If you love spending time with children, pursuing a career field that involves working with and helping kids may be the right option for you. There are plenty of great job options to consider.
Eight Jobs Helping Kids
Working as a K- 12 school teacher is a great option for those with a passion to educate children. Teachers can specialize in working with specific grade levels, such as early childhood (pre-kindergarten through second grade), elementary (third through fifth grade), or secondary (sixth through 12th grade) students.
If you choose to teach secondary school, you will need to specialize in a specific content area, such as English, Science, Math, Social Studies, etc. It is also possible to specialize in particular areas of interest, such as working with students who have special needs.
Qualifications: Teachers must have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in Education and, in most cases, a teaching certificate granted from the state in which they will be working.
2. Teacher's Aide
Working as a teacher's aide, a position sometimes referred to as teacher's assistant, is another good option for people who want to help kids. This type of job is a paraprofessional position that involves classroom work performed under the supervision of a teacher. It is a good option for people who want to teach but who do not have a degree, as well as for those who don't want the administrative responsibilities that go along with being a teacher.
Teacher's aides provide a variety of support services, often working with kids on activities or projects, heading up reading groups, providing one-on-one attention to students who need a little extra support in the classroom and more.
Qualifications: Specific requirements vary by school district. Some districts may require two years of college, while others may only require a high school diploma.
3. Child and Family Social Worker
Not every position that helps children involves working in a school setting. Child and family social workers perform very important work that can help improve the lives of children who are in very difficult situations. They often work for state agencies that focus on child welfare, where they may be involved in investigating allegations of child abuse, making custody recommendations in light of children's best interest, working with children in the foster care system and more.
They can also be employed by community mental health providers or nonprofit organizations that provide support services to children in need. Some social workers work as child advocates.
Qualifications: To work as a social worker, you must have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in social work, as well as be licensed as a social worker in the state where you will be employed.
4. Child Sports Coach
Working as a coach is a great way to help kids gain athletic skills that will help them succeed not only in sports, but also in life. Some coaches work in schools coaching school sports teams, while others work with youth leagues and still others work with individuals. Regardless of the environment in which they work, coaches must balance teaching and motivating kids to reach their potential and improve their fitness level while also being able to work effectively with the parents of the youngsters under their tutelage.
Qualifications: Those who coach in youth sports or who work as independent coaches are often former college or professional athletes. Regardless of the type of coaching you want to do, you will need to have expertise in the specific sport you will be coaching and the ability to convey your knowledge effectively to children. If you want to work in a school environment, you will need to have at least a Bachelor's degree and likely need a teaching certificate.
5. Dance Teacher
Sports aren't the only option for helping children master a physical skill and become strong and fit. If your passion lies more with the arts rather than soccer or another sport and you are a skilled dancer, working as a dance teacher could be a great way for you to turn your desire to help children into a career. Dance teachers must, of course, be skilled dancers and have the ability to share their knowledge with young students. Teaching children how to dance can help youngsters develop self-confidence, strength, grace and possibly set them down a path to become professional performers later in life.
Qualifications: While specific requirements may vary among dance studios, dance teachers typically need to complete a recognized teacher training program from a recognized organization such as Dance Educators of America. Some dance teachers have successful professional dance experience and some have college degrees in dance, these are not necessarily required for entry to the field.
6. Pediatric Nurse
If you have a passion for healthcare in addition to a desire to help children, pursuing a career as a pediatric nurse could be a good option for you. As a pediatric nurse, you may be able to work in a hospital, doctor's office or school setting (as a school nurse). The environment that you work in will dictate the type of work that you do. In a hospital you will primarily be working with children with serious illnesses or injuries while in a doctor's office you may be seeing kids who are sick or who are in for preventive care. In a school setting, you will likely perform quite a bit of first aid, as well as determine when parents need to be notified of children's illnesses.
Qualifications: Healthcare providers that treat children may hire licensed practical nurses (LPNS) or registered nurses (RNs) to work with young patients. To become a certified pediatric nurse, however, you will need to gain experience as an RN and sit for the Certified Pediatric Nurse (CPN) exam, a test administered by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board (PNCB).
7. Children's Librarian
Working as a children's librarian is a wonderful option for those who want to work with children and who also have a passion for literature and learning. Children's librarians oversee collections of literature for the libraries where they work, including books, videos, audio recordings, new media and more.
They also organize and promote special programs for children and engage in outreach throughout the community designed to encourage a lifelong love of reading in children. They may also be involved in sourcing and applying for grant funding to expand children's collections and services at their facility or community.
Qualifications: To work as a children's librarian, you will likely need a Master's degree in either library science or school library media.
8. Camp Counselor
If you love the outdoors as much as you want to work with children, you may find that working as a camp counselor is a good option for you. Since camp counselor positions are primarily available during the summer months, this is a really good option to pursue while you are in college or the last few years of high school, and it's also a great summer job for school teachers and teacher's aides.
Camp counselors serve as instructors and coaches for camp activities such as hiking, sports, survival skills and more. They also must be very responsible, because part of their role involves being both chaperone and mentor.
Qualifications: It is not necessary to have a degree to work as a camp counselor, which is part of the reason this type of work is a good option for people who are in school. You do have to be knowledgeable about various types of outdoor activities and be able to effectively share your knowledge with campers.
Pursue Your Passion
Pursuing a career that involves helping children can be very rewarding, and there are options to suit any interest and any level of education. The options listed here are just a few of the many jobs that provide people with an opportunity to help children while earning money. There is sure to be something that is right for you - and there are plenty of kids who will really appreciate your help.