 | £32,089
For every kind of problem, there’s always a solution and when it comes to dealing with children’s emotional and mental health, the best solution would be to hire a child psychiatrist. Unfortunately, the number of child and adolescent psychiatrists have steadily fallen over the past few years, so much so that there’s a shortage of this occupation all over the world. In fact, the US and UK have reports showing the glaring need for child psychiatrists. So, if you have a passion for psychology and helping children, now might be the opportune time to consider this profession. It’s not only a highly lucrative career, it’s one of the most fulfilling ones, too.
Average Salary: $109,569 | £83,434
Whether it’s teaching a toddler how to count or designing the latest kiddy trends, no matter how difficult or unprofitable it may seem, working with children is a reward in itself and anyone who’s lucky (and strong!) enough to have a career in it, is sure to find fulfilment.