For those who want a career working with children, it may be time to consider the field of medicine. Here is a glimpse at six medical careers that are not only lucrative, but also inspirational and rewarding.

1. Pediatric Nurse

Becoming a pediatric nurse is one of the best ways to get into the field of medicine without going through an intensive graduate program. These nurses begin with basic nursing courses in a 2 or 4-year program. From there, students can then go on to specialize in pediatric care. Pediatric nurses work with children daily in traditional hospitals as well as long-term care centers. In order to become a registered pediatric nurse, you will need to carry out training in a center that is approved by the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

2. Social Worker

Many people are surprised to hear that a large percentage of social workers do in fact work in hospitals and other medical care centers. Within the setting of a hospital, their primary job is to help children and their families make the transition from full-time hospitalization to care back within the home. They work with families on a very personal level to ensure that children are as healthy and happy as possible. As the job market becomes more competitive, many of these positions are now being filled by those with a master’s degree, but the minimum requirements for most hospitals is a bachelor’s.

3. Pediatric Dentist

Becoming a pediatric dentist will require quite a bit of schooling and specialized training, but it is also one of the highest paid positions within the field of medicine depending on where the dentist works. In addition to the doctorate program for dentistry, students will have to go on to a specialization program approved by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists. During their training, dentists will learn a number of methods for putting children at ease and helping them enjoy a lifetime of great oral health.

4. Maternal-fetal Specialist

Much like OB/GYNs, maternal-fetal specialists care for expectant mothers with high-risk pregnancies. A high-risk pregnancy is any birth that has a relatively high likelihood of complications taking place. A hands-on specialist like Dr. Gilbert Webb will work closely alongside mothers that are dealing with issues such as gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, a history of high-risk pregnancies, cancer, or any serious medical problems.

5. Lactation Consultant

For professionals who would like to help children after they are born, becoming a lactation consultation is another promising career choice. Studies carried out by the CDC continue to show that breastfeeding a child is one of the healthiest choices that a mother can ever make for her child. Unfortunately, many women still have problems breastfeeding and will require the assistance of a lactation consultant. The schooling and training to become a lactation consultant does change between hospitals, but most students will need to acquire a certificate from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.

6. Pediatrician

Pediatricians are some of the highest paid professionals within the field of childcare and require quite a bit of schooling to work in the profession. The average pediatrician will need to go through an undergraduate program before transitioning into a graduate program for doctors. After completing their doctorate, they will then need upwards of 2 years of additional training in order to complete their specialization. For pediatricians that work in a private practice, there is an incredible amount of flexibility when it comes to their schedule.

If you would like to work within the scope of children’s health, there are now more inspirational and rewarding career paths than ever.