What did you want to be when you grew up?

The aspirations of children today are likely very different from those of our childhoods.

According to the latest Pocket Money survey from Halifax, 19% of children today want to be a doctor or nurse when they grow up.

Jobs in the health service were a popular choice, with the incredible work of the NHS during the Covid-19 pandemic likely putting this career front of mind.

13% of children want to be a doctor, only slightly behind the aspiration of 14% of children to become a professional footballer.

6% dream of becoming a nurse and 5% want to become a paramedic.

Unsurprisingly, social media stardom was also a popular choice, with becoming an online influencer selected by 12% of children – the same number who said they want to become a teacher!

For boys, social media stardom was the second most desirable job, behind becoming a Premier League footballer.

Girls chose becoming an online influencer as their joint third most popular choice, alongside training to become a nurse.

The most popular career choice for girls was becoming a doctor, with becoming a teacher in second place.

Becoming a police officer was the preferred career choice for 9% of children, with 6% wanting to fight fires and only 3% dreaming of becoming the Prime Minister.

Nearly a third of children 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.

Interestingly, girls are more likely than boys to select their dream job if doing so gives them the opportunity to help other people.

Making sure you have fun in your job, and providing for a future family, were popular choices for both genders.

21% of children said they are yet to think of their future job.

When asked to estimate their future earnings, the children wanting to become Premier League football players set their sights the highest. They estimated an annual wage of £4.7 million, up £1.3 million on the estimates given a year ago.

The next highest estimate salary came from children wanting to become Prime Minister, thinking they would earn £2.4 million a year – around 16 times the actual pay for the role.

Becoming a social media influencer comes with an estimated salary of £1.3 million a year, which might be pushing it a little – a recent survey found that most UK-based bloggers 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 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.”

Brussels, Belgium, Header photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash