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Those looking for a rewarding career in which there's never a dull moment might consider a job working with children. Although we've highlighted obvious careers like teaching and child psychology, a few of these kid-focused careers may surprise you.
Becoming a teacher is one of the most oft-chosen paths for those wishing to pursue a career working with children. Teaching requires patience, flexibility and an even temper, but for those who can handle it, teaching can be a highly rewarding career.
Education: Teachers are required to hold bachelor's degrees, often in education. Secondary school teachers usually hold bachelor's degrees in the subject they wish to teach. Because salary increases in correlation with a teacher's education level, many teachers pursue master's or other higher-level degrees.
Salary: The median annual salary is $49,370 for elementary school teachers, $49,740 for middle school teachers and $51,230 for secondary school teachers. *
2. Camp director
A great option for those who consider themselves "kids at heart," camp directors spend their days planning camper activities and schedules, communicating with parents and managing camp staff.
Education: Although formal education is typically not required for part-time and seasonal camp positions, most administrative-level roles in camp organizations require a bachelor's degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009 there were 89 bachelor or associate-level college programs in parks and recreation in the United States.
Salary: Annual wages for workers across the recreation industry average between $17,680 and $28,810, although those in supervisory positions can earn substantially more.
For bookworms who want to pass their love of reading on to younger generations, working as a children's librarian is a great gig. Youth librarians may work in schools or local library branches.
Education: Librarians at public or university libraries are required to have a master's degree in library science. In some states, school librarians may not need an MLS, but are instead required to be certified as teachers.
Salary: The median annual salary for librarians across all industries is $52,530.
4. Day care owner
Working parents trust their children in the hands of day care providers, who typically care for children in their own home or at an established child care center. In addition to bearing responsibility for the children in their care, day care owners are also responsible for the overall success of their business. Responsibilities may include ordering supplies, managing employees and determining fees.
Education: Day care owners often hold a bachelors degree in child psychology, human development or education, though not required. Day care owners are required to obtain a certification, the details of which vary by state.
Salary: The pay scale varies greatly for day care owners, depending on factors such as fee per child, number of children and whether the center is in the owner's home or at another location. In 2008, the median salary for child care administrators across all sectors was $37,270.
5. Pediatric nutritionist
With childhood obesity at epidemic levels, pediatric nutritionists are increasingly in demand. Responsibilities may include working with school districts to develop a balanced lunch menu or helping overweight children and their families make more healthful food choices.
Education: Nutritionists must hold at least a bachelor's degree, and certification or registration is required by most states.
Salary: The median salary for nutritionists and dietitians is $50,590.
6. Child psychologist
Child psychologists observe and analyze the behaviors of children. Those who work in schools may spend time sorting out behavioral issues with students, while those in a solo practice may provide family counseling or treatment for specific mental disorders and illnesses. Child psychologists also may hold research positions, conducting studies on child development.
Education: Child psychologists go through extensive education and training, usually beginning with a bachelor's degree in psychology, followed by a doctorate program. School psychologists, however, can begin their careers with a master's degree.
Salary: Counselors and psychologists average around $64,000 per year. For those employed in schools, median salary was slightly higher, at $65,710.
For those who love their full-time job but want to spend more time working with children, coaching is a great option. As a coach, you'll work in the evenings and on weekends -- when children are not in school -- so you can get your kid time in without quitting your day job.
Education: Coaches should have demonstrated interest or experience in the sport they are coaching. For some positions, coaches may be required to complete training courses.
Salary: Coaches employed by schools have a median salary of $25,740. Part-time coaches employed by local recreation leagues are often paid hourly.
8. Speech language pathologist
Speech pathologists most commonly work in schools, hospitals or private practices, and help children to overcome speaking and communication difficulties, such as stuttering and vowel pronunciation.
Education: Employment requires a master's degree from an accredited speech therapy program, plus at least 300 hours of supervised clinical work. Before beginning practice, speech pathologists must also pass a nationally standardized test.
Salary: The median annual wage for speech language pathologists across all industries is $62,930. The median salary for those employed in schools is slightly lower, at $58,140.
9. Pediatric registered nurse
Pediatric nurses specialize in caring for children in hospitals and doctors' offices. They provide routine screenings, diagnose illness, perform acute care on sick children and check-ups on healthy children.
Education: The registered nurse distinction is acquired by completing an accredited bachelor's degree program in nursing. Nursing school is typically divided between time spent in the classroom and hands-on learning in the field. Board certification is also required.
Salary: The median annual salary for a registered nurse across all disciplines is $67,217.
10. Juvenile justice attorney
Attorneys in the juvenile justice system specialize in legal issues applying to minors. Juvenile laws often differ from those that apply to people over 18. Juvenile justice attorneys work to protect the rights of minors who may have fallen victim to a crime or suffered an injustice. Juvenile justice attorneys also defend minors who have been accused of committing a crime.
Education: Like all lawyers, juvenile justice attorneys must hold a law degree and pass their bar exam.
Salary: The middle 50 percent of lawyers earn between $74,980 and $163,320.
*All salary information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is based on figures reported in May 2008.
Kaitlin Madden is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
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