If you're someone who likes working with children, a short course through the VET sector could be the perfect launching point for your career. With a range of courses and possible career outcomes available, this article will discuss five different careers working with children.


Many of us might have previously done a bit of babysitting for family or friends without formal qualifications. However, if you're considering becoming a professional nanny, there are a few things that you can do to give yourself a competitive edge. Most often, a working with children's card (WWCC), a police check and valid first aid and CPR qualifications are non-negotiable. If you really want to shine, consider getting a qualification in early childhood education, like the Certificate III of Early Childhood Education and Care or Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care.

Many nannies report that the role is tough but very rewarding. Long term nannies often become like a cherished part of the family, and seeing children grow and mature is one of the most fulfilling parts. The work can include everything from fun arts and crafts or cooking activities, school runs, preparing lunches and helping with homework. If you're lucky, you could even be accompanying the family on holidays! In Australia, the average salary for nannies is between $45,000 and $60,000 a year - however, with more experience and qualifications these rates can increase.

For those who are serious about nannying, consider joining the Australian Nanny Association. There are minimum standards to join, including the first aid qualifications mentioned above, but this affiliation goes a long way to proving your professionalism and dedication to the role as well as providing you with a valuable community in a role where you might not see fellow nannies all that often.

Youth care worker

If you have a heart for helping children, young people and families at risk, consider becoming a youth care worker. Youth care workers provide families with support related to welfare, behavioural, developmental, social and safety issues. This can include a wide spectrum of duties, including discussing support options informally or even assisting with legal or police protection for the persons affected. As with a nannying position, a working with children's card (WWCC) and police clearance is a must.

Further qualifications like the Certificate IV in Child, Youth and Family Intervention or Certificate IV in Youth Work are a great jumping off point for this career path. In Australia, youth workers can earn between $65,000 and $80,000 per year.

Youth care workers report that while the role can be emotionally difficult at times, it also offers the opportunity to see and effect real positive change in young people’s lives. Every day presents something new, and youth workers report being part of a large supportive community of peers and colleagues.

Early childhood educator

Early childhood educators (also known as childcare workers) work in childcare centres to provide children with educational and developmental programmes. This can include supervising age-appropriate childcare activities, keeping records of their behaviour and development and liaising with parents to discuss their children's development. In Australia childcare workers make between $45,000 and $60,000 per year, but this figure can increase if you are in a managerial role. The minimum qualification is a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care along with similar first aid and CPR requirements as above. You will also be asked to get police clearance and a WWCC.

If you want to pursue a more senior role, consider a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care or higher. According to labour market projections, job growth in the childcare sector is set to increase by over 17% in the next five years.

Childcare workers report that their roles are fun, diverse and challenging but that they can truly see the difference they make in the lives of young children by being a positive influence and role model.

School nurse

A school nurse is a medical professional that works within a primary or secondary school tending to those who come to the sickbay. One benefit of being a school nurse is that you won't have to work shifts with unusual hours like regular nurses do - school nurses work during school hours, although they may also be present at extracurricular activities being hosted at the school. You will also have the opportunity to deliver health incentives and programmes to students to further their education about their own mental and physical health.

As a school nurse, you'll also have the opportunity to liaise with various stakeholders within the school to discuss individual and group support needed for different cohorts. You may also be involved with school immunisation drives and first aid training programmes. If you've considered nursing as a career but would like to work outside of a hospital, a school nurse could be the perfect position for you.

To become a school nurse, you can complete a Diploma of Nursing. School nurses in Australia typically earn between $60,000 and $80,000 a year.

Teacher’s aide

A teacher’s aide assists the classroom teacher with administrative and classroom management duties but can also include supplementary instruction such as assisting students with special needs. If you love working with children but aren't ready to commit to a teaching role or qualification, a Certificate III in Education Support or a Certificate IV in Education Support.

Teacher’s aide roles in Australia are generally advertised between $50,000 and $70,000 a year, with a projected job growth rate of just under 15% over the next five years. As with all the above-mentioned roles, assume that a valid police check and WWCC will be necessary.

As with the school nurse role, one of the benefits of being a teacher’s aide is working within school hours which can be especially beneficial for those who also have their own family priorities. There is also a lot of fulfilment to be gained by helping children learn and develop at school.

If you're someone who loves working with children, the good news is that there will always be children around. For this reason, the industry is relatively stable. There are also plenty of career growth opportunities when it comes to working with children, such as advancing to a managerial position or expanding your knowledge about education by pursuing further studies.

You may be able to receive government funding for many of these qualifications. To find out if you are eligible, make an enquiry with a course provider. Start your career working with children today for a lifetime of making a positive impact on young people's lives!

Written by Madelle Borschman
Madelle Borschman
Madelle is an educational professional and freelance writer working in the territory educational industry in Australia with a background of teaching English as a second language.