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Top 10 Kids' Dream Jobs

Updated on December 11, 2015

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

When you were a kid and someone asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, how did you respond? Something tells me that you didn’t immediately jump the gun and beg for a job in accounting or engineering. Not that there’s anything wrong with those fields (I mean, I’m a stay-at-home writer, it’d be nice to have a steady, well-paying job), they just don’t usually scream openly to children of their flash, excitement, and grandeur. I, myself, am always surprised to hear that ever since I was little I’ve told my mom that I was going to write books (a feat I still have yet to accomplish), and that other than that, all I really wanted was to be a famous actress.

Of course, you’ll no sooner see me stand in front of a live audience running through my lines as you will see Glee return for another season—it’s more than unlikely, it’s pretty laughable (sorry Glee fans, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that McKinley High had outgrown its welcome). That being said, it’s no real secret that children, when asked what they want to be when they grow up, usually look to the heroes in their lives (or sky), calling upon them for sage advice and a sound career for their adult years.

While some of the jobs may not come as a surprise to you, and many have been staples for the past few decades, the top ten list for what children most want to be when they grow up may surprise you and leave you yearning for your own childhood years.

#10 A Superhero

When’s the last time you went to the movies? I’ll go ahead and place a pretty decent bet that there was at least one superhero movie that was either on a movie poster or previewed before whatever you happened to be watching. I, myself, will admit that batman—prior to Nolan’s incredible trilogy—is someone that I’ve always admired, while thinking that I could pull off that structured leather suit with the non-moving neck pretty well. All you have to do is look at the San Diego Comic Con to realize how big superheroes have become in pop-culture, and whether real or not, kids are aching to become one all their own when they hit adulthood.

#9 A Wizard

Now here is something I can get on board with. Not only are wizards cool (all you do is swish and flick, say a few words and BAM you’ve got a flying couch) but with the outrageously successful Harry Potter series, written by JK Rowling, kids have clambered to get their hands on their own ticket to Platform 9 ¾ so that they can make it to Hogwarts by the start of term. Lucky for parents, Rowling came out with her own site, Pottermore, to appease our aching hearts, and so your kids, while not actually able to become a real wizard, can explore the world to their heart’s content.

#8 A Prince/Princess

It’s true folks. I’ve lived through Diana, and while I didn’t stay up all night to watch the Royal Wedding, I had some pretty heavy thoughts about her wedding dress. Though becoming a prince or princess is not technically only a dream, we only have to look at Kate Middleton to admit that one, I’d assume that the Disney corporation has done some pretty heavy damage on children and wanting to become real life rulers of their own kingdom. As unlikely as it may be, becoming a prince/princess is not necessarily something to laugh at and toss away, try encouraging your kid to act as charitable and kind as Kate Middleton is known to be, and by the time they grow out of the phase they’ll be royal in their own family.

#7 A Dancer

Now we’re inching into jobs that are not only real, but realistic. While many kids—both boys and girls—dream of becoming ballerinas when they grow up, there are actually many different types of dance opportunities available. To become a dancer, however, comes the need for supportive parents who will enroll you in all of the necessary classes and help you take your place in the dance world seriously. Is it an impossible dream to pursue? Absolutely not. But it is difficult. All your child needs is a little guidance and support, and they very well might find themselves pirouetting across Broadway one day.

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#6 An Actor

Pretty much hand-in-hand with becoming a dancer, a child that wants to be an actor when they grow up is not entirely lost in their imagination. Many kids grow up to become famous, but not every actor is a Hollywood startlet itching for trouble. If your child wants to become an actor, perhaps you should consider enrolling them in local theatre. At the very least your child learns to break out of their shell and become comfortable interacting and performing in front of people.

#5 An Athlete

Another dream for many children, becoming a star, or even Olympic athlete is difficult but realistic. Many children these days are encouraged to already get involved in sports, and the older they get, the more competitive the sports become. Many high school students are picked ripe for the picking from freshman year to play for college teams, and many college students are picked early on for pro-ball, swim, or run for their sport. If your child is interested in becoming a pro-footballer, don’t derail their dreams, rather get them on a team, and if nothing else they will learn sportsmanship and how to be a team player.

#4 A Scientist

If you ask my seven-year-old cousin what she wants to be when she grows up, you might be surprised to hear her say scientist. Finding fun in creating things like slime and “goo”, kids often times imagine that it might be exciting to do this for a living. Now, being married to a neuroscientist, I can assure you that it’s all goo and games until a beaker breaks, but the job does exist, and someone does have to do it. Included in this category are the kids who want to be a doctor or veterinarian. All are realistic jobs that require hard work, and a love and passion for learning, and the good news is all have job openings for when the time is right.

#3 A Teacher

Your child, depending on their age, spends upwards of five hours a day with their teacher. They laugh with their teacher, they play with their teacher, and sometimes they even get to take a nap under the supervision of their teacher. Kids that enjoy school and love the environment may want to take a leap at becoming a teacher. This job does require schooling, but is always welcoming new and warm-hearted people to teach the next generation of children.

#2 A Policeman

How many kids have you heard say they want to be a policeman when they grow up? For children, policemen are very real versions of superheroes, and for those who’ve realized that superheroes don’t exist, are the only opportunity they may get to being that close. Policemen help protect the people of their city or town, and get to wear a uniform that just speaks of superhero-ism to children. Plus becoming a policeman is not only totally realistic, but it has many different options available for job placement and growth.

#1 A Firefighter

The Holy Grail of superhero-like jobs, firemen (and women) save peoples’ lives on a daily basis. They are—seemingly—immune to the pain of flames, get to drive a big red car, and they get to slide down that big pole in the firehouse—how much better does it get? Being a firefighter is not only a dream for children, however, many adults ache to get their hands dirty in the position one day, seeing it as a viable career opportunity and a chance to fulfill that lifelong dream.

Did You Become What You Wanted To Be When You Were A Kid?

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So what are you waiting for? Now that I’ve reminded you how great it is to be a child and dream big, rush out and find that perfect job that makes you happy. I, myself, have already made the transition and been placed into my house (I’m a Slytherin and proud of it). But if you happen to be in a stable job that you enjoy, then maybe it’s best that you don’t try to become a wizard or a superhero just yet (or do, if you know, that’s your thing). Either way, tell me what you think of this list and whether I missed some great job options for the dreaming child in the comments below!


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    • GalaxyRat profile image

      GalaxyRat 9 months ago from The Crazy Rat Lady's House

      I used to want to be a dancer... LOL

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 2 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I agree---I always told my mom an actor or a writer, at least one of them panned out (theoretically), but I think it spoke to me so early on in life I was able to vocalize it, which is always interesting. I definitely agree about asking teenagers, it says a lot about what they've been told about who they are.

    • NahiaraDAmato profile image

      NahiaraDAmato 2 years ago from Nigeria

      When I was younger I wanted to be a lot of things. I started off with a nurse then it was a singer, then actor then director; even though I know I really didn't know what it meant to be a director but it was a nice thought. I admire that question: What do you want to be when you grow up? It says so much about a person's intellect and their personality and gives you a certain kind of insight into their thoughts an imaginations. What I like even more is when you ask "Why do you want to be (insert occupation here) when you grow up?" When you ask that question to teenagers who are seen as delinquents it's usually an eye-opener; because their reasons are linked to some preconceived notion and sometimes it's really nice to know how people see things. Good Hub!

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 2 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I agree! I wanted to be a wizard, but now I write fantasy and sci-fi. My own little way of performing magic, I guess! Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      temptor94 2 years ago

      Great hub.. it is true that our childhood dreams are indeed very different from what we achieve as adults. As children, we are driven by our wishes, while as adults we are driven by necessity and money.

      Sometimes, we can go close to our childhood dream by choosing a profession that comes as close to our dream. I always wanted to be a super-hero.. well vigilante to be more precise, but I never really tried to become a cop.. thanks to laziness :)

    • Kelsey Farrell profile image

      Kelsey Elise Farrell 2 years ago from Orange County, CA


      Great point! I can totally see how people make their dream realistic by going into a "form" of that dream job--i.e. fire fighter recruiters versus an actual fire fighter. Thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      mom 2 years ago

      I think you wanted to be every one of those things except the policeman at some point in your life and I'm so proud of you for what you have become my beautiful daughter!

    • Amanda108 profile image

      Amanda 2 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Very entertaining and thought-provoking! While I didn't grow up to be (or want to be) my preschool-aged self's desires - "a digger or a builder" aka construction worker - I eventually wanted to be "a writer" and then later I started saying that I wanted to go into business. I suppose I'm working on it, though maybe not actively.

      I write on Hubpages, obviously, and I'd really like to explore other avenues and a blog too. Just gotta kick my butt into moving! As far as business, I make and sell pop culture accessories at conventions and festivals, rather successfully. It's in baby stages, but I think I'm on the right path.

      Anyway, the point of my ramble is simply that I think a lot of people may develop their realistic career or job out of an extreme dream as a child. Innate interests and talents and longings stay the same, just shifting in the details. So while someone might not want to drop their manager position to become a firefighter, maybe there are ways to shift one's career toward an area of relevance to those special childhood dreams!

      Great hub!