Career in Child Development
Love working with children? Have an infinite amount of patience and enthusiasm? Then you may enjoy a career in child development. A career in child development is not just for anyone. It takes a special person to work with and teach children for eight hours or more a day, deal with each child’s personality, maintain patience, resolve conflicts and discipline when necessary.
Child development can be a very rewarding career path. Some in this field work with special-needs children and help them overcome intellectual, physical, social and emotional challenges. Child development careers are most suitable for individuals who are interested in caring for or teaching children. Most of those in the child development field work in family daycares and child education centers as child care workers. Child care workers hold more one million jobs in the United States, with about 33% of them self-employed.
Required training in the child development field varies from state to state. Some states only require a high school diploma, while other states require certification and some form of college education. Those working in daycares are often required to keep current on their education by continually completing child development courses. They also need the appropriate licensing and certifications in first aid and CPR. Health and background checks may also be required. A Certified Child Development Associate or Certified Child Care Professional credential is required for those interested in pursuing a career in the field and looking for higher paying jobs, such as management and specialist positions.
For those interested in advanced education in child development, there are a variety of colleges that offer programs in this field. Kaplan University is a top-ranked university in this field, and offers degrees in childhood development, child and family welfare and health education. Ashford University offers a bachelor’s degree in child development that can be completed on-campus or online. For those looking for the convenience of attending classes online, Penn Foster College offers an associate’s degree in early childhood education.
Salaries for workers in the child development field vary. Child care workers hold the most jobs, but earn the least, at $8-10 per hour, or around $20,000 per year. Those who work as social workers earn $35,000 to $40,000 per year. Those with advanced education often work as educational administrators, managers and school directors and earn $50,000 per year or more.
The employment outlook for child development careers is about the same as the average for all other careers. Many leave the career every year, so workers are needed to replace them.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics offers more information for those interested in the child development field.