The Quick Report

10 High-Paying Careers in Child Development

Working with children is not always easy. People who want to succeed in a career focused on childhood development need to have patience, compassion, and empathy.

Understanding the needs and problems of children requires skills such as observation, problem-solving, communication, and creativity. They also need to be good with instruction and organization.

On the professional side, the skills involve research and collaboration.

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Educational Requirements

Some entry-level positions are obtainable with an associate degree and relevant experience. However, most positions will require a bachelor’s degree in a related field. For advanced careers in childhood development, a Master’s and/or doctoral degree, as well as a clinical internship or experience, is required. Many physicians also require state licensure.

10 High-Paying Careers in Child Development

A career in child development offers a deeply rewarding experience. You could make a difference by guiding young minds! There are intellectual challenges in unraveling the mysteries of human development. 

No matter what motivates you, a career in child development is a job that has meaning. It also offers personal growth, professional advancement, and a high-paying career that is in demand.

Let’s look at 10 of the top careers from entry-level to advanced professional.


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10. Preschool/Kindergarten Teacher

The average annual salary for a Preschool/Kindergarten Teacher is $35,220. Many kindergarten teachers earn around $60,900 annually, with the top 10 percent earning more than $98,440.

A preschool teacher works with children on developing social and motor skills before they enter kindergarten. Most preschool teachers are required to have at least an associate degree.

Kindergarten teachers prepare children for entering elementary school. They focus on developing reading and writing skills.

Educational requirements for kindergarten teachers are a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education or related field.

9. Nanny

The average annual salary for a Nanny is $43,430.

Although nannies are often employed to help a family with daily childcare, many are also responsible for helping a child’s educational experiences.

Most states do not regulate educational requirements for nannies. However, most families prefer an associate degree in child development. They also look for certifications such as CPR, first aid, water safety, or infant care.

8. Youth Sports Coach

The average annual salary for a Youth Sports Coach is $46,230.

Youth sports coaches teach children the fundamentals of a variety of sports, as well as the fundamentals of teamwork. Their duties include planning practices, scheduling games, and ensuring the safety of the athletes. They also maintain sports equipment.

Educational requirements for youth sports coaches can vary significantly. However, most are expected to have prior athletic experience and a bachelor’s degree.

7. Camp Director 

The average annual salary for a Camp Director is $58,170.

Camp directors typically work at day or overnight camps and oversee operations. They collaborate with camp counselors to plan and facilitate programs and modify activities as needed. They also manage the budget and monitor supplies. They are responsible for promoting the camp to prospective families and sponsors.

Educational requirements for camp directors usually require at least a bachelor’s degree and prior experience in recreation management.

6. Social Worker 

The average annual salary for a Social Worker is $59,640.

Social workers are responsible for protecting vulnerable children through a variety of intervention methods. Their duties include assessing the needs of a child and creating goals for improvement. Social workers seek out resources, such as financial support, counseling services, and caregiver education.

Educational requirements for social workers include at least a bachelor’s degree in social work. Clinical social workers require a Master’s degree in social work and practicum experience.

5. Child Life Specialist 

The average annual salary for a Child Life Specialist is $60,840.

Child life specialists help children and families cope with illnesses, hospitalizations, and disabilities. They do this through play, activities, and education that are designed to help children express their emotions and fears.

Educational requirements for a child life specialist are a bachelor’s or Master’s degree in human development and psychology. An extensive clinical internship is also required.

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4. Librarian 

The average annual salary for a Librarian is $65,310. The top ten percent of librarians earn more than $97,870 annually.

Librarians are among the first people who introduce children and/or their caregivers to books. They do so by assessing their reading level and age group. Duties of librarians include organizing events at their local branch and guiding the offerings of children’s and young adult literature. They also develop outreach opportunities for the community.

The educational requirement for a librarian is at least a bachelor’s degree. However, most have a Master’s degree in library science or related field.

3. Early Childhood Education Consultant 

The average annual salary for an Early Childhood Education Consultant is $68,860.

An early childhood education consultant is responsible for ensuring that educational institutions meet the developmental needs of young children. Duties include evaluating the effectiveness of curriculums and programs. They observe current needs and recommend resources to meet those needs.

Educational requirements are a Master’s or doctoral degree in education, child development, or public policy.

2. Speech Language Pathologist 

The average annual salary for a Speech Language Pathologist is $81,240. The top 10 percent of speech-language pathologists earn more than $125,560 annually.

Speech-language pathologists treat a variety of speech impediments and language comprehension challenges in both children and adults. Duties include assessing, diagnosing, and treating speech, language, and swallowing disorders. They also work with cognitive and social communication.

Educational requirements for speech-language pathologists are a Master’s degree and a clinical internship. Most states require licensure. 

1. Child Psychologist 

The average annual salary for a Child Psychologist is $92,090. The top 10 percent of child psychologists earn more than $133,890 annually.

The duties of child psychologists include diagnosing and treating children suffering from emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders. They also create treatment plans, provide therapy sessions, and document the progress of patients.

Educational requirements for child psychologists are a doctoral degree, as well as an extensive clinical internship. State licensure is also typically required.