Choosing a career can be a difficult task. Sometimes people have a very clear idea of what they want to do from an early age, but more often we just have a vague notion of the type of job we would like to find. For example, you might know that you want a position that enables you to travel, a job working with animals, a role that involves helping others, or a career that allows you to express your creativity. One common feeling people have is that they would like to work with children or young people, and if that sounds like you, then you’ll be pleased to know there are a multitude of options open to you. Here are just seven ideas to get you inspired.
Let’s begin with the most obvious choice. As a teacher you’ll work with children in an educational capacity, helping them learn and preparing them for adult life. There are actually a wide variety of teaching jobs available – for instance, you could work in an elementary school and teach lots of different subjects to the same class, or in a high school and teach one subject that you specialize in to lots of different classes. An alternative option is to consider becoming a special education teacher, working with children who have learning difficulties and therefore need more individual attention. If you prefer a more administrative role, you could think about a job as a principal. This involves managing class schedules, dealing with disciplinary issues, and implementing curriculums. For an option that requires less training, a teacher’s aide is a great choice.
2. Pediatric nurse
As a pediatric nurse you’ll work alongside a pediatrician to deliver healthcare services to children of all ages. This could be in various settings, such as a hospital, clinic, community center, or school. You might find yourself performing routine screenings, assessing a child’s development, treating common health conditions, administering immunizations, and educating kids and their families about healthy living. These days you can complete pediatric nurse practitioner programs online, enabling you to train for this career while still working your current day job. You’ll learn about how children can react differently to injuries, illnesses and medications, as well as the various approaches you can take to treat younger patients. For this role, typically you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and to pass a national licensure exam.
A pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in providing medical care for children of all ages. This can involve everything from performing diagnostic tests and administering treatments to educating children and their families on a wide range of relevant issues. There is a huge variety of subspecialties within this field, for example focusing on emergency care, endocrinology, or mental health. To become a pediatrician you will need to go to college, graduate medical school, and then complete a residency in an approved program before obtaining your license. Altogether, this can take around 11 years, so it’s important to be sure this is the right career choice for you before making the commitment. However, the salary you can gain once qualified makes the time and effort you put in well worth it.
4. Daycare worker
Working in daycare involves looking after young children while their parents are at work or otherwise unable to watch their kids themselves. It involves supervising them, feeding them, entertaining them, perhaps educating them, and generally making sure they are well cared for. You could undertake this role as an assistant within a larger facility, or as an independent nanny who goes to people’s homes. There’s also the option to be a childcare center director, and run your own facility with staff working for you. In these roles, experience is often more important than educational qualifications, although these can still be helpful. If you’re young and don’t have much experience, you could consider working as an au pair, where you live with a family in a different country and provide childcare in exchange for accommodation and an allowance.
5. School librarian
If you love books and reading and want to combine this with a job working with children, then a position in a school library might be perfect for you. You’ll be in charge of supervising the school library, helping students to find books and use the library’s services, giving them assistance with class projects, and ensuring that the library is a quiet and productive environment for studying. You will have input in choosing which books the library stocks as well as how to display them, and these days, the role also means getting involved with the provision of digital resources and audio-visual materials. You might additionally find yourself assisting staff with accessing materials, copyright queries, and similar issues.
6. School counselor
For those who like the idea of working within a school but are not keen on teaching, becoming a school counselor is worth considering. This involves working directly with students of all ages to provide them with emotional, academic, and career support. For example, you might find yourself helping with job applications and college admissions, assisting students in developing good study habits and other life skills, and supporting those who are being bullied or experiencing other troubling issues. Your role is to be present as an independent person that children can talk to about any worries they may have in a supportive and confidential environment, helping to ensure that they reach their full potential.
7. Museum curator
As a museum curator, you will be responsible for collecting and managing exhibits for your museum or gallery, as well as overseeing guest activities. Very often this involves leading tours for children on school trips, giving talks about the collections, or running interactive activities for younger visitors and families. You could choose to work specifically for a children’s museum, or focus on provisions for children in museums or heritage sites aimed at visitors of all ages. This can be a great opportunity to combine a desire to work with children with other interests you have – such as art, science or history – and share that passion with others.