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Careers Working with Families

Some people may enjoy working with families and the different dynamics that they offer. This lesson discusses a handful of jobs, including salaries and educational requirements, that specialize in working with families.

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Career Options for Working with Families

There are several careers across various fields that offer the chance to work with families. Generally these positions provide some kind of help or service to the family as a whole. Below is a table that lists a few of these career options.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Special Education Teachers $57,910 6%
Child, Family and School Social Workers $43,250 6%
Family and General Practitioners $190,490 10%
Childcare Workers $21,170 5%
Marriage and Family Therapists $49,170 15%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Careers Working with Families

Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers provide extra educational support to students with physical, mental, social or learning disabilities. Although they may not work with an entire family daily, they do stay in regular communication with the parents and families of these students to update them on their student's progress and any issues that arise. Special education teachers also develop and implement Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for their students, modify lesson plans to meet the needs of their students and help prepare students for the next grade or life transition. These teachers need at least a bachelor's degree, and must hold a state license or certification to work in public schools.

Child, Family and School Social Workers

Child, family and school social workers specialize in providing families with various services to meet their needs, such as affordable housing, food stamps, education and more. They evaluate a family's needs, help them cope with difficult circumstances and/or changes, recommend the appropriate services and provide follow-up meetings to ensure that the family's situation has improved. They also respond to emergency situations and look out for the welfare of the most vulnerable in families. Child, family and school social workers need at least a bachelor's degree.

Family and General Practitioners

Family and general practitioners are doctors who diagnose and treat everyday illnesses and injuries. Although they do not necessarily treat all members of a family at once, they often have long-term patients and are qualified to treat all members of a family. They examine patients, prescribe medications as needed, develop treatment plans and answer any questions their patients may have. Like all medical doctors, they must complete 4 years of medical school after their undergraduate studies, as well as a residency program.

Childcare Workers

Similar to special education teachers, childcare workers primarily work with the children of a family, but are in constant contact with the parents. They update parents on their children's activities while the parents are working or are otherwise unavailable. Childcare workers may feed, bathe and clothe children, as well as help older kids with homework, create a predictable schedule for the children and more. Education requirements largely depend on the state and employer, but may range from no formal education to certification in the field.

Marriage and Family Therapists

Marriage and family therapists use a family-centered approach to treat individuals, couples or families dealing with mental, emotional or relationship issues. They meet with their clients and help them process through certain events and feelings. Therapists develop ways to help clients combat issues like depression or anxiety. They may also help their clients set goals and make decisions about the future after dealing with hard situations like divorce or unemployment. These professionals need at least a master's degree and license to practice.

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