Child Development Careers


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Individuals who have the passion and aptitude for childhood care and teaching can do perfectly well in different child development careers. Child development jobs involve honing children from birth to the age of five. A child development professional holds a crucial role in ensuring that the child learns the basic emotional, motor and language skills essentially needed while growing up.

There are certain requirements to qualify as a child development professional. Legal protocols depend and may vary by state. A number of states would only require one to be a high school graduate but others need to see a Child Development Associate (CDA) Certification.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the rising demand for child development workers may bloat by about 20% in a span of a decade (2010 to 2020). As a result, employment opportunities may increase by 25% for child care professionals.

In terms of salary, it also depends on the type of work one chooses to head on. Information provided by the BLS shows childcare workers earn an annual average of about $19,000, preschool teachers at around $27,000 and administrators of childcare centers at $43,000.

Work and career choices engaging in child development are available in various settings. Here are some of the most common areas where working with children can become a suitable job opportunity.

Child Care or Preschool Teaching

There are some administrative programs that run preschool education and child care. These teaching administrations include private and public schools, preschools, head start programs, family day care and religious organizations. Some institutions like public schools and day care centers require child development workers to have certification for licensure.

The worker or teacher is responsible for educating and handling children through various approaches like organized teaching, play and investigation. The teacher combines creativity, socialization and language development in the curriculum and is done by dividing into different age groups. While employed as a child care worker of preschool teacher, one can learn the value of patience while dealing with children and learn how to effectively communicate with the parents.

Childhood Development Education

Public and private schools utilizing the K-12 curriculum, colleges, universities, and several programs addressing the special needs of some children and adults hire professionals who can become prospective child development educators. Among the most typical career fields are early childhood education, early childhood special education, parent-child education and family and consumer science research. Also, a degree or certification is a requirement when pursuing this line of job. Research and university teaching positions require PhD.

Community Service

A child development worker is considered as one of the key personnel in community organizations like in YMCA, summer camps, youth services agencies and rehabilitation centers. This position is needed in the administration, program and development, research and evaluation departments. This is a fulfilling career path for those who wish to coordinate with different types of people and enhance their public speaking skills. A Child Life Certification is mandatory for several of these community agencies.

Social Service

Case managers, counselors and administrative officers provide child development services in profit and non-profit youth and family organizations and foundations. To land in an administrative position, one of the requirements is to have a graduate degree. In more advanced levels of social work, like providing therapy, a master’s degree and license are appropriate when one is seeking a job in relation to social work, health counseling and rehabilitation therapy.

Medical Field

Hospitals and healthcare facilities employ child development specialists as part of their workforce. The child development worker is in charge of providing education and implementing child care programs in the institution. It is also an advantage if one is holder of a Child Life Specialist certification.

Child development is also integrated in occupational therapy strategies. Certifications and licensing are required in some healthcare settings. There are more open opportunities for individuals who have graduated from a master’s degree in counseling, social work or related fields of study. A number of hospices and wellness agencies also have child development employees.

Government Service

Local, state and federal government bodies, most especially the Department of Health and Department of Education and Welfare open positions for aspiring child development degree and studies graduate. Roles are as follows: rehabilitation, program coordination, research, social services, program evaluation, legislation and advocacy.

Other government agencies such as the Department of Criminal Justice, Nutrition, Fire and Safety, and Cooperative Extension also employ professionals in the study of child development. This type of job is helpful in vocational rehabilitation and guiding military and overseas worker’s dependents.

Working for the government opens for chances of gaining experience and trainings in law enforcement and protective services. It is important that one has to learn the proper procedure in applying for a government position.

Communications Field

Companies in the different media groups such as in the television industry, book publications, newspaper, magazine and radio require experts in the study of child development. This is usually observed in companies focusing on children and family issues and topics. This line of work will showcase one’s ability on writing, editing and journalism related responsibilities.

One can also be assigned in the research and public relations field. To land in this kind of career, one must have at least a major in communications. Writing prowess is also an advantage in this kind of job. Working in a communications company or agency will develop one’s verbal and written skills.

Business Field

Manufacturing corporations geared towards producing children’s products such as toys, food, clothes and stuffs necessitate understanding of the different milestones in a child’s life.

As the child development professional, one’s task is to integrate the knowledge about children into the management, sales and customer aspects of the business. One of the basic requirements in this type of job is to have a minor in business so as to help in management, marketing and sales planning. Working in the business job arena can produce some good benefits such as a chance to increase leadership abilities and enhance computer skills.

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