What Careers are in Child Development Counseling?

Many colleges offer a child development degree path or an early childhood development degree program, but smart students look at some of the available careers in child development counseling before beginning one of these programs. Looking at those careers gives you a clear idea of what you can do with your degree and whether you need to go through any additional training or schooling before you land one of these jobs. Though there are various career paths, most of the jobs require dedication or a commitment to helping younger kids.

Pediatric Counselor

Pediatric counselors are licensed counselors who often work in hospitals. The spend time speaking directly with students and helping them with all their problems. Hospitals often hire counselors who can talk with children about the diseases they suffer from and the treatments the doctor recommends, which can help them feel more comfortable and know what to expect in the future. Pediatric counselors may also assist younger and older kids with coming to terms with the medical problems that their parents suffer from and help them during the grieving process after a parent or loved one passes away.

Abuse Specialist

Though all careers in child development counseling require working with kids, some of these positions are a little more stressful. Abuse specialists must go through training that teaches them how to empathize with their clients without feeling too sympathetic and training that helps them learn how to cope with and handle stress. As an abuse specialist, you’re responsible for identifying the signs of abuse and neglect in children of various ages. You’ll also need to speak with those children about the abuse they suffered and help them recover in a healthy way. Abuse specialists may also need to gather evidence to prove the abuse or neglect and speak with the parents or primary caregivers.

Program Developer

After spending some time in college and working with kids, you may find that you prefer working behind the scenes and that you would like to spend less time with children. Your degree in child development can assist you in finding work as a program developer. Program developers create new and unique programs that benefit children of different ages. You might work with counselors to create campaigns to teach students about bullying, help launch a healthy eating program in the city or work on online programs that provide children with an outlet to talk about their issues.

School Counselor

School counseling is another of the available careers in child development counseling. School counselors work in junior high, high school and elementary schools. They might help high school seniors apply for college, provide assistance to younger students having a hard time moving from one grade to the next and support students dealing with abuse and other stressful situations at home. Though you may need some teaching experience, a graduate degree and a license in your state before becoming a school counselor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median salary for these counselors at more than $53,000 a year, which might make those requirements worthwhile.

Related Resource: Career Counselor

Child development looks at how children grow and develop over time, including both the emotional and physical changes that they go through. Many of the careers in child development counseling available today require working directly with those kids in various settings.