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Updated and Reviewed by Malcolm Peralty
One thing we want for our jobs is satisfaction, and landing high-paying careers working with children can give you that!
Upon reviewing this article, the chief editor of PremiumSchools.org, Malcolm Peralty adds, “Turn your passion for nurturing the young into a lucrative career with these high-paying opportunities, where every day brings a chance to make a lasting impact.”
According to studies, professionals who work with children are likely to enjoy their careers better than the traditional ones in an eight-to-five working day!
In 2020, the US was already home to 73.1 million under 18. By 2050, this figure is expected to rise by 4.8 million, according to the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics.
Children in their early stages of development rely on an assortment of adult professionals—either indirectly or directly. That is why the demand for employment is very strong in careers working with children.
Working with children is an enjoyable and rewarding experience for many working professionals. The labor statistics point to many occupations for people interested in earning a decent living through caring for kids. Most professions are in the education and healthcare fields, but even with just a high school diploma, you can be across all sectors enjoying high-paying careers for working with children!
20 High-Paying Careers Working with Children
1. Juvenile Justice Lawyer
Juvenile justice lawyers represent minors who are accused of committing criminal infractions in court. Child advocates defend minors in child trafficking, child abuse and neglect, foster care and adoption, and labor exploitation.
Juvenile justice lawyers, also called juvenile justice attorneys, work in state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations.
A juvenile attorney must receive a master’s degree in law which, in addition to their bachelor’s studies can take up to eight years to complete.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics data confirmed that, in the US, the average annual pay for juvenile justice lawyers is $163,770.
2. Child Psychiatrist
Child psychiatrists are doctors who strongly focus on a child’s mental health issues. Child psychiatrists also work with families with a primary focus on identifying and treating mental health conditions that affect how children (and adolescents) feel, think, and act.
A master’s degree in School Psychology is required to obtain a career in this field. Usually, a doctorate is the norm.
Child psychologists have a mean annual salary of $81,500, making these jobs one of the high-paying careers working with children across the US.
A pediatrician is a specially trained medical doctor who works with infants, babies, adolescents, and adults.
Children go through rapid mental and physical changes as they grow. Acquiring a bachelor’s degree or higher education, pediatricians know this fact and evaluate young patients based on the normal range for their age.
Becoming a pediatrician requires the highest of education with the goal ending with a doctorate in medical school.
Pediatricians’ average salary is approximately $203,240 per year.
4. Pediatric Dentists
Also called pedodontists, pediatric dentists specialize in identifying and treating dental problems among teenagers, children, and infants.
They mainly focus on dental procedures for distinctive dental issues that usually start in the teeth, jaws, or gums as the body grows and develops.
Similar to but with fewer responsibilities than medical doctors, pediatric dentists give intensive oral health care designed for growing children and teenagers. The average annual wage for pediatric dentists is $173,909.
5. Speech-Language Pathologist
Also called a speech therapist, a speech-language pathologist assesses, diagnoses, and treats speech and swallowing disorders in adults and children.
They usually work as part of a special education team at a school or sometimes work with kids one-on-one (or in small groups). SLPs work on other speaking challenges like stuttering or trouble pronouncing word sounds and other language-related challenges.
If you are interested in becoming one of the over 171,400 Speech Language Pathologists in the US, you must obtain a master’s degree along with a clinical fellowship.
The average annual wage of speech-language pathologists starts at $84,140 and can go as high as $126,680.
6. Pediatric Audiologist
A pediatric audiologist examines kids and young adults for hearing loss and other related issues. They perform evaluations and tests to identify the presence, extent, and reasons for hearing loss in toddlers, babies, children, and young adults.
Pediatric audiologists are highly trained at diagnosing early signs of hearing loss because early intervention is the best course of action.
Most Pediatric Audiologists hold a bachelor’s degree but a large majority of persons in this field move on to obtain their master’s degree.
In the US, a pediatric audiologist‘s salary is $69,543 annually.
7. Pediatric Registered Nurse
A pediatric registered nurse specializes in caring for child patients from birth until adolescence. They obtain extensive knowledge of child growth and development because conditions and diseases in children are usually treated differently than in adults.
Since the young patients are much younger, pediatric nurses have more solid relational ties than adult patients. Although pediatric RNs have different types, they generally perform similar functions to registered nurses.
The mean annual salary of a pediatric registered nurse is $134,328 per year.
8. Pediatric Dental Hygienist
A pediatric dental hygienist examines a child’s dental health to check for oral diseases like gingivitis and later provides the necessary preventive care. They are present while the dentist is doing check-ups, filling a cavity, or doing extractions.
They can also administer anesthesia to children (Novocain). Dental assistants perform similar tasks to pediatric dental hygienists, although their abilities and duties vary by state.
The average annual salary of pediatric dental hygienists is $88,188, with the top-earning taking home more than $129,000.
9. School Psychologist
School psychologists are professionals whose primary job is to recognize, address, and overcome behavioral and learning challenges that learners face in elementary school, middle school, and high school.
With a master’s degree or doctoral degree, school psychologists should also have the Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) Credential in School Psychology in California.
School psychologists enjoy a median annual wage of $87,550, with the top earners getting more than $128,800 per year.
10. School and Career Counselor
Dealing with a kid’s academic, social, parental, and social issues or personal development children, career and school counselors of elementary school, middle school, and high school students are there to help these children achieve their full potential must be done in a flexible, adaptable, and caring way.
Generally, most school counselors hold a master’s degree in the fields of mental health counseling or community counseling.
The average median pay of school counselors is $60,140 per year ($28.92 per hour).
11. School Teacher
Being a school teacher is a high-paying career working with children, but this is also one of the most satisfying and fulfilling.
Elementary school teachers and high school teachers develop young minds for their future. You teach children the basics of standard school subjects, create class schedules, and dedicate yourself to the child’s personal development.
According to Salary.com, school teachers’ salaries vary greatly from one state to another. The average yearly pay according to BLS.gov for a middle school teacher is $61,810.
12. School Principal
A school principal has many responsibilities and areas of school operations to cover within the school district, including teacher evaluation, leadership among school staff, and student discipline.
Becoming an effective principal is a challenge and time-consuming. Essentially, elementary, middle school, and high school principals are the primary leaders concerned with each child’s personal development.
The median annual wage for a school principal who has a master’s degree is $101,320, with the top-paid 10% earning up to $158,770 per year.
13. Education Administrator
At every school level (kindergarten, elementary, and secondary), an education administrator plans, directs, and coordinates the academic, administrative, and auxiliary activities.
Although the role is focused more on administrative duties involving school operations (meaning, less time spent with the kids), you still play a major school staff role in every kid’s educational development.
The mean annual wage (kindergarten to secondary level) for an education administrator is $99,940, and the top earners take home more than $196,420 per year.
14. Pediatric Nutritionist/Dietician
If you are mindful about what kids eat, a career as a pediatric nutritionist/dietician is very rewarding. With this job, you get to make special meal plans for children based on their medical and physical condition.
A pediatric nutritionist/dietician also creates and evaluates policies and nutrition programs for children from infancy until eighteen years.
The average annual salary for a pediatric nutritionist/dietician with at least a bachelor’s degree falls around $101,056.
Social workers build healthy and safe families and communities. Specifically, child welfare social workers focus on protecting and supporting children and families who need assistance.
These social workers are responsible for safeguarding children and adolescents at risk for abuse and neglect in a child welfare system.
16. Early Childhood Educator
Early childhood educators educate and care for young kids, helping them and honing their social and cognitive development.
They think and plan activities that will engage children so they develop, grow, and flourish to their full potential. You can take different career paths in early childhood education, like managing a daycare, teaching, and providing in-home care for children.
Early childhood educators with at least a bachelor’s degree earn $43,590 on average in the US, and some get paid more than $48,690 each year.
17. Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapists help children succeed in some of the key areas of their lives. This entails helping a child build the necessary skills for daily activities.
Pediatric occupational therapists are trained to recognize limitations and delays in cognitive skills, fine motor skills, and social development.
These medical professionals, who should have at least a bachelor’s degree, earn a median of $71,797 and can go as high as $78,214 annually.
18. Children’s Librarian
The main responsibility of a children’s librarian is to choose materials for the library’s children’s department. However, they also plan activities and programs for young library-goers, promote programs, conduct outreach, and develop innovative and creative book displays.
To become a children’s librarian, it helps to have a Library Science background and be well-versed in children’s literature. A children’s librarian, who is expected to have earned a bachelor’s degree, makes between $52,170 and $68,856 each year.
19. Preschool Music Teacher
As a preschool music teacher, you work with children and give them musical instrument lessons. You also make lesson plans and provide them with practical and theoretical music instruction.
A music teacher also teaches students how to read music sheets, play by ear, and the elements of music composition.
A preschool music teacher earns $34,261 (average) every year; $50,000 for the top earners (or $4,167 per month).
20. Dance Teacher
Dance teachers educate their students in dance performance, technique, and choreography. They work in numerous settings, including private studios, schools, gyms, and community or childcare centers.
Dance teachers are paid $40 (average) per hour. The average annual salary is $40,509, while the top earners get $49,407.
5 Things You Need to Know About Working with Kids
1. Expect the unexpected.
Kids will always be kids, and they are very unpredictable. Professionals working with kids have to be ready all the time to handle unexpected situations, not to mention the emotional ups and downs.
You have to be a quick thinker, very flexible, and ready to adjust suddenly in high-paying careers working with children.
2. No two kids are alike!
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation that makes working with kids predictable! Each child is unique and different. Thus, you need to find unique ways to work with them, teach them, guide them, and even discipline them in high-paying careers working with children.
3. Kids are very active.
Active kids are generally healthy. If you are interested in working with kids, prepare to embrace a child’s constant motion. Use this chance to provide support and learning opportunities to the kid instead.
4. Be ready for tough situations.
Children are probably one of the most challenging and vulnerable members of society. This means that those working with them in settings like childcare centers often witness difficult and heartbreaking situations. For instance, it’s normal for a social worker to witness the effects of abuse and hostile early childhood experiences.
5. Never expect instant gratification.
Changing a little life immediately in high-paying careers working with children is a beautiful thought. But when you work with kids, it takes a lot of time and effort to help kids learn and change their behavior.
4 Benefits That Working with Children Can Provide
1. A Deeper Sense of Purpose
Many of the children will become leaders, inventors, artists, caretakers, and doctors one day. This means that when you are working with kids, you have the chance to help them shape their future.
2. Exposure to Newer and Fresher Perspectives
When you were still a kid, maybe you were curious about everything. A simple interaction with a young adult can be powerful enough to break holes that cloud your thinking.
3. Better Chances to Earn a High Pay
In careers working with children, earning a chunky national average salary is not immediately obvious, but your passion for kids will eventually lead you to earn more. This is true with a bachelor’s degree relating to the field in your belt.
4. More Laughter, More Smiles
Young kids are vibrant and have a very playful energy that most people sadly lose along the path to adulthood. High-paying careers working with children provide a daily sight of them singing, dancing, laughing, and playing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What skills should you be working on when working with children?
Contrary to what many believe, kids are not “regular humans in the miniature form.” Children are unique human beings still in the stage of transitioning into adults. Here are the skills you need to possess for high-paying careers working with children
- The Ability to Conceal Annoyance and Frustration
- Being Calm in an Emergency
Why do people choose to work in childcare?
Childcare is gratifying. High-paying careers working with children are all about developing their full potential. As a childcare provider, you help kids get a good start. You assist them in developing crucial social skills in a caring and safe atmosphere that fosters learning through play.
What degrees are best suited for students planning on working with children?
If you wish to work with children, there are bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees you can pursue, including options involving the child’s development, psychology, and education.
Working predominantly with children entails an assessment of a professional path that aligns with your professional goals.
Are there certifications and training courses to help you boost your career in childcare?
While some high-paying careers working with children do not require formal schooling like school bus drivers or nanny jobs, it helps to have a specialized child care training course to make you more knowledgeable and professional.
Below are some certifications you might want to check.
- CPR and first aid certifications
- Water-safety Certification
- Infant care classes and certification
- Nanny’s basic skills assessment
- Professional nanny certification
- Driver’s License
- Nutrition and cooking courses
- Fitness education
- Foreign language skills
- Early childhood education
- School administration license
What paths are waiting for a child development career?
Those who have a rewarding career in child development can easily secure a position in various industries.
With a bachelor’s degree, some are into family support services and counseling, while others prefer to work in a classroom that best suits their interest.
Below are some areas of concentration to help you prepare for specific careers working with children:
- Early Development and Learning
- Counseling and Family Services
- Juvenile Delinquency
- Management and Administration
- Child Development Research
If you are up for the challenge of constantly having little tots of any age around, enjoy the idea of engaging them in conversations and activities, or want to provide a range of services to keep them healthy, many careers working with children are at your disposal!
Make sure you have the energy, the passion, the education and training, and the positive attributes that make the job a fulfilling journey. Teach and shape the lives of future generations with high-paying careers working with children.