If you like working with children, but are worried that your options will be limited to lower paying jobs like teaching, you might be surprised to learn that there are several high-paying career options available. Following your passion does not necessarily mean that you have to accept a lower paying career. You can work with children and make a substantial living doing so.
Pediatricians are doctors who work exclusively with children; they diagnose and treat childrens' (pediatric) disease. Pediatricians have very rewarding careers because they often help children overcome major medical problems brought on by disease or injury. Family practitioners work with children as well, but not exclusively.
Becoming a doctor requires extensive education. Aside from receiving a bachelor's degree, you must also go to medical school for four years to obtain an M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) or a D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathy) degree. According to Payscale.com, pediatricians made an average annual salary of $99,752 to $142,523 as of 2010.
Like physicians, pediatric nurses work with children primarily in a health care setting like hospitals and physician's offices. A pediatric nurse is usually the first person a child sees when entering an examination room; it is therefore imperative that a nurse have a personality suited to working with children. She must be able to communicate with both parents and child alike, and ensure that they are providing the attending physician with accurate information. Pediatric nurses must have either an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing and must be licensed in their state of practice. Many pediatric nurses that work in a hospital setting will also have a master's degree in nursing with an emphasis in pediatrics. Payscale.com notes that pediatric nurses made an average salary of $41,009 to $64,571 per year in 2010.
Rather than working to restore the physical health of children, pediatric psychiatrists work with children who have mental disorders. Pediatric psychiatrists may handle extreme cases in which children have experienced significant psychological trauma or abuse. In some cases, psychiatrists may need to treat these children with medicine. For this reason, psychiatrists must have both the M.D. and a Ph.D. in psychology. A child psychiatrist can spend many years working with the same child, or can work in settings where they see many children with less severe cases come and go. According to Payscale.com, child psychiatrists made an average annual salary between $126,110 and $186,257 as of 2010.