3 answers

What kind of careers are out there working with young children?

Asked Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I really want to work with young kids, newborn to about kindergarten, but I don't want to be a teacher (typical, I know) and I don't really want to work in a daycare. I've even thought about being a pediatric nurse or neonatal nurse but I don't know if I could really handle seeing little cute sick kids all day everyday. I'm a senior in high school and I feel like time is ticking!! Please help me figure out my career path! If you have any ideas on careers, what could I major in order to get that career? #college #career #nurse #social-work #working-with-children #working-with-kids

3 answers

Bailey’s Answer

Updated Santa Cruz, California

Hello Erinise, I had the same exact question when I was in high school. I absolutely loved working with children, but did not think being a teacher or nurse was right for me. Not a lot of people have heard of occupational therapy (also known as OT), but a girl in college told me about it when I was 15. Now I am almost a licensed OT myself and work with kids all of the time! As a pediatric OT we get to "play" with children who may have special needs or may be behind or different from other children their age as therapy! It is one of the best jobs I could have asked for in the world.

I would definitely suggest using google and (also YouTube!) for more information about occupational therapy for children, and see if there are any pediatric OTs in your area to go volunteer with! I spent many hours volunteering and following an OT in a private pediatric clinic in high school and it looked like a giant jungle gym in their facility. Volunteering is a great way to determine if this could be the job for you. Hope this helped! Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions, take care.

Teresa’s Answer

Updated Memphis, Tennessee

Hi Erinise! I am a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care and I love it! I also work closely with some Pediatric nurses who also love their job. Many people told me that it must be very sad to take care of sick babies or sick children-- but I think of it differently becasue MOST of the time it is a very positive experience. Infants and children can be very sick- but they also can really do well with treatment and it is very satisfying to have a hand in that process. It takes patience to work with children, but it can be such a blessing. I LOVE nursing and think it's a great field so I would highly recommend pursuing this career- Just a couple of things.... the schedule can be difficult and there are always body fluids to deal with (the down side). As long as you can get past those- what a great career!! Hope this helps!

Updated
I'm really sorry about the completely inappropriate post earlier today from df. Typically students recognize that the opportunity to get career advice is really valuable and take this very seriously, but sometimes the lure of acting out is too strong. It's rare that a student posts inappropriate content (last time was months ago), but it's really frustrating every single time it happens. I want to apologize to you both Teresa and Erinise for this. SMH truly :(
Updated
It's okay. One bad comment will not make me stop responding to those who take this seriously. Thank you.

Rebecca’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

There are many careers working with young children, such as in early childhood education, that aren't teaching. You said you're a high school senior. Have you decided on a university to attend, or are you attending a junior college first? Most universities and junior colleges offer courses in early childhood education (ECE units) that will require hands-on experience with children as part of your coursework. This would be a great way to network with others in the field, and learn about different career options, while earning credits toward a degree. Some career avenues you may consider looking into: social work (you can choose to work with families or children), counseling (child or school counseling; will require a masters degree), early intervention services (if you want to work with children with special needs). If you are going into college undecided and plan on earning a bachelors degree, you have plenty of time (1-2 years) to earn general course units that you will need for a bachelors degree anyway, before having to pick a major. Of course, you could just major in Early Childhood Education, then earn your AA, BA, or MA... depending how long you want to be in school and how much money you'd like to earn when you're done. With this major, you're most likely to work in day care settings, or you could be privately employed as a nanny. There are also travel opportunities for nannies (sometimes called au pairs) if that's something you're interested in.