Child Life Specialists are healthcare professionals who work in the area of pediatrics. These are the individuals that often work in hospitals and other settings where children are faced with such challenges as disability, illness and extended hospitalization. These specialists provide coping mechanisms so that children and their families are able to get through this difficult time and develop a better understanding as to the "why" of it all.
Child Life Specialist Education Requirements
The education requirements for Child Life Specialist jobs vary depending upon the full scope of the position. Most healthcare providers want to see a minimum of a bachelor's degree in either child psychology or child development. There is also a required certification program that individuals must go through to become a Child Life Specialist, which goes through the Child Life Council. Those who can show that they have worked as a specialist at other healthcare facilities for two years or longer are likely going to have a better chance of getting a position. Being able to interact with children in a positive and caring fashion is a must.
Child Life Specialist Job Market
Statistics show that Child Life Specialist jobs are growing at a rate faster than average. The number of positions in this field is expected to grow by 18 percent in the United States over the next decade. Much of this growth has to do with the number of children's hospitals being built. There is also more research to show that children thrive in hospitals when there is someone there to help with the overall coping aspect. Similar jobs to consider include Child Care Providers and Child Protection Services.
Child Life Specialist Salary
Child Life Specialists positions can vary from hourly to salaried depending on the overall environment in which a person chooses to work. State-funded children's hospitals often provide higher salaries, usually averaging around $70,000 a year. Other healthcare facilities may offer an hourly rate between $18 and $24 an hour.