Careers that Help Children & Pay Well

This article explores careers in education, law, social services, healthcare and design that provide opportunities for professionals to help children while earning a good salary. Some of these career options involve working directly with children, while others may involve working on behalf of children.

Career Options for Careers that Help Children and Pay Well

People who like children may be interested in pursuing a career in a field where their work helps children, while still allowing them to earn a good salary. While preschool teachers work with young children to help them learn basic concepts and childcare workers provide daily care for children, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in 2016 that professionals in these fields earned median salaries of $28,790 and $21,170 respectively. Individuals interested in helping children and earning a higher salary may want to consider other career options.

Job Title Median Salary* (2016) Growth* (2014-2024)
Pediatricians $168,990 10%
Preschool and Childcare Center Directors $45,790 7%
Social Workers $43,250 6%
Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers $55,490 6%
Industrial Designers $67,790 2%
Lawyers $118,160 6%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Careers that Help Children and Pay Well


Pediatricians are medical doctors who specialize in the care of children; they also work with babies and teenagers. They must earn a medical degree and complete a residency and an internship in their field. In their work they help children by monitoring their health and development. They ensure each child's development is progressing normally, make sure that children receive medical vaccinations, and when necessary they diagnose illnesses and prescribe treatments.

Preschool and Childcare Center Directors

Preschool and childcare center directors can help children by ensuring they hire qualified, caring staff to work in the preschool or childcare programs that they oversee. These professionals also perform tasks like overseeing facility maintenance, training staff and determining program goals. They form a conduit between parents, staff and children, and may communicate with all of these people in order to help identify or resolve issues. These professionals normally have prior experience in childcare or education, and need to have an associate's or bachelor's degree and a license.

Social Workers

Child, family and school social workers need a bachelor's degree in social work. The focus of their work is to help ensure that children are properly cared for in safe environments. When they identify a child in need they may help the family by working with them to find housing or other resources that they're lacking. They may also identify and protect children who are being abused.

Kindergarten and Elementary School Teachers

Kindergarten and elementary school teachers work with children in kindergarten or grades one through five. These educational professionals instruct children in the skills and concepts needed to advance to the next grade level. They also provide direction to address behavioral issues, and they can help facilitate the development of social skills. Teachers are also likely to identify potential learning issues that may be affecting a child, and can take steps to ensure that children are properly diagnosed or receive the support they need to succeed in school. Teachers need to have a bachelor's degree, and those who teach in the public school system must also have a teaching license.

Industrial Designers

Industrial designers may not work directly with children, but they can still play an important role helping children through their work. Since they create and develop things like toys, they can impact how a child plays and their exposures in their developmental years. Industrial designers may focus on developing educational toys that can help children with different learning styles acquire skills and understand concepts, and through the creation of new products designed for children it's possible for industrial designers to contribute to the development of a child's cognitive, fine motor and gross motor skills. Industrial designers need to have a bachelor's degree.


Lawyers must earn a law degree and their law license in order to practice. While these professionals may not always work directly with children, they may play a vital role in determining how a child will be cared for following a divorce, or they may work as a child's legal advocate. They may represent the child in divorce proceedings, or they may be involved in legal matters when a child has been abused. They can help ensure that the best interests of the child are considered in legal rulings related to the care of the child.

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