Highest-paying Jobs Working with Kids

By Staff

Finding a rewarding career isn’t difficult when it involves working with kids, and nothing is more satisfying than finding a job that pays well. According to childstats.gov, the United States had an estimated 74 million children in 2022, which is expected to rise to 78 million by 2050. 

With such a rise in children being born, employment for those working in child-focused professions is in demand and more important than ever. Professionals are needed in all areas, from education and government to therapy and healthcare. Individuals who choose to work in child-related services are compassionate and hard-working people who want to make a difference in their everyday lives. If you select one of these careers, you will be responsible for improving thousands of children’s lives by helping them grow and develop differently. 

That said, the following are just a few of the highest-paying jobs that involve working with kids.

Child Psychiatrist

Average Annual Salary: $249,871

Child psychiatry is a subspecialty of psychiatry in the field of medicine. Its main goal is to study and treat children’s mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Psychiatrists are experts at preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental illnesses like those caused by drugs or alcohol. They may also do these things with the support of other medical professionals. They evaluate both the physical and mental problems that a patient is experiencing. Child psychiatrists also make treatment plans for their patients, judging how a child behaves and helping treat conditions like attention deficit disorder, anxiety disorder, and eating disorders. According to Indeed, child psychiatrists make an average national salary of $249,871; with this being the average, many make more or less. 

Pediatric Dentist

Average Annual Salary: $184,819

Pediatric dentists assist in the diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases that affect children. They also give advice and instructions on how to provide dental care in the best way. A pediatric dentist’s job may include fixing cavities and tooth decay, removing or fixing broken teeth, and putting whitening gels or sealants on patients’ teeth. In addition, these experts give out anesthetics before dental procedures, look at dental x-rays to find problems, write prescriptions for antibiotics and other dental medicines, and give patients advice on what to eat, how to brush and floss, and do other things to keep their teeth healthy. According to Indeed, the average national salary for a pediatric dentist is $184,819, but many make more or less than this.


Average Annual Salary: $117,669

Pediatricians care for babies, kids, teens, and young adults. As kids get older, their minds and bodies change quickly. A pediatrician needs to watch and measure these changes. A pediatrician’s main jobs are to keep kids healthy, figure out what’s wrong with them, and help them deal with problems they have with their behavior, development, or bodies. Indeed, there are reports that the national average income for a pediatrician is $117,669. However, the reality is that many make far more or significantly less than this.

Speech Language Pathologist

Average Annual Salary: $100,864

Speech-language pathologists, also called speech therapists, evaluate, diagnose, and treat adults and children with speech and swallowing problems. A stroke, hearing loss, brain injury, cleft palate, autism, Parkinson’s disease, or a delay in development can cause these disorders. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that 40% of speech-language pathologists work in state and local academic institutions. Speech-language pathologists analyze how challenging it is to speak, talk, and swallow and figure out the best way to support their clients. They also make personalized treatment plans for each patient, teach children and adults how to make sounds, and help them improve and retain their speech fluency. According to Indeed, a speech-language pathologist in the United States makes an average of $100,864 annually.

Pediatric Registered Nurse

Average Annual Salary: $87,160

For any adult, but particularly for those with a soft spot in their heart for kids, there is no greater reward than to see the smile return to a child’s face after they have been helped to regain their health and vigor after suffering an illness or injury. Pediatric nurses check on the health of their patients and write down what they find. They also give therapy and make sure medications are given correctly. In addition, they help create or improve patient care plans, perform diagnostic tests, explain home care plans to patients, and teach patients or their immediate families how to treat illnesses or injuries. According to Indeed, a pediatric registered nurse in the United States makes an average of $87,160 annually.

Dental Hygienist

Average Annual Salary: $84,094

Pediatric dental hygienists check children’s mouths for problems like gingivitis and give them the necessary preventive care. Pediatric dental hygienists do more than just clean patients’ teeth of tartar, plaque, and stains. They also take dental x-rays, have them developed, check patients’ oral health, and report their findings to the dentist. They also teach patients how to take care of their teeth and keep records of their care and treatment plans. They are there when the dentist performs procedures such as cleaning, fixing cavities, or pulling teeth. Some pediatric dental hygienists can administer anesthesia (Novocain). According to Indeed, the median annual income for a dental hygienist in the United States is $84,094.

Juvenile Justice Lawyer 

In court, juvenile justice attorneys represent minors. They work with teens suspected of committing crimes or act as child advocates, defending kids in cases of child abuse and neglect, child trafficking, child labor exploitation, foster care, and adoption. To get a law license in juvenile justice, you must go to the same schools as other types of law licenses. They can work in many different areas, such as non-profit organizations that help children, direct representation through Law Services and Legal Aid offices, state and federal agencies, private and public legal companies, etc. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical yearly salary for a juvenile justice lawyer in the United States is $127,990. 

School Principal 

The principal is in charge of the day-to-day running of the school. This includes coordinating the curriculum, managing the staff, and making sure that the school is a safe, friendly, and productive place to learn. Their responsibilities include managing the staff and activities of the school, stablishing and supervising class schedules, developing, instituting, and preserving academic standards, assessing and reviewing the performance of teachers, meeting with parents and educators to discuss student issues, organizing staff development programs and workshops, and managing the school’s budget, expenses, and supplies. This is all done for the benefit of the students enrolled in the school that the principal is responsible for. The average annual pay for a principal in the United States is $98,420, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

School and Career Counselor

School counselors are in charge of helping students develop important intellectual and social skills that will help them do well in school. On the other hand, career counselors help students look into careers or choose an education program that will lead to a certain career. They find problems that affect how well students do in school, find out their interests and skills through interviews and tests, and work with parents, teachers, and administrators to help students succeed. They also help students understand and deal with behavioral and social problems and make plans to reach their academic goals. They are also essential in helping teachers and students deal with problems like bullying and drug abuse. According to Indeed, the average annual salary for a school and career counselor in the United States is $83,056.

Child Psychologist

A child psychologist is professionally and clinically trained to test and treat babies, toddlers, children, and teens’ mental, social, emotional, and behavioral health. When working with children and adolescents, child psychologists employ many techniques and skills, such as testing and evaluation, to assess psychological, cognitive, intellectual, and behavioral disorders—utilizing therapies like psychotherapy (talk therapy) and behavioral interventions—developing preventative programs such as anti-bullying, anti-addiction, and anti-teen pregnancy initiatives. A child psychologist often collaborates with other pediatric professionals and healthcare providers. Frequently, child psychologists are incorporated into the complete care of children with medical conditions. For instance, they may assist children with sleep issues or chronic discomfort and those coping with a chronic illness. According to Indeed, a child psychologist’s average annual pay in the United States is $125,412.

Pediatric Occupational Therapist 

A pediatric occupational therapist aids in the achievement of significant developmental milestones. The goal of occupational therapy for children is to help them learn the skills they need to grow up healthy and independent. They help kids develop daily skills such as cleaning their teeth, coloring, drawing, writing their names, and getting along with their peers. Occupational therapists that work with children take a holistic approach. They are attempting to determine the cause of the delays or restrictions. They pay particular attention to a child’s gross and fine motor skills, cognitive abilities, social development, and self-care competence. These skills and abilities contribute to a child’s development into a healthy, well-developed adult. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that a pediatric occupational therapist in the United States makes an average of $85,570 annually.

Elementary School Teacher 

Teachers in elementary schools are prepared to instruct students in grades kindergarten through fifth. They are in charge of the student’s academic and emotional growth in the classroom and the organization and use of educational materials and resources. This profession requires communication, patience, originality, and vigor. Their jobs include coming up with lesson plans, grading homework and tests, and answering questions from students. Elementary school teachers must know how to run a classroom, talk to and teach one or more subjects, and follow school rules. They are responsible for monitoring the development of each student and offering additional guidance to those who require it. Also, they should make rules for the school and encourage good behavior outside the classroom. According to Indeed, the average salary for an elementary school teacher in the US is $70,827 annually.

Behavioral Specialist 

A developmental-behavioral specialist has the training and experience to determine what’s wrong with a child’s development, learning, or behavior and help them get better. Developmental-behavioral pediatricians have the skills and experience to look at and treat the medical and psychological parts of developmental and behavioral problems in children and teens. Developmental-behavioral pediatricians evaluate, counsel, and treat children, teens, and their families who have a wide range of developmental and behavioral problems, such as learning disorders, attention disorders, Tourette’s syndrome, developmental disabilities like autism, Down syndrome, or cerebral palsy, and issues related to delayed development. As reported by Indeed, the average annual compensation for a behavior specialist in the United States is $141,856.

Pediatric Nurse Practitioner 

A pediatric nurse practitioner is a registered nurse with an advanced practice specializing in caring for newborns, babies, toddlers, adolescents, and young people. Pediatric nurse practitioners take care of healthy children and try to prevent or treat short-term and long-term illnesses that are common in kids. Like all nurse practitioners, pediatric nurse practitioners have a master’s or doctoral degree and are board-certified by an accredited certifying body. A pediatric nurse practitioner can be found in many practice settings, such as pediatric offices, hospitals, specialty clinics, school-based clinics, and urgent care or walk-in clinics. The average yearly salary for a pediatric nurse practitioner in the United States is $123,780, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Marriage and Family Therapist 

Marriage and family therapists are licensed mental health practitioners who have received psychotherapy training and practice in family dynamics. Therapists are trained to help people, couples, and families deal with challenging situations, work out their differences, and deal with mental or emotional problems. Marriage and family therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the actions of all members of the family as well as how those behaviors influence individuals and the relationships between those individuals. Even though most of the treatment is focused on the relationship between the couple or the family, individual counseling sessions are often helpful and will be suggested as such. According to Indeed’s data, the annual salary of a marriage and family therapist in the United States is approximately $78,307.

Pediatric Audiologist

A pediatric audiologist is a medical professional who treats pediatric patients with hearing, balance, or speech impairments. They are trained professionals who use a variety of tests to figure out what the problem is and what the best way to fix it is. Pediatric audiology is a branch of medicine that helps babies and young children who have trouble hearing or recognizing sounds. Audiologic intervention includes both diagnostic and rehabilitation services. These are used to determine what type of hearing loss someone has and how severe it is to provide appropriate treatment. Finding hearing problems early is important for a child’s speech and language development and social growth. According to Indeed’s research, a pediatric audiologist’s annual salary in the United States is roughly $81,965.

Pediatric Physical Therapist

Physical therapists who work with children are trained to help kids who have been hurt or born with problems live better and do their everyday tasks better. A pediatric therapist’s role is to collaborate with the child and their family to help each kid realize his or her maximum potential for independent functioning and to promote active involvement at home, in school, and the community. Patients in the pediatric unit include babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, teen athletes from ages 0 to 18, and teens who are sick as kids. The goal of a pediatric physical therapist is to look for and treat problems with motor skills by helping kids build the strength and range of motion they need to move around their world well. Pediatric therapists are trained to use age-appropriate standardized tests to check a child’s motor development, flexibility, strength, stance, stride, sensory processing, balance, coordination, and skill. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that a pediatric physical therapist in the United States makes an average of $95,620 annually.

Pediatric Nutritionist/Dietitian 

Pediatric nutritionists or dietitians make individualized meal plans for kids based on their physical and medical conditions. They also help kids who are picky eaters, come up with weight-management plans for kids, help kids with a variety of conditions get the nutrition they need, and work with kids as they switch from feeding tubes to eating with their mouths. To enjoy doing this daily, a person must be good with children and have strong communication qualities. Because they are in charge of making nutritional plans for patients, it is very important that they know everything about the patient’s current health and any food allergies they may have. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a pediatric nutritionist/dietitian in the United States earns a mean annual salary of $61,650.