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4 Careers Working With Kids (Besides Teaching)

There’s no denying it: Teaching children offers many advantages as a career. As an early or middle childhood educator, you will have a sense of purpose in preparing children for the rest of their lives; additionally, you can gain new perspectives on the information you teach or the way others experience life. 

However, there are plenty of disadvantages to teaching as well, such as long hours, low pay and little respect, that might dissuade you from pursuing a career in education. Furthermore, there are dozens of other careers that allow you to positively influence young lives while earning a stronger salary other, greater benefits. If you know you love kids and have a passion for working with them, here are some other careers you might consider.

School Counselor

Still in an educational institution but not in the classroom, school counselors work alongside teachers, school administrators, parents and students to establish mental, emotional, behavioral and academic stability in children. A school counselor’s day-to-day responsibilities look different depending on the level of education they service. For example, an early education school counselor often helps students suffering serious issues at home or in school, including abuse, grief, self-harm or developmental delays; meanwhile, a school counselor employed by a community college will most often assist students with course schedules and career planning. 

School counseling requires perhaps more education and training than other careers on this list. You need at least a bachelor’s degree, but most high-paying school counselor jobs will go to those with master’s degrees in the field. Fortunately, you can enroll in online master’s in school counseling programs to enhance your credentials and qualify for top positions.

Paediatric Nurse

A paediatric nurse is devoted to the medical field of paediatrics, which focuses on the health and well-being of children from newborns to teens. Because children’s anatomy and physiology is distinct from adults, they require specialized healthcare providers; alongside other pediatric professionals, pediatric nurses are educated and trained to provide the highest quality care to young ones 

On one hand, you could become a true-blue paediatrician - but that requires acceptance to medical school and residency in paediatric medicine, which can require more than a decade of training. Meanwhile, paediatric nursing requires no more than a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a few years of experience as a registered nurse. Eventually, you can take the Certified Paediatric Nurse Examination, which will establish you as a specialised paediatric nurse.

Child and Family Social Worker

Child and family social workers are responsible for assisting children and their families in establishing a safe and stable home environment. Often, CAF social workers focus on child welfare, identifying families struggling with physical, emotional or substance abuse. In these instances, social workers sometimes work with parents or guardians to overcome these behaviors and provide a more loving home, or social workers find children placements in foster or adoptive homes. 

Social work is a specialized field that requires specialized training. At the very least, you should have a bachelor’s degree in social work or a similar field, like sociology. Eventually, you might also pursue your Master’s in Social Work, which will qualify you for clinical positions. When applying for jobs, focus on positions in child and family organizations or departments to ensure that your efforts are devoted to helping kids.

Child Photographer

Kids rarely stop moving, so most parents find it endlessly difficult to get a decent picture. Child photographers are skilled at capturing the small moments of childhood, so parents can cherish their little ones long after they grow up. Some child photographers only work out of studios, but increasingly, clients request more natural settings for photography, such as the hospital during and after birth or a playground after school.

There is no rigorous education for child photographers; if you have the equipment and the skill, you can begin finding clients right away. Child photographers earn more than you might expect, due to the difficulty of their subjects, so this could also be a suitable side hustle if you already have a non-kid-focused career.

Children are the future, but they are also the present. Kids need much more than parents and teachers; they need all sorts of professionals to keep them mentally and physically healthy, happy and safe. If your love of little ones pushes you to devote your life’s work to them, you should seriously consider the above-listed careers.