Nearly one in four children aim to emulate their NHS heroes

26 September 2020

  • But one in 10 still dream to be a social media star
  • Police officer was career choice for 9%; firefighters and nurses picked by 6% and paramedics 5%
  • Money is motivating factor for nearly a third of children

The latest Halifax Pocket Money survey has found that 19% of children are aspiring to be either a doctor or a nurse when they grow up.

With incredible work from the NHS at the forefront of the public mind, jobs in the health service proved to be a popular choice for kids. More than one in 10 (13%) want to be a doctor, beaten only by the chance to play professional football (14%). A further 6% dream of being a nurse and 5% want to be a paramedic.
Social media stardom came third in the list overall, alongside teaching, both picked by 12% of kids. Amongst boys, the potential for celebrity social media stardom placed it as the second most desirable job on the their list (14%), behind the perceived glitz and glamour of signing for a Premier League football team (25%).

For girls, becoming an influencer was the joint third most popular vocation, alongside training to be a nurse (all 11%). Teaching (20%) and becoming a doctor (14%) were the only jobs more popular.

The chance to police the streets of the UK was top choice for 9% of children and 6% dreamed of fighting fires. Just 3% of children dream of becoming the Prime Minister.

Boys and girls are split on what makes a dream job

Nearly a third (32%) of kids list the amount of money you can earn as one of the top reasons to pick a career. For boys, that figure rises to 39%, compared to 26% for girls.
In fact, girls are much more likely to pick a dream job if it gives them the opportunity to help other people (32%), compared to the 22% of boys who  see caring for others as their main motivation when choosing their career.

Making sure you have fun in your job (25%), and providing for a future family (19%), were popular choices for both genders. One fifth (21%) are yet to think of their future job.

Guess the wage

Unsurprisingly, kids place Premier League footballers as the highest earners, with an estimated yearly salary of £4.7m, a £1.3m pay rise from the estimated salary children gave them a year ago.

Next up on the list was the job of Prime Minister. While not a popular job with children, the potential salary of £2.4m as guessed by kids, could be hard for some to turn down. In reality that’s almost 16 times what the position pays*. Social media influencer finished the top three with a predicted pay packet of £1.3m a year. While influencer salaries are likely to vary, a recent survey suggested that most British-based bloggers
(30%) can charge between £100 and £250, per post.**

While kids’ estimates of salaries may seem over-inflated they seem to have an understanding of where money comes from. When asked to think generally about the origins of people’s cash, two thirds (66%) understand that it is earned through work, and 42% think it’s provided by the banks.
The myth of the money tree is alive for just 2% of children who believe an arboreal bounty is out there somewhere.

Emma Abrahams, Head of Savings, Halifax, said: “ In a year that has seen the nation truly appreciate the heroic efforts of the NHS, it's no wonder we are seeing many kids aspire to be a doctor or a nurse when they grow up

“And while others dream of social media stardom or being a football star it's good to start conversations about money early, so little ones really appreciate the importance of earning the pound in your pocket".