Early Childhood Development Careers for Veterans

Jun 26, 2018

Veterans may find their desire to help people during service leads to a career in early childhood development. This article explores jobs as social workers, childcare workers, kindergarten teachers, teacher assistants, and special education teachers.

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There are many job options out there for veterans, whether they have been recently discharged or already transitioned into civilian life. Careers in early childhood education are perfect for someone interested in working with developing youth in the early stages of their lives. Read on to learn more about some of the specific jobs that provide the opportunity to work in the field of early childhood development.

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  • Adult Development and Aging
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  • Youth Services

Career Comparison

Job Title Median Salary (2017)* Job Growth (2016-2026)* Applicable Military Skills/Traits
Early Childhood Social Worker $44,380 (child and family social workers) 14% (child and family social workers) Commitment, Integrity
Childcare Worker $22,290 7% Commitment, Communication Skills
Kindergarten Teacher $56,900 7% Communication Skills, Punctuality, Integrity
Teacher Assistant $26,260 8% Punctuality, Communication Skills, Respect for Authority
Special Education Teacher $58,980 8% Integrity, Commitment, Punctuality

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Early Childhood Social Worker

A career in early childhood social work means helping a variety of children with social problems, including behavioral and emotional issues. Social workers can be employed in private practices, schools, hospitals, and anywhere else with a high volume of people. Veterans, who may have personal experience with trauma, or know a fellow soldier/veteran who does, may be attracted to the job to help children recover from trauma and grow into healthy adults.

Kindergarten Teacher

The first year in a traditional public or private school setting, kindergarten is the perfect opportunity to influence young minds and to help ease the anxieties of parents sending their children off to school. Kindergarten teachers help kids learn a typical school routine and are responsible for creating lessons and interactive activities for their students that allow for them to develop their creative and practical skills. One moment it could be helping a child learn how to properly wash their hands and another moment you could be helping them to create an arts and crafts masterpiece. Veterans may find this job fulfilling because preschool teachers help guide children to learn discipline and respect for other people, two traits the military touts.

Special Education Teacher

High in demand, special education teachers are crucial to any school system. They are a necessary and constant influence on the lives of children who need extra help and assistance due to physical and mental disabilities. Veterans may be attracted to this profession if they desire to work in a high-needs profession that is challenging but rewarding, similar to their time in the military.

Teacher Assistant

Teacher assistants help teachers keep the classroom in working order. They are typically on-hand to assist with special education students who need extra assistance. Veterans will find that their ability to listen to authority will help them as a teacher's assistants, as they must provide help to the lead teacher. Keep in mind that when applying for jobs as a teacher assistant, it may also be listed as an instructional assistant position.

Childcare Worker

The role of a childcare worker can mean anything from assisting at an after-school program to working at a daycare center. Childcare work can be very involved with a child's education or as simple as watching over a child while a parent has to work. Other responsibilities may include maintaining a child's hygiene through hand-washing and diaper-changing, feeding, and providing a safe play environment. For veterans just getting back into the workforce, childcare work is a perfect introduction to a new career.

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