Do you get on well with kids? Did you never lose your inner child? It sounds like you might be perfect for a working with children. Okay, a sense of imagination and childlike wonder isn’t the only thing you need to have to work with kids. It is, however, a pretty good start because those who excel working with kids know how to connect with them on their level. But what else do you need and what personality traits should you have? And what are some of the best jobs working with children?
First and foremost, you definitely need patience and an ability to work with someone who you might not always understand. There will generational gap when it comes to jobs with children, which can make communicating quite frustrating at times.
So, you will certainly find that patience is a virtue on this career path. If you constantly lose your temper over little things, working with children probably isn’t the right step for you to take.
Aside from patience, you need to understand how to approach problems from different directions and have tactics to reach kids through various means. This is particularly important for teaching. When you are teaching, the basic study approach won’t always enable you to engage or pique the interest of kids.
Instead, you will need to be a little more creative. For instance, you might have a unique skill such as rapping. Research has shown that rhythms can actually help children recollect important information. As such, a skill like this could definitely prove to be useful for a teacher. It’s just one example of how you need to think outside the box working with kids.
You also need to have a squeaky clean record. Even a misdemeanor that you were involved with as a teenager yourself could halt your chances of working with children. You must remember that kids are very vulnerable.
As such it is important that the people who work with them have a no history of any issues with the law. Of course, there are exceptions, but in general, it’s worth doing everything you can to stay out of trouble.
That includes activities online. Kids are impressionable and discovering that an adult working with them has controversial online activities could negatively impact their lives.
Perhaps the most important trait you need if you want to work with kids is strong communication skills. You need to make sure that you are able to connect with the child and understand the issues that they might be facing. As such, social issues or the inability to connect with others could make you a poor candidate for working with kids.
Okay, now that we’ve tackled some of the traits and factors that could determine whether you’re the right fit for this type of career, let’s look at what you’ll need.
What You’ll Need To Get A Job Working With Children
You will need certain qualifications to work with children, and the type that you need will depend on your specific chosen career. For instance, you might want to work as a social worker or a counselor.
If that’s the case, an online MSW could be the perfect qualification to seek out. This will teach you about all the details you need to know and understand to work with children who are dealing with social issues.
In a role like this, you will be expected to protect children from harm and ensure that their best interests are followed. Gaining your qualification online can be a rapid process. But you will still need to proceed through practical training before you can work as an independent counselor.
If you want to be a teacher, you will need a different qualification. A teaching qualification can be anything from a year to a three-year course. It’s usually paired with another qualification, often on the subject that you plan to teach.
For instance, if you are keen to teach math it makes sense to study math at college. Again, you will need practical training, and it could take up to a year before you are ready to take on your own class.
You have a lot of decisions if you decide to become a teacher such as what grade you want to teach and the type of students you want to work with.
Some teachers embrace the challenge of reaching kids who don’t want to learn. Others will work hard to make sure that they work in private schools. Bare in mind that working in the private education sector will often require a post-grad degree in your chosen subject.
Can you work with children without any degree? There are careers where this is a possibility such as working as a full-time au pair. As an au pair you will take on the role of a full-time nanny, and this can last until the child is old enough to look after themselves.
Pay can be high, but usually, if this is the case it’s because the candidate has advanced training. Many professional au pairs often have training in psychology, child development and yes practical training.
So, while it is possible to complete this career without qualifications, the pay might be less than you’d like.
Benefits Of Working With Children
There are a huge variety of benefits of working with children on a daily basis throughout your life. Many psychologists love their job working with kids because it brings a kind of joy to their life. Children are innocent and completely oblivious to the atrocities that adults know exist in the world.
As such working with young children can be an incredibly freeing experience and make you appreciate the little things in life.
Working with children also presents you with a real opportunity to make a difference in the world. We would all like to believe that our jobs matter and our roles in life change the world.
Perhaps in a small way they do but when you work with kids, you’ll often get a first-hand account of the impact that your work has had. You’ll see them grow and develop often based on the lessons and morals that you have taught them. It can be a lot like being a parent.
The other benefit, of course, is that it will allow you to connect with people and help them through difficult times. Whether you’re working as a teacher, a counselor or even a nanny a significant part of your job will be providing kids with support at their time of need.
If you can do this, you can help improve their lives and grow into the people that you know they can be.
Salaries for jobs working with children often vary dramatically. For instance, you could work as a child psychiatrist. Roles such as this will often earn you a six-figure salary, and you can earn as much as a few hundred each hour.
That said, to do this job you will need to complete at least ten years of studies including medical training. As such, it’s not a career for those who find it difficult to open a book.
If you want to work as an au pair or nanny, you could earn an average wage of 30K or as much as 100. It all depends on the qualifications you have as well as who hires you.
You might be lucky enough to get hired by a professional family. If that’s the case, they might pay a solid wage to make sure you stay with them all the way through the child’s life.
As for teaching, that’s another one that will vary depending on the position. However, the additional benefit here is that you could actually get tenure. What this means is job security for life.
You will always know that you have a career until you decide to retire. Even at that point, you can typically choose then to work part-time. As such, it’s a huge level of security.
Some Issues When Working With Children
Despite all the advantages and the appeal of working with children, there are some issues you need to be aware of.
Firstly, you must remember that you won’t just be working with the children. In any career with kids, there will always be parents, and they are often difficult to deal with. Remember when your parents met your teacher? Try to imagine how difficult it was for them, particularly if they had to tell your parents that you weren’t achieving as much as you could be academically.
There’s also the level of responsibility and accountability that will be apparent. You need to make sure that you are prepared to handle the responsibilities of working with kids. It will be up to you to keep them safe while they are under your care and ensure that nothing goes wrong.
“No two days are ever the same. Kids come with surprises tucked away behind their ears in the form of a brain that keeps you on your toes. And I love it!”
Jobs Working With Children
Not just anyone can work with children and simply liking kids isn’t enough to forge a direction for a career path. To work with or teach children effectively, you have to love what you do as well as love the kids themselves. If you’re unsure what career path you want to take but do know, without doubt, children should be part of that path, you have several options from casual jobs to solid career choices.
Nanny services are in high demand and are the next step up from babysitters. With more women in the workforce juggling demanding jobs and kids, nannies are often required to ease the stress load. Some clients want a live-in nanny while others are simply looking for a little help managing the kid’s schedules while parents are working. A live-in nanny job has the added perk of a place to live and food to eat.
– Where to Find Nanny Jobs:
In home private babysitting services are frequently needed and it is a good way to earn money, especially if you’re still in school or just starting out on your own. The typical pay is between $10-$20 per hour, depending on what tasks you perform in addition to babysitting (such as light house cleaning). If you are having trouble finding babysitter jobs, there are also companies that specialize in finding and placing babysitters:
– Care.com: This site will help you find babysitting jobs in your area.
– Sittercity.com: Another site to source jobs.
Daycare centers use skill sets from cleaning and cooking to teaching and coaching children. Daycare ages are typically younger pre-kinder kids. If you’re imaginative, good at storytelling, making up games and art projects, working as a daycare provider will be rewarding. Many States/Cities require some type of license or education. The links above apply to Nannies as well as the links below.
Higher Paying Jobs Working With Kids
Quality education is highly desired and a good educator for children is one who first enjoys being around children. Sue Jordin, an educator for almost two decades said of teaching, “Just when I begin to wonder why I ever chose to be a teacher, one of my former students writes and tells me something I taught or said made a huge impact in his or her life. Then I’m sure I made the right choice.”
Nutritionist / Chef
Any school or daycare center serves meals specific to the needs of children. A nutrition expert or chef is in charge of the meals and has the responsibility of making sure the kids are fed balanced and healthy meals. If you truly enjoy kids, you will enjoy the creative challenge of meal preparation.
A pediatric nurse works with children and their parents. If your strong point is compassion or empathy, being a pediatric nurse could be an ideal career choice.
Depending on where you are in life, the benefits are somewhat fluid. As stated, a live-in nanny will have room and board but also limited free time.
A babysitter can choose to babysit Friday night or not so you have more free time but much less spending money. Running an in-home daycare is extremely beneficial to a new mom.
You can earn extra money taking care of your own child as well as another a few hours a day. Your own child will benefit from learning early how to share and get along with others.
If you’re working at a daycare or school, your child can attend as well and often at a much cheaper rate. If you and your child are going to the same place daily, family schedules are much easier to manage.
For babysitting and nanny jobs, or aid at a daycare center, you typically need first aid certification. Actual careers in the childcare and education industry require a degree in Early Education. For more specific careers such as a pediatric nurse, you need a degree in Nursing with a specialty in pediatrics.
Is A Job With Children Right For You?
The salaries are as varied as the job and career choices. Working as an aid in a childcare center isn’t going to garner a huge salary while a pediatric nurse or center director will earn significantly more. It’s all a matter of where you are in life and what your long-term goals are.
We hope this helps you decide whether working with kids could be the right choice for you. Remember, it’s not just about having a childlike wonder so you can connect with them on their level. There are a lot of different factors to take into consideration before you should proceed with this decision.