Most Popular Dream Jobs for Kids
Have dream jobs changed since you were a kid? Let's just say that some have stayed the same, while others are very 21st century.
How do we know? Children's entertainer Ellie Sparkles and her team polled 1,000 kids, aged 5 to 8, and asked them the age-old question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
Here are their answers, ranked by popularity.
10. Social Media Influencer
Welcome to the 21st century. This is a job that a kid may be inherently good at simply because they're growing up with all the changes in social media — in other words, they've never existed without it. That said, neither have their peers, so to say this could be a competitive choice is an understatement.
Of those polled in the Ellie Sparkles study, 5.6 percent of kids have their hearts set on a social media career path. We wish them the best of luck.
There are a few jobs on this list in the medical field, which makes sense because kids typically like to help. Dentists, of course, help people with their oral health. Of the kids polled, 6.7 percent wanted to work in the dental field.
Their education can start early, especially if they have an interest in science or math. When they get to be teens, they can also get experience by working in their local dentist's office.
Kids love pets, and what better way to show that love than by helping them when they're ailing? Veterinary medicine is the next top dream job, coming in at 9.1 percent. Training to become a veterinarian can take just as long as becoming a doctor (for humans), and in some cases, it's more complex (after all, pets can't talk).
Animal-loving kids can also care for pets in a variety of ways, such as becoming groomers or even pet owners.
6. Police Officer (Tie)
Being a law enforcement officer is tied with being a dancer as the most popular dream job for kids.
While the role may have gotten more controversial in certain adult circles over the decades, police still have the duty to protect and serve, and that's what kids recognize about this particular career.
6. Dancer (Tie)
A dancer, like an actor, entertains, and dance — as we know from shows like "So You Think You Can Dance?" and "Dancing with the Stars" — is more celebrated than ever.
If you've seen TikTok, you already know that a vast number of people on the app are street and hip-hop dancers, ballerinas and stage performers. So, is it any surprise that about 9.7 percent of today's kids want to be dancers?
This dream job is a classic, as it has been popular with kids for decades. Currently, 10.9 percent of kids aspire to this creative work, as they are influenced by their movies and TV shows heroes.
With the addition of streaming and comic book franchises to the pop culture lexicon, kids have more desire than ever to work in the entertainment industry.
Kids know more than any other generation about the internet, which means by about age 10 you know how to create a vlog. It makes sense, then, that being a vlogger (or YouTube star) is next in line as the most popular dream job for kids, with 11.9 percent polled saying that want to make a career of it.
Vloggers can make considerable money (look at MrBeast's net worth, for example) — so why not take something you already do well and make it a career?
Let's face it — science is fascinating for kids of all ages, but children, in particular, love learning about how the world works. It stands to reason that being a scientist is the third-ranked dream job, coming in at 12 percent.
There are infinite careers to choose from in science — from working as a chemist in a lab to being a biologist or astronomer.
Everybody has a favorite teacher (or two) growing up, so it's no wonder that being a teacher is the second most popular dream job for kids (at 16.5 percent polled). Kids can see firsthand how a teacher makes a positive impact and inspires future career choices.
Teachers lead by example, so it's also not surprising that a majority of the kids polled said they dreamed of being leaders, which we love to see.
1. Heathcare Professional
Working in healthcare has been a top choice as a dream job for kids for decades. In 2022, 26.2 percent of kids surveyed want to pursue a medical career as a doctor or nurse.
Why? The life-saving aspect, of course. And who hasn't role-played as a healthcare professional when they were kids?