A career working with children is considered one of the most valuable, and rewarding vocations a person can pursue. Tasked with educating, nurturing, and entertaining the next generation those choosing to work with children face challenges and an unimaginable wealth of experience on a daily basis; put quite simply there’s no calling quite like it.
Well, not when it comes to job satisfaction, anyway. The good news for anyone with a passion for education and childcare is that there are numerous positions, and job titles to aim for, which will depend upon your skills, aptitude for education, and level of experience; if you’ve ever considered working with children the chances are there’s a job out there for you.
The importance of education
As well as choosing the right career to suit your passion, skills, and expertise it’s essential to have the correct qualifications for the job you’ve always wanted; have you accrued the necessary hours of work experience, and ensured that you’re educated to the required level in order to pursue the role of your dreams? Most positions within the childcare industry will demand an accredited college certification, or degree-level qualification at least.
It’s vital for all candidates, carers, and practitioners to understand their roles and the best interests of their charges, after all. Research is essential prior to pursuing any avenue. An early childhood education associates degree is perhaps the most popular pathway into an early childhood career, but reflect upon what’s more likely to support your potential, and your ambitions. What kind of childcare might you be able to offer, or strive to support? Other popular qualifications include childcare certification and diplomas, while training is often offered alongside foundation-level positions.
Choosing the right career for you
So, you’ve explored career and educational options, and thought about what skills you might have to offer; what’s next? There are numerous careers that you could consider within the childcare sector, including hands-on positions and those that offer support from the sidelines.
A childminder is someone who will look after a group of children in their own home for a period of time each day. Unlike a nursery worker or teacher there is no official qualification to become a childminder, although you must register your services with a local governing body and prepare for regular inspections. Childminding affords individuals the opportunity to support and nurture children in a comforting, home-from-home environment, while setting their own hours and rate; it’s a flexible, rewarding role that’s valued by working parents with pre-school age children.
2. Speech therapist
To become a speech and language therapist you must achieve a bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s degree or further training in your chosen field of expertise, and then certification. A speech therapist’s job is an essential one, empowering children, and some adults to communicate in the best way they can. Whether a child has a medical impairment, or issues with his or her confidence it’s up to a speech therapist to determine the best course of action. Our ability to make ourselves heard and understood is an integral one; the job of a speech therapist is, therefore, essential.
3. Social worker
Social workers tend to aid children and their families in a home environment, although your job may require school visits and teacher interviews, too. Social work is a challenging, but highly rewarding career that allows individuals to contribute towards the wellbeing of babies, children, and their families; identifying issues and empowering families to overcome them, social workers play an important part in society – and the more private family unit. This career requires a bachelor’s degree and often a master’s degree, as well as work experience and registration as a social worker.
The role of teacher is inherently popular with those wanting to work with children; where else would you be afforded the opportunity to care for the children in your charge, while sharing the many wonders of the world, and helping to shape a lifelong curiosity and a love of learning? Teachers are required to have a bachelor’s degree and dedicated teacher training, and are expected to keep up with teaching trends and methods through professional development for teachers. The career of a teacher has many facets; each of them designed to nurture the adults of the future.
A pediatrician is a doctor specializing in the care and treatment of children and young people; you may have always wanted to study pediatrics, or chosen your specialty during your general medical training. Requiring four years of medical school and a further three years to complete a pediatric residency the road to caring for children in a hospital or treatment center is a long, challenging one. However, very few roles are quite so blessed when it comes to their rewards. Pediatricians are capable of making a real difference to a patient’s health and quality of life.
You could also choose to work as a librarian, museum enrichment officer, occupational therapist, or as a swimming teacher or sports’ coach. As you can see, the skills and educational backgrounds demanded from those choosing to work with children are as varied as the roles; from child minder to teacher and social worker to doctor, there are so many careers that might fulfill your passion for working with, and helping children.
Similarly, there are a great many roles that will work with, and be determined by your strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to working with children, where does your potential lie? This article is by no means exhaustive, of course. Perhaps your dream vocation is out there right now, waiting for you to choose your path to success. We wish you lots of luck with your career.
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