If you love working with children or families, consider making your passion work for you by pursuing a career in the education and social services field. By working in this field, you’ll help people learn and find resources to improve their lives, and be a motivating force to help their students or clients become well-rounded, happy and independent.
The fields of education and social service are diverse, and there are many types of jobs to consider. While employment in these areas can be rewarding, it is important to understand that the work can be very demanding and emotionally challenging.
With many families forced to send both parents to work, child care positions such as preschool teachers, teacher assistants, and child care workers are plentiful. Opportunities for self-employment in this industry are among the best in the economy and frequently offer greater pay than positions with existing schools and child care centers. Learn more about working in the child care field.
If you choose to work in the education field, your choice of jobs expands greatly — from teaching and counseling students to driving school buses and serving cafeteria lunches. Although 67 percent of education workers are in professional occupations that require a college degree, the industry also employs many administrative support, managerial, service and other workers.
People involved in social services connect workers and their families with programs that can help them succeed, including educational programs, job training programs, daycare opportunities, job or personal counseling services, drug and alcohol cessation programs, reduced price or low income housing, and programs that may help supplement a family’s food supply.
Local school districts often employ a social worker, who may counsel children, assess the needs of families, and help bridge the gap between non-English speaking parents and the school system, or help design education plans for children with disabilities. Social workers also have employees who help them support their clients.
Find out more details about what goes in to being a social worker.
To get started working with families and children, the first thing that you need to do is to get some work experience. You can start by volunteering at your local nursery, school, community center or even your local Goodwill! Kitty Cappelli volunteered with Goodwill Industries-Suncoast’s pre-K BookWorks program and now has a vibrant career as a substitute teacher in her county school system.
Other ways to gain experience include taking on junior teaching and coaching roles with children and young people, and pursuing work in a variety of settings like hospitals, schools or social welfare organizations.
For assistance getting started in the education and social services sector, and to find out about youth programs that could benefit from your assistance: