Child Life Specialist Salary in US | How Much Do Child Life Specialist Make in 2022?

Child Life Specialist salary
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Table of Contents Show
  1. What is a Child Life Specialist?
  2. What does Child Life Specialist do?
  3. Are Child Life Specialists Well Paid?
  4. How do you become a Child Life Specialist?
    1. Education
    2. Certification
    3. Child Life Specialist Salary with Bachelor Degree
    4. Child Life Specialist Salary with Masters Degree
  5. How Much do Child Life Specialists Make in the United States in 2022?
    1. Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Year
    2. Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Month
    3. How much do Child Life Specialists earn Pay Per Hour?
  6. Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Locations in the United States
    1. Child Life Specialist Salary By State in the U.S for 2022
    2. What is the Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Child Life Specialist Jobs in the U.S for 2022?
    3. Child Life Specialist Salary California
    4. Child Life Specialist Salary Texas
  7. How much is a Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Level in the United States?
    1. Entry Level Child Life Specialist Salary
    2. Senior Level Child Life Specialist Salary
  8. What Factors Affect a Child Life specialist Salary?
    1. Education
    2. Location
    3. Year of Experience
  9. Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Field
    1. What is the Typical Salary of a Child Psychologist?
    2. What is the Typical Salary of a Child Trauma?
    3. Best Paying Related Child Life Specialist Jobs in the U.S.
  10. FAQs
  11. Where do Child Life Specialist get paid the most?
  12. What is the highest salary for a Child Life Specialist?
  13. How much do Child Life Specialist make in California?
  14. How much does a Child Life Specialist make at Stanford?
  15. How much does a Child Life Specialist make in NY?
  16. Conclusion
  17. Reference
  18. Recommendation
    1. Related

Child Life Specialist Salary in the United States is  $51,995. The average bonus for a Child Life Specialist is $1,141 which represents 2% of their salary, with 100% of people reporting that they receive a bonus each year. Child Life Specialists make the most in San Francisco at $74,832, averaging total compensation 44% greater than the US average. The average child life specialist salary in other locations such as California and Texas is $43,914 and $49,213 respectively. Those with Bachelor’s Degree earn differently from those with Masters degree.

Keep reading to learn more about Child Life Specialist Salary for different levels in different locations across the United States.

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What is a Child Life Specialist?

A child life specialist is a healthcare specialist that helps kids to keep their life as normal as possible during medical issues or hospitalization.

Infants, children, and adolescents are subjected to a wide range of stressful and possibly traumatic situations, which might impair their capacity to cope. 

These healthcare-related events can cause emotions of anxiety, perplexity, loss of control, and isolation, which can hinder their growth and have a severe impact on their physical and emotional health and well-being.

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What does Child Life Specialist do?

The following are some responsibilities of a Child Life Specialist:

  • Assisting children and their families by employing a range of techniques to assist them in better understanding a process, treatment, or other aspects of their medical experience.
  • Creating age-appropriate ways to reduce trauma and raise comprehension of a medical diagnosis through treatment programs that incorporate therapeutic play, teaching, planning, and activities that encourage growth and development.
  • Advocating for children’s and families specific needs
  • Assisting children and their families in processing and dealing with medical issues
  • Providing parents and family members with information, support, and direction
  • Working with the medical team to organize and manage care
  • Non-direct patient care activities such as offering learning opportunities to members of the health care team, managing student education, and ensuring therapeutic supplies are well taken care of.

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Are Child Life Specialists Well Paid?

If you care to know whether a Child Life Specialist job pays well, then it is pleasing to hear that it does pay well. The average Child Life Specialist salary in the United States is $51,995. The average bonus for a Child Life Specialist is $1,141, or 2% of their pay, with 100% of employees saying that they receive a bonus every year (Comparably).

A job that pays up to $51,995 is certainly a high-paying job.

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How do you become a Child Life Specialist?

Education

To work as a child life specialist, you must have a bachelor’s degree. A degree in Child Life, a concentration in a human development field, or a minor in Child Life are all options that can be offered in programs.

You may obtain a degree in Psychology or Human Development in general for programs that offer a concentration or minor. Also, all internship hours must be supervised by a certified child life specialist.

Generally, programs focus on lessons that teach individuals about child development, grieving, coping skills, communication, and basic medical terms.

Furthermore, master’s programs are usually two years long and provide more in-depth education. A Master’s degree in Child Life is an alternative for people who want to further their education, gain more hands-on experience, and increase their job market presence, but it is not required.

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Certification

The exam is given three times a year by the Association of Child Life Professionals. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions designed to assess information gained via educational programs and internships.

After completing the exam, the candidate will be regarded as a qualified child life specialist for five years, after which they must be recertified.

Recertification, on the other hand, can be obtained by retaking the test or gaining professional development units.

These can be obtained through classes or supervised internships. This option is less expensive than retaking the exam, but it typically takes time to achieve.

So, the certification cannot be acquired until a Bachelor’s degree is obtained, an internship is completed, and an examination is taken:

  • Bachelor of Science in Child Life Studies (or a related field such as early childhood education, child and family studies, development,  or psychology)
  • Requirements for education as specified by the Association of Child Life Professionals (ACLP)
  • Previous job experience with children
  • 600-hour internship as a child life specialist

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Child Life Specialist Salary with Bachelor Degree

The salary of a Child Life Specialist is determined by a variety of things, like his or her qualifications and location of employment. Furthermore, certification and experience influence his or her salary level.

The median salary for a Child Life Specialist with a Bachelor’s Degree is $53,002 – $56,394, according to Salary.com.

A job that pays $53,002 for an entry-level Child life Specialist with a bachelor’s degree is a high-paying job, which can help you meet your yearly needs. Also, note that the salary varies by your level of experience. So, the more you stay on the job, the higher you earn.

Child Life Specialist with the following degreeWill likely fall in this salary range
Associate’s Degree$52,015 – $55,513
Bachelor’s Degree$53,002 – $56,394
Master’s Degree or MBA$53,899 – $57,396
JD, MD, Ph.D. or Equivalent$54,795 – $58,398

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Child Life Specialist Salary with Masters Degree

You should bear in mind that, the higher your certification the higher you earn. So, you can decide to step up your game by becoming a go-getter in your profession and be among the top earners in Child Life Care.

According to Salary.com, a Child Life Specialist with a Master’s Degree or MBA can expect to earn $53,899 – $57,396 a year.

How Much do Child Life Specialists Make in the United States in 2022?

A child life specialist’s salary in the United States ranges from $48,011 and $77,807, with an average salary of $57,077, according to several salary summary websites. The following are the starting salary for child life specialists as of June 2022:

PayscaleZipRecruiterIndeedSalary.comGlassdoor
$48,011$53,501$50,373$55,692$77,807

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Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Year

According to ZipRecruiter, the majority of Child Life Specialist salaries presently vary between $37,500 (25th percentile) and $58,500 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $106,000 yearly across the United States.

Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Month

The average monthly salary for a Child Life Specialist is $3,125 (25th percentile), $4,875 (75th percentile), and $8,833 for the top earners, according to ZipRecruiter.

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How much do Child Life Specialists earn Pay Per Hour?

According to Indeed, the average compensation for a child life specialist in the United States is $18.39 per hour. 333 wages were recorded as of May 24, 2022.

Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Locations in the United States

Child Life Specialist Salary By State in the U.S for 2022

Note that: This table is arranged in alphabetical order, but we have fished out the top paying states for Child Life Specialist salary for 2022 as; California takes the lead at $69,518, followed by Pennsylvania at $61,713.

StateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
Alabama$41,122$19.77396
Alaska$55,846$26.85154
Arizona$49,189$23.65913
Arkansas$46,989$22.59312
California$69,518$33.423,545
Colorado$43,666$20.99721
Connecticut$59,005$28.37417
Delaware$54,802$26.35158
District of Columbia$60,617$29.14182
Florida$44,465$21.382,330
Georgia$36,367$17.481,099
Hawaii$43,429$20.88142
Idaho$48,880$23.50250
Illinois$53,766$25.851,528
Indiana$44,145$21.22719
Iowa$37,825$18.19536
Kansas$45,793$22.02363
Kentucky$38,923$18.71359
Louisiana$40,527$19.48386
Maine$51,313$24.67181
Maryland$50,509$24.28948
Massachusetts$57,777$27.782,170
Michigan$42,607$20.481,071
Minnesota$58,932$28.33788
Mississippi$33,672$16.19235
Missouri$39,282$18.89657
Montana$38,794$18.65206
Nebraska$39,935$19.20332
Nevada$55,270$26.57319
New Hampshire$52,442$25.21182
New Jersey$59,308$28.511,060
New Mexico$55,107$26.49211
New York$61,667$29.652,413
North Carolina$47,456$22.821,140
North Dakota$55,521$26.69121
Ohio$42,016$20.201,031
Oklahoma$39,295$18.89409
Oregon$59,783$28.74476
Pennsylvania$61,713$29.671,719
Rhode Island$61,762$29.69152
South Carolina$44,587$21.44422
South Dakota$36,351$17.48126
Tennessee$41,978$20.18610
Texas$41,800$20.102,446
Utah$41,791$20.09353
Vermont$50,000$24.0489
Virginia$48,455$23.301,040
Washington$67,353$32.38953
West Virginia$39,048$18.77177
Wisconsin$48,732$23.43641
Wyoming$41,870$20.1356

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What is the Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Child Life Specialist Jobs in the U.S for 2022?

Another factor to consider is that the average pay in these top ten cities differs just by 7% between New York City, NY, and Richmond, CA, reinforcing the restricted opportunity for salary growth.

With average incomes greater than the national average in these ten locations, the chances for economic progression as a Child Life Specialist appear to be quite lucrative.

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
New York City, NY$62,442$5,203$1,201$30.02
San Mateo, CA$61,618$5,135$1,185$29.62
Boston, MA$59,635$4,970$1,147$28.67
Juneau, AK$59,629$4,969$1,147$28.67
Berkeley, CA$59,218$4,935$1,139$28.47
Daly City, CA$59,052$4,921$1,136$28.39
Santa Monica, CA$58,943$4,912$1,134$28.34
Quincy, MA$58,699$4,892$1,129$28.22
Renton, WA$58,668$4,889$1,128$28.21
Richmond, CA$58,149$4,846$1,118$27.96

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Child Life Specialist Salary California

According to ZipRecruiter, the average yearly salary for a Child Life Specialist in California is $49,238 as of May 27, 2022. For a  quick salary calculation, that works out to about $23.67 per hour. This equates to $947 per week or $4,103 per month.

The majority of Child LifeSpecialist salaries presently vary between $36,866 (25th percentile) and $57,511 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $104,209 yearly in California.

Highest Paying Cities for Child Life Specialists in California in 2022

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Mateo$61,618$5,135$1,185$29.62
Berkeley$59,218$4,935$1,139$28.47
Daly City$59,052$4,921$1,136$28.39
Santa Monica$58,943$4,912$1,134$28.34
Mountain View$58,309$4,859$1,121$28.03
Richmond$58,149$4,846$1,118$27.96
San Francisco$57,716$4,810$1,110$27.75
Irvine$56,546$4,712$1,087$27.19
Downey$56,265$4,689$1,082$27.05
Gilroy$56,235$4,686$1,081$27.04

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Child Life Specialist Salary Texas

Salary ranges can vary greatly based on the city and many other essential aspects, such as certifications, education, skills, and the number of years you have spent in your field.

According to Salary.com, As of May 27, 2022, the average Child Life Specialist’s income in Texas is $54,688, however, the range frequently falls between $48,788 and $61,282.

Highest Paying Cities for Child Life Specialists in Texas in 2022

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Odessa$55,793$4,649$1,073$26.82
Dallas$55,602$4,633$1,069$26.73
Austin$53,591$4,466$1,031$25.77
Irving$53,451$4,454$1,028$25.70
Frisco$53,077$4,423$1,021$25.52
Pasadena$51,006$4,250$981$24.52
Midland$50,586$4,216$973$24.32
Beaumont$50,443$4,204$970$24.25
Denton$50,179$4,182$965$24.12
McKinney$50,020$4,168$962$24.05

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How much is a Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Level in the United States?

When we get questions like, how can level affect a salary? We analyze this based on your level of experience and years as a hand-on-job specialist. Also, note that the more years you spend on a profession enhances your chances of being better skilled

Entry Level Child Life Specialist Salary

According to ZipRecruiter, most Entry Level Child Life Specialist salaries now vary between $31,000 (25th percentile) and $51,500 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) making $78,000 yearly across the United States as of May 26, 2022.

In case you need a quick salary calculator, this equals about $22.64 per hour and $906 per week or $3,924 per month.

We found a few places where the average salary for an Entry Level Child Life Specialist job is higher than the national average. San Mateo, CA leads the way in the United States, with Juneau, AK, and Boston, MA close behind in second and third place.


Boston, MA exceeds the national average by $7,036 (14.9 percent), while San Mateo, CA exceeds the national average by another $8,322 (17.7 percent).

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Highest Paying Cities for Entry Level Child Life Specialist Jobs in 2022

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
San Mateo, CA$55,413$4,618$1,066$26.64
Juneau, AK$54,208$4,517$1,042$26.06
Boston, MA$54,127$4,511$1,041$26.02
Santa Monica, CA$53,457$4,455$1,028$25.70
Quincy, MA$53,411$4,451$1,027$25.68
Berkeley, CA$53,345$4,445$1,026$25.65
Renton, WA$53,249$4,437$1,024$25.60
Daly City, CA$53,196$4,433$1,023$25.58
Minneapolis, MN$52,642$4,387$1,012$25.31
Queens, NY$52,554$4,379$1,011$25.27

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Senior Level Child Life Specialist Salary

According to ZipRecruiter, the average yearly salary for a Senior Child Life Specialist in the United States is $56,411 as of May 28, 2022.

For a quick salary calculator, this equals about $27.12 per hour. This equates to $1,085 each week or $4,701 per month.

The typical salary for a Senior Child Life Specialist varies considerably (up to $26,000), indicating that there may be several prospects for growth and greater income based on location, skill level, and years of experience.

Highest Paying Cities for Senior Child Life Specialist Jobs in 2022

CityAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Lakes, AK$66,640$5,553$1,282$32.04
San Francisco, CA$66,097$5,508$1,271$31.78
Santa Clara, CA$65,539$5,462$1,260$31.51
Washington, DC$64,758$5,396$1,245$31.13
Los Angeles, CA$64,051$5,338$1,232$30.79
Fremont, CA$63,576$5,298$1,223$30.57
Jersey City, NJ$63,260$5,272$1,217$30.41
Green River, WY$62,886$5,240$1,209$30.23
San Buenaventura, CA$62,829$5,236$1,208$30.21
San Jose, CA$62,415$5,201$1,200$30.01

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What Factors Affect a Child Life specialist Salary?

Education

The salary of a child life specialist might be influenced by his or her level of education. The majority of companies in the market demand four-year bachelor’s degrees in fields such as early childhood education, child life, or child development.

Some professionals in this industry who desire to advance their careers may choose to obtain two-year master’s degrees.

Employers may pay greater wages to employees who have attended graduate school since they have a more in-depth knowledge of aiding children with medical issues, which healthcare experts hold in high regard.

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Location

The location of a person’s employment has an effect on income levels in this field as well.

A person who works in a major city, such as California, New York, or Texas, should expect to make more money than someone who accepts a job in a smaller, more rural area.

Cities simply have a larger population and therefore a larger customer base, which implies that a children’s hospital in an urban region frequently generates more cash and may thus provide a higher child life specialist salary than those working in small towns.

Year of Experience

Your level of experience also influences your level of pay. Employers are prepared to give an employee who has worked in the sector for a longer amount of years more money in order to maintain his or her expertise.

In comparison, the salary of a child life specialist with more than 15 years of experience in the profession is double that of individuals with only a year of experience.

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Child Life Specialist Salary Based on Field

What is the Typical Salary of a Child Psychologist?

Average Salary: $78,159/year (Salary.com)

A child psychologist is a mental health practitioner who uses psychological assessments and other types of treatment to assist children and adolescents learn to cope with life and interpersonal challenges, as well as mental health concerns.

They can also aid in the treatment of emotional, mental, social, and behavioral health issues.

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What is the Typical Salary of a Child Trauma?

Average salary: $76,704/year (ZipRecruiter)

A Child trauma therapist’s role is to perform psychotherapy sessions to assist patients, whether children or adults, in overcoming traumatic stress. The purpose of the treatment sessions is to help the patient enjoy a more satisfying life.

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly PayWeekly PayHourly Wage
Child Psychologist$81,331$6,778$1,564$39.10
One More Child$78,041$6,503$1,501$37.52
CCLS$72,469$6,039$1,394$34.84
Child Trauma$71,148$5,929$1,368$34.21
Child Health Specialist$68,825$5,735$1,324$33.09

FAQs

Where do Child Life Specialist get paid the most?

California, Washington, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New York 

What is the highest salary for a Child Life Specialist?

Child Life Specialist salaries in the United States range from $10,244 to $260,665, with a median pay of $48,919

How much do Child Life Specialist make in California?

$49,238 a year

How much does a Child Life Specialist make at Stanford?

Approximately $91,630

How much does a Child Life Specialist make in NY?

The salary range typically falls between $59,608 and $74,872.

Conclusion

As an undergraduate, a job as a Child Life Specialist can be very lucrative and it is in higher demand. As a Child Life Specialist, you can make up to $3,924 per month as entry-level staff, and $4,701 per month at the senior level.

Reference

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