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nikipedia's avatar

What are some jobs that involve helping and/or working with kids?

Asked by nikipedia (27338 points ) January 31st, 2010

My gentleman companion is trying to find some direction in his career. He isn’t sure what he wants to do, but he is certain he’d like to work with kids.

Can you suggest any potential jobs, and talk about what kind of credentials/education you need to get that job? And any discussion of pros and cons for the job would be helpful too.

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14 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Teaching. Need teaching certificate and college degree.

Recreation Aide. Need background in sports and recreation.

Physical Therapist Pediatric Specialist. Need training in Physical therapy.

bhec10's avatar

Somewhere along pediatrics and/or teaching

Trillian's avatar

Babysitting, child care. Need certificate in psychological warfare!~

SuperMouse's avatar

@marinelife listed my first thought – being a teacher. If he isn’t ready to get a teaching credential he might start as a para-educator or maybe working in an after school “kids club” type program.

He might also be interested in becoming a CASA to see if a career as a child advocate/children’s rights attorney might appeal to him.

lfino's avatar

Social work. There’s plenty of wronged/abused kids out there that need help. Or get into broadcasting and try to work into some show children’s shows. Teaching/Coaching. There’s plenty of kids’ programs at zoos, museums, and hospitals and they take a lot of planning.

tinyfaery's avatar

Social Work is a very broad field that will allow him to work in many capacities. He could work as a counselor, a placement worker, he could work inside the juvenile justice (oxymoron) system. Just get him going. There are so many kids out there who need people who actually care.

Jobes32's avatar

I am a speech pathologist, I work with children with disabilities. I have to say it is rewarding and also flexible, there are many avenues to explore within speech pathology.

nikipedia's avatar

@tinyfaery and @lfino: Social work was what I was thinking too. He doesn’t want to commit to going back to school for an MSW until he has some experience in the field so he can be sure it’s what he wants to do… any suggestions?

tinyfaery's avatar

Childcare worker. Group homes and treatment facilities need people who can perform interventions, teach basic skills and generally be there to model appropriate behavior.

lfino's avatar

@nikipedia, I would go talk to someone in that field and ask them. If your SO has a connection to a social worker in a school possibly or in a treatment facility, tell that person what the goals are and ask if there is a possibility of working without the Master’s, kind of like on-the-job experience. I think the idea makes perfect sense. It’s a lot of work and money to get the degree and then find out that it’s not what you want. I bet that on-the-job experience is how a lot of people that are in school are working towards their degree.

Buttonstc's avatar

This may be off the beaten track a bit, but an interesting and fun way of working with children is as a family/kids entertainer as either a balloon sculptor, magician, clown or similar.

Some of the happiest and nicest guys I’ve ever met at conventions are guys who work with kids in this field doing primarily parties, festivals, business events, etc.

It may sound a little odd, but I’ve met several guys who are supporting their wives and kids by doing this full time as a business.

The nice part of it is that you can start out doing it part time on weekends to seeif you like it and expand from there.

The type of skillset is not that difficult to pick up initially.

A few good books on making balloon animals get you started and from there you can add other skills according to your time and interests.

There are many “self-working” magic tricks which are fine for young children. You certainly don’t need the same level of expertise as someone (like Copperfield or Criss Angel) who does huge stage illusions for adults.

T
Depending upon where you live, there may be a classes for this as part of a community based adult ed program or there may be upcoming conventions nearby which normally have beginner workshops on the schedule.

It’s also the kind of thing where you learn by doing and just keep increasing your skills as you go.

I’m going to put in links of a few successful ones whom I know personally. They all started out part time with volunteer situations and then paying gigs and eventually full time.

If this sounds like a viable area of interest, PM me and I can steer you toward more resources.

www.clownfest.com
This owned and organized by Vince A Pagliano (Vappo) who also has a thriving year round business as a family entertainer. Prior to this he worked as a sales mgr. for a major pharmaceutical company.

www.peachykeene.com
This is the website for Steve Long who is in Pittsburgh and used to be a steel worker.

I used to think you had to have been born into a circus family or something, but people from all walks of life have discovered this to be a really satisfying and fun way to make a living or to enjoy for extra money on a part-time basis.

The main ingredient necessary is a genuine enjoyment of dealing with kids. Everything else can be learned quite easily and developed to whichever level of expertise you choose. It’s really a whole lot of fun.

bigboss's avatar

little league coaching. i think thats volunteer though..not sure.

Buttonstc's avatar

EDIT

Misspelled the link Sorry.

www.peacheykeene.com

OneBadApple's avatar

Our daughter is a children’s librarian in the NYC library system, and has always gotten great satisfaction from it. It’s not just about reading, or recommending books. She gets involved in group programs and travels the city introducing underprivileged and / or kids with legal troubles to helpful programs (education, job placement, etc.) available to them for free through the library system.

She has a Master’s Degree in Library Science, and kind of gets to be a ‘teacher’ without a lot of the downside typically found in the teaching profession (like lousy pay, or having to deal with angry, arrogant parents, etc.)

Good luck…

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