Working with children is an extremely rewarding path to choose for a career. Whether working with several children at a time or on an individual basis is more suitable, there are several options at hand for those who love children and are interested in their fascinating and curious minds.

Teacher

Who doesn’t remember their favorite teachers throughout life? While being a teacher presents numerous challenges on a daily basis, embracing the ability to help shape a child’s education and sense of order is one of the most applauded and rewarding career choices. Whether teaching happens in the classroom—for preschool, grade school, special education, etc.—or in a one-to-one setting—as in tutoring or homeschooling—teaching will enliven both students and teachers themselves. Keep in mind that a Masters in Education is often required (with some exceptions), and salaries vary greatly from different institutions.

Speech Pathologist

This is a great career choice for those who desire close and careful work with children. Speech pathologists work with patients directly to improve any speech impediments like stuttering, lisps or slow language development, and patients are often small children. This is another career choice that involves a significant amount of training beforehand. Speech pathologists must obtain both undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as a few years of training after the graduate degree has been obtained. However, they will also enjoy a comfortable life making between $50,000 and $70,000 a year.

Pediatrician

Pediatrics is another career choice requiring a good amount of formal education. Expect to work for about ten years before enjoying actual practice with children. If the medical field seems attractive, however, look seriously into becoming either a pediatric doctor or nurse, as this is another very redeeming career choice for those interested in working with children. Not only will families turn to pediatricians for guidance, but pediatricians are able to watch the health of children improve in response to their efforts. Average salaries run between $100,000 and $150,000 a year.

Child Psychologist

If using play, toys, and interactive questions in order to help children be more vocal about their thoughts seems appealing, consider child psychology as a career choice. This is another great option for working one-on-one with children. The way children react to and answer various types of questions and stimulations helps to hint at what may or may not be bothering them. If that sounds interesting, seriously consider this career choice. Child psychologists often work for schools, and many become successful enough to start their own private practice. Last year, child psychologists made anywhere from $39,000 to $110,000.

Child Care

If the hefty training required for the above careers is not feasible or attractive, consider working for a child care facility instead. These are great positions for those who enjoy working with several children for hours at a time, usually in a day care setting for children with working parents. Child care employees will enjoy working with children of all different ages and backgrounds. Nannies and aupairs can expect to make around $20,000 a year, while a higher-level position such as the director of a child care center will make around $35,000 a year.

Obviously, more training is required of some of these career choices than others. However, each option listed above is a great opportunity to enjoy the wonderful minds of children, and each is deeply rewarding in its unique ways. Choose what seems most enriching, and the families of these children will be thankful for it.

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