Careers for a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development
My First Teaching Position
When I was just a teenager I discovered that babysitting young children stimulated my inner passion for teaching. Later as I landed my first teaching position, the opportunity provided me great enjoyment and enabled me to learn from professionals in the field of early childhood development. My ultimate satisfaction was helping families raise children; children, who through nurturing care and guidance, would become positive leaders in their community.
Child Development careers are exciting and cover a wide variety of employment settings. A position in this field promotes communication, creates a healthy, safe learning environment, and builds supportive relationships with children and their families. Additionally, a career in child development lends itself to future expansion to administrative positions.
In the beginning, you may find a full-time employment offer is not available. Child care centers, preschools, summer camps, and hospitals often advertise for part-time help offering a great opportunity to learn from experienced professionals. If you must go this route, seek out a fellow veteran in the field as a mentor where you work. The opportunity to be taken under their wing during this learning period will serve you well as you develop your career path. Don't forget the value of volunteering in an area of interest. You will discover what it is you truly like about working with children and receive first hand knowledge about the industry.
As your career begins to unfold, adding other certifications and skills to your degree will open additional doors and may lead to advancement in other areas such as administration. I have found the following list helpful to many Child Development professionals.
- First Aid (adult, child and infant)
- Music and Art classes
- Physical Activity Training/Classes
- Management Courses
Be aware that some careers such as Child Life Specialist and Child Advocacy may involve additional certification. Advanced degrees are also necessary for clinical and therapeutic counseling positions. Administrative positions, such as Child Care Directors, look for three years experience plus a Master's Degree. In today's world, the option to take online instruction and accreditation will save some time and expense along the way. The reward in obtaining further education and skills is a higher paying position with greater responsibility.
Top Career Opportunities in Child Development
Child Life Specialist
Government Agency (Head Start)
Elementary School Teacher
Early Intervention Specialist
Family Child Care Provider
Child Care Director
My College Graduation Day!
Employment Outlook and Salary Range
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), child care/professional teaching employment needs will increase consistently over the next six years (through 2018). Preschool teachers will see an increase in salary at twice the rate. Teachers with additional skills, such as ESL and Special Needs, will see an additional ten percent (10%) growth.
The average salary for a beginning career in Child Development within the educational school system is $45,000. However, depending upon the locale and industry, salary may vary accordingly. For instance, a government agency may offer an experienced Child Development professional (two year experience) between $57,000 to $74,000 annually. A Child Care Directors salary may range from $32,000 to $45,000 depending upon state, experience and training.
Child Development professionals empower our future leaders. They are passionate people who accept the challenge of creating and building children who will face life with greater values and success. Accepting this career path will make a positive impact on families and communities.