If you love working with children and think you want to have a career dedicated to dealing with children and children’s causes, there are many avenues open to you. Some professions you could choose to pursue are a teacher, day care center director, juvenile probation officer, children’s social worker or a pediatrician. Any of these careers will require special preparation and education.
You will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree from a teacher education program majoring in the subject you plan to teach. After obtaining your degree, you will need to obtain a licensing certification from the state where you plan to teach. You can expect to begin your earnings as a teacher around $25,000 to $35,000 per year depending upon where you will be working. States vary greatly in pay for teachers. The best advice would be to scout several school districts where you would be willing to work and find out about salaries offered for beginning teachers.
Day Care Center Director
As a day care center director, you would be responsible for directing and coordinating a day care program. The day care program may be privately owned or a government program. You will evaluate programs and handle employee scheduling and training. A day care center director works closely with parents, counseling them about their child’s educational and social development. Day care center director qualifications vary by position but most call for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with an emphasis in childhood development or early childhood education. You may also be required to have a First Aid Certification. An average median salary for a day care center director is $50,000 per year.
Juvenile Probation Officer
Juvenile probation officers counsel child offenders and may supervise probation ordered by the court. The purpose is to help rehabilitate the offender and return the child back to his family to be able to resume his education. You may hold family counseling sessions and individual counseling sessions with child offenders. The probation officer accompanies the offender to court informing the judge of the progress the child is making. Fields of study for juvenile probation officers include a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, psychology or a related field. An average juvenile probation officer salary is between $40,000 and $60,000 annually.
There are several service occupations involving children including a children’s counselor or child protection social worker. These occupations involve caring for children’s emotional and physical well-being and could even involve having to make a decision to remove them from a dangerous situation. Some places you could expect to work are government welfare agencies, schools or rehabilitation centers. Most social work positions require a master’s degree in social work, although entry level positions may allow you to begin with a bachelor’s degree. Salaries for social workers range for $35,000 to $70,000 per year.
If you are willing to dedicate more than ten years of time and study to earning a medical degree consider becoming a pediatrician. Your education will begin with a 4-year bachelor’s degree with a pre-med curriculum, followed by four years of medical school. After obtaining your medical degree, you will be a general doctor. A pediatric residency is three years. After completing your residency, you will have to undergo further testing to become “certified”. As a resident, you will make $30,000 to $40,000 per years. After residency and a few years as a practicing pediatrician, you can expect earnings of $100,000 to $200,000 per year.