When I Grow Up: Top 10 Kids’ Dream Jobs

Astronaut boy kids dream job

When I was a little boy, I dreamt of becoming a train driver, before I changed my mind and decided on becoming a vet, then an architect, a singer, a teacher and the list goes on and on and on. I eventually came to the conclusion that writing was my true calling.

For many of us (myself included, of course), choosing a career is no easy feat. It’s a huge decision to make (after all, you’re probably going to spend the rest of your life doing that job, so you want to make sure you pick something you’ll love) and one that can take years to make. This could be because you really have no idea what you want to do, you’re confused about your options or you’re simply afraid of making the wrong decision and ending up wasting valuable time and money.

For others, though, it’s been an easy decision. Some people know exactly what they want to do from a very young age – they’re practically still in their mother’s womb when they decided which career path they want to follow.

Which makes you wonder: which exactly are the most popular childhood dream jobs?

Well, you don’t have to worry no more. Here are the top 10 kids’ dream jobs.

10. Singer/Musician

A very young Céline Dion wanted to become a singer when she grew up – and look at her now: five Grammy Awards and 250+ million albums in sales later, and she’s one of the world’s top female singers of all time. But the Queen of Pop isn’t the only person to dream of pursuing a career in music – and succeeding at it. In fact, almost every other famous singer and musician dreamt of becoming one when they were still children.

Salaries for pop musicians vary depending on how successful you are. Dion, for example, made $42 million (£32.7 million) last year alone.

9. Writer

Imagine coming up with the idea of a boy wizard and an entire universe comprised of Muggles, witches and dragons. Or the idea of a hobbit named Frodo who inherits the powerful One Ring and sets out to destroy it. Or even that book series that everyone keeps talking about – Game of Thrones.

JK Rowling, the writer behind Harry Potter and his adventures, is currently worth £650 million, making writing a potentially very lucrative profession.

8. Athlete

Footballers, sprinters, tennis players, cricketers, baseball players, basketballers… the list goes on and on. There are literally hundreds of options if you want to pursue a career in sports.

Becoming an athlete is the dream job of many young boys (and girls, too), with footballer being the most common option.

7. Doctor

Becoming a doctor is one of the most common childhood dream jobs, and this may be because the profession commands a certain respect, considering you’ll be saving lives for a living.

It’s one of the most difficult career paths to get into, though. Not only do you have to dedicate a significant amount of time (and money) to get into the profession, but only the best of the best are typically become qualified to practise medicine. If successful, though, it will all be worth it: imagine making up to £102,500 a year!

6. Ballerina

Becoming a ballerina is the dream of many girls. Of course, there are many boys who have the same dream. Just look at the likes of Mikhail Baryshnikov, Roberto Bolle and Rudolf Nureyev – all popular male ballet dancers.

In the UK, salaries for professional dancers vary according to how much you charge and how often you perform, though the Independent Theatre Council (ITC) recommends that performers are paid a minimum of £447 a week.

5. Chef

Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson… They’re among some of the UK’s (and the world’s) best-known and most talented celebrity chefs, so it’s no wonder why many kids want to follow this career. It could also because they love spending time in the kitchen with their mums and nanas, particularly when baking cookies.

Chefs typically earn between £18,000 and £25,000 a year. Head chefs make double this, raking in some £50,000. This, of course, depends on the restaurant you work for and your reputation.

4. Firefighter

Firefighting is another job many boys dream of doing – like those who dream of becoming doctors, this could be because of the prospect of saving lives. While the majority of firefighters in the UK are men, it is not strictly a man’s job.

In order to become a firefighter, you’ll need to pass a series of physical and written tests, as well as a medical test. It’s an extremely dangerous job, as you’ll be risking your life for others. If you do choose to pursue this career, you’ll start by making between £22,000 and £29,500 a year but your salary can increase to £42,000 with experience.

3. Astronaut

Ever since Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, it’s become the dream of many children around the world to follow suit. After all, not many people can say that they’ve walked on the surface of Earth’s natural satellite.

The starting salary for astronauts is £40,000, which can increase to £80,000 with experience. If you come to decide to follow your childhood dream of becoming an astronaut, you’ll need to be prepared to undergo intense training, have a high level of physical fitness and be away from home for extended periods of time. We hear that the views are great, though.

2. Actor

Dwayne Johnson recently topped the list of the highest paid male actors in the world, having earned a total of $64.5 million (£50.3 million) in the last 12 months. It is, therefore, no surprise why many children want to pursue a career in acting. It’s also probably because it’s one of those jobs that require a lot of creativity and imagination – something that kids are known to possess a lot of.

But while a career in acting can be extremely profitable, it’s not always glamorous. The industry is a pretty tough one to break into and it can take years before you land a major TV or movie role. The late Alan Rickman was 36 when he landed his role as Hans Gruber in the 1988 blockbuster Die Hard.

1. Teacher

Teachers take up the top spot in our list of top 10 kids’ dream jobs, and this is largely due to the fact that children spend much of their childhood in a classroom setting learning about different subjects. Their teachers basically play a huge role in their early lives.

Your salary will depend on your specialty. For example, early years teachers make up to £33,000 a year, while secondary school teachers earn as much as £66,750 on an annual basis.

What was your dream job while growing up? Was it any of the professions on this list? Better yet, did you manage to pursue your dream? Join the conversation down below and let us know!

This article was originally published in June 2015.

Salary information is based on data compiled and published by a variety of sources, including the National Careers Service. US dollar – Pound sterling conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.com on 23 August 2017.