Child Life Specialist (CCLS) Salary
Women comprise the majority of Child Life Specialists in the United States. Individuals in this line of work make around $40K annually on average. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Work is enjoyable for Child Life Specialists, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Child Life Specialist (CCLS)
A child life specialist (CCLS) works in a hospital and assesses child patients case-by-case, usually in-patient children and those with serious illnesses. These specialists assess what effects an illness and hospitalization have on pediatric patients and their families, and plans are then made in order to help cope, taking into consideration the personality and medical needs of each individual patient.Read More...
It is important for child life specialists to be professional, yet compassionate toward patients and their families, and emotional support may need to be provided at crucial times. Stress-reduction techniques may also be introduced to patients. Some specialists may work with the medical providers of patients to ensure the best-possible care, or help provide opportunities for children to play based on their needs and abilities. It may also be necessary to provide community references to the families of patients.
Ongoing evaluations should be conducted in order to modify individual plans, and record-keeping skills are essential in order to document the activities and interventions provided to patients. Child life specialists may be given budgets which must be met, so supplies and services should stay within this scope. They may also work with volunteers who can provide services to children. Usually, a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and certification as a child specialist are required for this position, and some employers may prefer those who have a master's degree.
Child Life Specialist (CCLS) Tasks
- Accompany children through medical procedures.
- Utilize stress reduction techniques via play therapy to facilitate coping with illness or disability.
- Help children understand medical care, diagnosis and procedures.
- Educate family and staff on techniques.
- Develop and evaluate treatment plans for children.
Child Life Specialist (CCLS) Job Listings
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Pay by Experience Level for Child Life Specialist (CCLS)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Child Life Specialists who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $39K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $44K on average. Child Life Specialists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $44K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $61K on average.